Sitting on an 18,000-meter plot on Ras Desta Damtew Road in Addis Ababa, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) Tower is a 198 meters tall skyscraper whose construction was completed in 2022 after approximately 7 years of implementation.
The structure was originally set to be completed in January 2019 however in August 2018, the completion date was pushed to 2020. Four years following the laying of its foundation stone in June 2015, the building was topped out in the second half of 2019. Cladding work, however, was delayed due to the foreign currency shortage in the East African country that made it harder for local businesses to fund imports.
As a result, this affected the bank’s finances as it still controlled most of the country’s banking activities in 2020, and consequently affected the planned commissioning of the CBE Tower in 2020. In February 2022, the building was officially inaugurated coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
The project, the implementation of which was carried out by Chinese construction giant China State Construction Engineering Corporation, cost an estimated 303.5 million USD.
An insight into the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) Tower, the tallest building in Ethiopia
The new headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia features a total of 52 stories comprising 46 above-ground floors, a mezzanine level, a ground floor, and 4 basement levels. In addition, it features two 5-story podiums and 20-meter deep underground parking lots.
The building design includes 46 above-ground floors, a mezzanine level, a ground floor, and 4 basement levels. It also has eight conference halls, an emergency waiting room for disasters, two restaurants on the top two floors, and a sightseeing tower.
Ethiopia: CSCEC to build Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) Tower
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC), which is a state-owned construction company will build a new headquarters for the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa at the cost of US$266.5m.
This is after the construction company won the bid for the project and signing of the related agreement for the 46-story building on Tuesday last week at CBE’s head office in Addis Ababa.
The new headquarters, which will be on a 150,000-sq-m, will involve the construction of a 200m tower and two 5-storey podiums.
CSCEC has said the new project was a breakthrough as far as its operations in Ethiopia were concerned. “The project is to be another landmark building contracted by CSCEC following the African Union Conference Center, and is a new breakthrough in its operation in the Ethiopian market.”
The new building is set to be the tallest building in East Africa. The President of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia said at the signing event that the new project “reflects the image of both sides.” “Not only the height but the overall quality of the building, we believe that this will be one of the best buildings in Africa,” he said.
The general manager of the construction company in Ethiopia, Song Sudong, said the company had undertaken similar building projects in China.
Addis Ababa is also expecting a transformation by a model city and a housing development from Turkey, after a delegation from the latter met President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome last November in relation to the issue. Ethiopian Airport Enterprise (EAE) has also announced plans for a US$ 2.4bn airport 70km South East of the city.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) is currently ranked as the largest global contractor by revenue in 2014: it has a turnover of US$97.8bn.
Apart from these projects in Ethiopia, the construction company will also undertake other construction projects in the region such as the Ondangwa airport runway in Namibia.
Chinese firms such as SINOHYDRO and China Communications Construction Company have also been before, contracted to build roads, and airports in the country, and the Ministry of housing had discussed on awarding more contracts to Egyptian firms such as Arab Contractors.