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The 19th Addis Trade for Development and Christmas Festival trade fair and bazar was opened on Saturday 22nd of December, 2012 at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center and Market Development Enterprise (AAECMDE). The exhibition that will continue until the eve of the Ethiopian Christmas on Monday January 7th, 2013, is organized by Century Promotion Services with the cost of a little over 5 million birr.
The venue was blazing with decorations and Christmas lights. It was filled with vendors of all kinds carrying merchandise ranging from cosmetics, furniture and carpets to artificial Christmas trees, jewelry and traditionally-made kitchen utensils. The trade fair and bazaar has 38 foreign and 310 local exhibitors and has over 20,000 visitors, on average, a day who pay a 10-birr entrance fee. Stalls at this year’s bazar cost 16,000 birr for those inside the building and 14,000 birr for the ones outside, including VAT. The minimum size for a rented stall is 24 sq. meters inside the pavilion and the maximum stall size rented is 100 sq. m outside the pavilion.
A number of brand new products were displayed including the Q7 mobile, a new mobile that started being assembled in Ethiopia a little over two weeks ago by Smadl, a Chinese company. The brand new mobiles have five different models which are sold between 580 to 590 birr. “The introduction of these mobiles has been successful and the response we got from visitors was very positive, we have already sold around 30 pieces,” said Lemesa Humensa, representative of Smadl, who was representing the Q7 mobile counter. Smadl also introduced its new Android 2.3.6 Smart Operator System phone at the fair.
Another product that caught many visitors’ eyes was a meat substitute soya product called Tasty Soya Pieces. This product, manufactured by a local company named Pramukh Agro Industry Plc., is said to have a close texture and taste to beef and it attracted a lot of visitors. “This is a very healthy alternative to beef; you can make it into Tibs or stew. The product is selling like hot cake and we hope to continue selling a lot more until the end of this bazaar,” said Kidist Getachew, Marketing Manager at Pramukh Agro Industry Plc.
The bazar is accompanied by different concerts led by the Mehari Brothers and Zemen Band along with 50 vocalists. It also has different competitions where people can win cash prizes of birr 750 to 30,000.