Ethiopia: Feature: 52-storey landmark being built in Ethiopian capital serves as teaching platform

ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s Chinese-contracted landmark 206-meter building, which is already regarded as the tallest structure in East Africa, has ignited young Ethiopian engineering students’ aspiration through successful knowledge transfer.

headquarters of Construction Bank of Ethiopia (CBE)

As the Chinese construction giant, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), on Thursday announced that the East African country’s new icon to be commissioned within the coming one year, with all structural and civil works already completed, young Ethiopian engineers are drawing inspiration from the landmark building.

CSCEC is undertaking the construction works of the 52-storey building at a cost of 298.5 million U.S. dollars.

Located at the heart of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the future headquarters of Construction Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) – Ethiopia’s largest public-owned commercial bank – is receiving constant acclaim for serving as a teaching platform for aspiring young Ethiopian engineers and students, as well as local construction companies.

Ashenafi Yenew, a fifth-year civil engineering student at the Addis Ababa University, is one of the thousands of aspiring young Ethiopian engineering students that have had the chance to witness construction works at the project site along with Chinese construction experts.

“It is a great experience for us to witness firsthand construction activities here at the project site,” Yenew told Xinhua on Thursday, adding that “majority of the technologies and construction techniques that are being employed here are by far new to us in Ethiopia.”

The 52-storey building, including four underground floors, has so far hosted more than 7,000 visits from actors in Ethiopia’s construction sectors as well as various other professionals, according to figures from CSCEC.

The project has also provided internship opportunities for more than 120 groups of local university students, most of the students eventually joined Ethiopia’s construction industry with firsthand experience of the most modern and state-of-the-art technology installed at the project.

Yenew, who spoke highly of the importance of facilitating internship opportunities for construction engineering students by the Chinese construction firm, also commended Chinese engineers and construction experts for their keen interest to share their “remarkable” experience to students like him.

“They are very open to share their experiences in the international construction sector to us during our internship period,” Yenew told Xinhua.

“They were keen and happy to teach us new construction procedures, which are very hard to obtain in other projects in our country,” he added.

The project’s construction was commenced in April 2015 on a lot of 164,429 square meters, just miles away from the iconic African Union (AU) Headquarters that was also built by CSCEC.

CSCEC, well known for its flagship AU headquarters building in Addis Ababa, is also currently building Ethiopia’s new National Stadium after an agreement signed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Youth and Sports in January 2016.

Feng Zhenlei, Deputy Project Manager of the CBE future HQ project at CSCEC, told Xinhua on Thursday that the project’s construction is progressing as per its initial schedule and will be completed by November 2020.

Feng also stressed that knowledge and technology transfer to Ethiopian engineers and construction experts have been key essences of CSCEC during the project’s construction phase.

The project, which also involves the construction of two 5-storey podiums in addition to the main tower, is also being praised among Ethiopian experts and scholars in the construction sector.

According to Isaias Gebre-Yohnis, project supervisor and professor at the Addis Ababa University, said the project has been “a practical teaching center” for Ethiopia’s future engineers and construction sector professionals.

“The project has been very significant for the country as well as construction technology schools,” Gebre-Yohnnis told Xinhua recently, adding that “for one thing it is now an iconic image of Ethiopia, and also it ignites a new momentum in the country’s construction sector with the most modern and state-of-the-art technology.”

The company is also undertaking another landmark structure commissioned by the National Oil Company (NOC) Ethiopia.

Bacha Gina, President of CBE, had recently told Xinhua that the project, in addition to its timely completion, has served as a teaching platform for Ethiopian engineering students as well as construction companies.

“It is a great construction project,” Gina said, adding that “Since the project’s first phase, it has helped the Ethiopian construction industry in so many ways.”

Addis Ababa City Administration Deputy Mayor Takele Uma said during his visit of the CBE’s future headquarters project along with senior CBE officials earlier this month that the iconic stature “will contribute a lot in enhancing the city’s image upon completion and in knowledge transfer as well.”

Noting that the building is an exemplary figure for other future similar high-rise buildings in the Ethiopian capital, Uma stressed that the city administration would give the necessary support for the project’s successful completion.

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