Saturday, April 13, 2024

AAICEC lobbies public enterprises to take stake in lucrative International Convention Center


By our staff reporter
Addis-Africa International Convention and Exhibition Centre SC (AAICEC) invites public enterprises to take equity of its huge facility located in the north eastern strip of Addis Ababa. As private and public companies dash for a piece of the pie, records show that the prosperous, Ethiopian Airlines Group, now holds the second biggest stake of the share company.
As Gashaw Abate, Deputy Director General of AAICEC indicates, the share company which is expected to become operational in the first quarter of the coming year has invited public enterprises to take stake of its facility which is getting underway to serve as a huge convention and exhibition center with international standards.
“We have invited the public business entities to invest in the project that has enormous national benefits,” Gashaw told Capital.
From the series of investing invites by the share company, there have been some resounding investments such as that of the national flag carrier of the hospitality business, Ethiopian Airlines Group, which bought a 300 million birr share at the facility that has a 5.5 billion birr in authorized capital.
“On its new investment, the Group has taken the second biggest charge as a major shareholder after the Addis Ababa City Administration, which has over 700 million birr in shares,” Gashaw explained.
This one of a kind public private partnership (PPP) project which was in process for almost two decades was initiated by the city chamber, Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association during the Berhane Mewa’s presidency period in the mid-2000s.
Currently, the city chamber has 10 million birr share at the facility that has 1.1 billion birr paid up capital.
Ethiopian Tourist and Trading Enterprise, a public enterprise which is part of the mammoth, Ethiopian Investment Holding (EIH), one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in Africa that includes 26 state business companies, is so far the third biggest investor at AAICEC with 170 million birr capital.
The state owned financial giant, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, which is part of EIH, and Public Employees Social Security Administration have a share of 150 and 130 million birr respectively as a major shareholder.
Ethio South, a share company that was formed by the Ethiopian diaspora in South Africa closely follows the rest at a 115 million birr worth of shares on the Centre.
According to Gashaw in total there are 1050 shareholders including individuals in the PPP project.
Some of the privately owned investors are dominated by financial firms like Dashen Bank, Wegagen Bank, and Awash Insurance Company that have 54 million, 15 million, and 36 million birr worth of shares respectively; while the Ethiopian Reinsurance and Bank of Abyssinia have 20 million birr each in shares.
Gashaw said that his Centre is expects positive response from other public enterprises.
The facility that is located in front of CMC compound on the north eastern tip of the city has indoor and outdoor exhibition venues, multi-purpose halls, conference centre, auditoriums, office space, shops, restaurant and cafés as well as children’s playground within the area. It was established with the primary aim of hosting multiple international business events that can also boost the conference tourism, and commerce.
Recently, information circulated that the city administration bought the building facility in front of the Centre at a cost of 9.8 billion birr to make it part of the upcoming tourism and business destination but Gashaw declined to give further inform on this particular matter.

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