Gena Expo open doors with ECMDE as host

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The Exhibition Center and Market Development Enterprise (ECMDE) announces that several foreign companies will participate in the first ever Gena exhibition and bazaar that it will officially host at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre.
Earlier in August, Betahon Special Events received the nod to host the Gena (Christmas) and Fasika (Easter) eve Expo with a bidding price of 68 million birr and 43 million birr respectively but failed to come up with the required prior installment.
During the press conference held on Tuesday December 14, Tilahun Tadesse, General Manager of ECMDE, said that the event organizer failed to come up with the required payments because of several reasons including the National Bank of Ethiopia’s loan suspension and the state of emergency.
He said that on Thursday December 9, the management of ECMDE decided to manage the upcoming two events that are well known Expos because of the inability of Betahon to do so.
He explained that up to 150 exhibitors are expected to come from abroad to be part of the 500 participants on this Gena Expo that was opened yesterday.
“We have experience in exhibitions management at the facility so we can handle the latest one, which is huge in terms of participants and visitors,” Tesfaye Abate, Corporate Communication Director of ECMDE said.
Tilahun explains that the Addis Ababa City Administration, which is a co-owner of ECMDE alongside the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, is strongly backing the ECMDE to realize the event.
This time around ECMDE has given up to 20 percent discount for those who are leasing booths for the three week event in addition to lower price for entrance ticket to visitors which are great incentives in comparison with the prior years.
According to Tesfaye, the event is held in a time that records a huge influx in diaspora, “We have taken into consideration to attract the diaspora and with facilities in Mesqel Square being rejuvenated I am certain that the Expo will draw huge visitors.”
For the past two decades the holiday exhibition and bazaars were commonly organized by the private sector. This time around the facility itself will get the opportunity to host it.
“It will be a good lesson for us and it will help us to host an even better event in the coming Fasika bazaar,” Tilahun expressed his excitement while looking ahead to the next festive season.
The exhibition that opened yesterday will come to a close closed on January 6 and is expected to attract half a million visitors in the town. Similar events are also organized in different locations by the private sector; however the Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre, which is conveniently located at the heart of the capital city, receives more traction.