Ethiopia inaugurates Chinese-built landmark building in capital

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Photo shows the 209.15-meter-tall new headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, believed to the tallest building in East Africa, on Feb. 13, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated a 209.15-meter-tall landmark building located at the heart of its capital city, which houses the country's largest public-owned commercial bank.

The new headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) in Addis Ababa was built by Chinese construction giant China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).

The inauguration event coincided with the CBE's 80th anniversary and was attended by senior Ethiopian government officials, Chinese diplomats in Ethiopia, and representatives of the CBE and the CSCEC.

Calling the inauguration a milestone, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said at the event, "I am very happy as we gather here today to inaugurate this beautiful building while also marking the 80th anniversary of this historic bank."

Ahmed said the CBE reflects Ethiopia's years-long dedication to and aspiration for establishing and sustaining modern institutions, stressing the need to modernize the banking sector in the East African country.

The building project, which involves the construction of two five-story podiums and the main tower, has won wide acclaim among Ethiopian experts. It is regarded as the tallest building in East Africa.

CBE President Abie Sano said the project has served as a means for Ethiopian engineering students and construction companies to learn state-of-the-art technologies.

He said the building, which has applied very modern and latest technologies with supervision from the Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology, "witnessed crucial technology and experience-sharing endeavor over the course of its construction."

"This very modern skyscraper will serve our generation and beyond in a view to address emerging advancements in the banking sector as well as future expectations," Sano said.

"I was very lucky to have this invaluable learning experience since the project's early construction stage," said Belay Bitew, a young Ethiopian civil engineer involved in overseeing the project construction.

Noting that the construction materials and technologies used in the construction process meet international standards, he added, "The learning endeavor during our stay with our Chinese colleagues has been another milestone."

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