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Ethiopia construction industry update


Ethiopia is undergoing a transformation. The East African state is prioritising a wealth of construction projects in order to stimulate its economy, reinvigorate its infrastructure and supply affordable housing and power to its population of close to 100 million.
Construction is a huge part of Ethiopia’s economic recovery. The building sector has seen double digit growth, expanding by 37% annually, and is ushering in a new phase of development for the country.
So what is new in Ethiopia’s construction industry? Major activity is ongoing throughout the nation, in both residential and infrastructure sectors, as well commercial areas. 

Affordable housing construction keeps pace with Ethiopian demand

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, is expanding at a rate of 3.3% each year, creating a housing void that needs to be filled. In fact, affordable housing is something of a nationwide priority for the Ethiopian government, although at present much of the housebuilding activity is centred on the capital. 
Condominium construction is the main focus and a collection of ongoing developments are scattered across the capital – all with different price points but each with affordability in mind. The 40/60 programme, where tenants pay for 40% of an apartment’s cost and the government contributing the remaining 60%, is making solid progress.
More than 1,290 apartment blocks, standing between 7-9 storeys tall have been completed in various locations throughout Addis Ababa. 38,790 total condominium units are being built in 13 different sites in the city. 80,000 further apartment blocks are planned under the 40/60 scheme over the next five years.
Outside the affordable housing sector, more high-end developments are planned. China’s Sinomark Real Estate is developing a 21-tower residential complex in Addis Ababa. The Chinese developers have stated this will be “the biggest real estate project in Ethiopia”, and will feature swimming pools, a commercial zone and sports centres. Costs are expected to reach over $194 million.

Ethiopian infrastructure construction remains robust

Huge sums are being invested in infrastructure. Take the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) for example. Ethiopia’s flagship infrastructure project, the $4.8 billion dam is one of the nation’s most expensive developments. 
Despite delays, thanks to political wrangling due to the GERD’s location spanning the Blue Nile which flows into Egypt and Sudan, construction is well underway. Overseen by Italian firm Salini Impregilo, building work on the dam is expected to finish in 2017, although the dam itself was stated to be 70% complete in May 2016. It is estimated that the GERD will generate 6,000 megawatts of electricity. 
Five new road-related projects kicked off in June 2016, three focussed on building new links while the remaining two are centred around repair and maintenance. A total of 347 kilometres of new highway will be put into action after this project is finished at a cost of some $245 million. Local, state-owned construction companies will be handling the building work. The longest individual stretch of road, Route Number One, measures 60 kilometres, connecting Adama and Awash in eastern Addis Ababa. 

Commercial building work underway in Ethiopia

It is not just the residential or infrastructure sectors that are powering Ethiopia’s construction boom. Commercial construction activity is playing no small role in changing the face of the Ethiopian building industry.
The headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) are being constructed at present by the China State Construction & Engineering Corporation. Once completed, the CBE’s head office will be East Africa’s tallest building at an impressive 198 metres tall. Foundations have been laid, so construction on the super structure is now beginning in earnest.
Africa’s largest terminal for fresh produce is also being built at the rapidly expanding Bole International Airport. The 17,000 square metre facility will enable Ethiopia to offer Africa’s biggest logistics hub to a variety of international customers, meaning trade levels could rise substantially. The new facility is expected to handle 600,000 tons of cargo at full capacity.

Ethiopia’s building projects keep on rolling

This is just a snapshot of the construction activity underway across Ethiopia. For a more in depth look at the nation’s building sector, why not download ITE Build & Interiors’ free guide today? The report goes in detail about Ethiopia’s construction sector, the scale of imports of key building materials and the opportunities for foreign companies East Africa’s fastest growing economy holds.
Click here to download the Market Insights report Ethiopia’s Construction Industry: Transforming a Nation. 
Image: © Jean Ribiffé via Flickr


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