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Last Updated:[18-09-2009 07:42:58 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Ethiopia to be the Cynosure of African Trade

tradenews The multi-million dollar Africa International Trade Centre which is coming up at Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa is expected to transform the country to be the trade hub of the African continent. The centre owned by the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) at current estimations will cost about $23mn.

Ato Eyesuswork Zafu, the president of the AACCSA had informed in the Stakeholders’ meeting held in July that the work of the centre would start in couple of month’s time. As planned, the work of the project will start soon under the supervision of Trade centre project manager Ayalew Abey, and expected to be completed in three years in three distinct phases.

Abey opined that the project was unique and would provide all African nations an opportunity to sell their merchandise, particularly exports, to rest of the continent. Similarly, Hayat Hailu, a businesswoman based in Addis Ababa said the centre would be dream come true for female entrepreneurs in Africa as it would provide a platform to connect easily with the international traders. On the other hand, Zambia's ambassador to Ethiopia Albert Muchanga said the ambitious project would not only help African businesses but even the Middle Eastern traders.

Zafu believes that besides bringing together the African investors, the centre will also play a key role in the creation of the African Economic Community (AEC) under the guidance of the African Union (AU). Through the AEC, the AU aims to establish free trade zones, customs unions, a single market, a central bank and a common currency within the African continent in line with the European Union (EU) to promote trade and commerce.

The non-governmental business centre will be built on 110,126 sq. meters of land in front of Addis Ababa's CMC Diplomatic Village. The multi-purpose complex will house a training, research and information department apart from exhibition halls, and also a significant area has been allocated for green spaces and play grounds.

By Jose Roy

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