Tallest building in East Africa built by Chinese enterprises completed
Published: Feb 14, 2022 12:40 PM
People wearing face masks cross a busy street in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Aug. 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

People wearing face masks cross a busy street in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, Aug. 21, 2020. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

The new headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the tallest building in East Africa built by Chinese contractors, was officially completed on Sunday, as the two countries continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation in 2022.

The new building is located in the core business area of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with a total construction area of about 160,000 square meters and a height of 209.15 meters. 

Work on the project, built by China State Construction, began in July 2015. A senior official from the company said that during the past seven years, the company has overcome difficulties and completed the task with high quality, despite unfavorable factors including sporadic flare-ups of the pandemic and the unstable situation in Ethiopia. 

Construction of the project has provided more than 3,000 local jobs and has become a link of friendship between the two countries.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali praised the completion of the building, saying that the new building, which was inaugurated on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Commercial Bank, reflects the ambition of Ethiopia to advance the modernization and development of the banking sector.

Abie Sano, the president of the bank, said that he believes the new headquarters will significantly improve the bank's efficiency as well as bring advanced technology to Ethiopia's construction industry.

"Infrastructure construction by Chinese enterprises will be beneficial to Ethiopia's economic recovery from the unstable situation and the pandemic. 

"The new Commercial Bank building will also help the development of Ethiopia's modern services industry, as well as persuade more African countries to accept the yuan as an official settlement currency for border trade, further deepening China-Africa cooperation," Song Wei, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Monday.

The new building is not the only skyscraper built by the CSCEC. In June 2021, Africa's "tallest building" with a height of 385.8 meters, the tower of the central business district of Egypt's New Administrative Capital, was capped. This means that at least two of the five tallest buildings in Africa were built by China.

In 2021, total trade between China and Africa exceeded $23.8 billion, up 35.3 percent year-on-year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Experts said that China has shown growing prowess in infrastructure construction in recent decades, as the country has become home to six of the world's 10 tallest skyscrapers.

"China has irreplaceable competitive advantages in terms of engineering speed and quality in the world, and Chinese enterprises have established a high reputation in Africa in recent years with their high-quality projects," Song said.

With deepening economic cooperation between China and Africa in 2022, more Chinese-made landmarks will appear in Africa, and more Chinese firms will contribute to the development of African modernization, Song said.

Global Times