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The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (AACCSA) selected a conceptual design for the construction of its headquarter at a projected cost of up to 100 million birr.
The chamber plans to finalize the construction of its headquarters in three years and hopes to resolve the controversy with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations over the current building usage.
However, AACCSA has not yet secured a plot from Addis Ababa City Administration for the construction of its HQ.
AACCSA spent several years in a dispute with ECCSA over the usage of the current building that rests on a 4,000m2 which is currently used by both chambers. This building was constructed in 1964 at a cost of 1.9 million birr. It has been returned to the ECCSA in 2008, after nationalized by the Derg regime in 1976.
“We just announced that we will leave the current building we are sharing with ECCSA as the dispute has to end at this point in time” said Getachew Reggassa, Secretary General of the AACCSA.
AACCSA officials still argue that the previous building belongs to AACCSA as it’s is constructed by the business community of Addis Ababa. “It is very commendable to readdress that the building the chamber currently is using was constructed by Addis Ababan merchants,” Ayalew Zegeye, President of the AACCSA, said.
Ayalew regrets that the controversy has for years been an agenda for the media. “The controversy over the years caused apprehensiveness for both chambers and in fact demeaned the proficiency of their leaders,” he said. “This [the plan] is a juncture for the end of the long-time controversy and a symbol for a birth of a new paradigm shift.”
AACCSA, as part of its transformation agenda, on April 4, 2013 at the Radisson Blu Hotel has finally revealed its plan to construct its headquarters by choosing a conceptual design. The chamber, in close collaboration with the Ethiopian Architects Association, chose a design by Aba Consulting Architects in partnership with BC Architects. Mahider G/Medhin, and Bereket Tesfaye Consulting Architects and Engineers, were also selected as the second and third winners.
Twenty five contestants were registered to compete for the design competition but only seven of them submitted their conceptual design for the jury, which consists of five members.
On April 4, the Jury announced the winner of this competition and awarded 80,000 birr. The runner ups also received 60,000 and 40,000 birr. The chamber has also given a total of 125,000 birr for the five juries, 25,000 birr each.
The design prepared by in partnership with Aba and BC Consulting Architects’ was chosen for its well visible urban concept and integration, hierarchy, well thought zoning of public spaces, iconic, and its public-friendly design. Contestants were also required not only to design the building but also select the right location for the building as part of the competition.
AACCSA will immediately apply for land and shortly start construction after discussing the detailed design with the architects according to Getachew. “We wanted to have a concrete program and go to the city administration. That’s why we did the design competition first” Getachew said. Getachew believes the chamber has good relationship with the city administration and will soon acquire one of the plots it already identified around Mexico Square.
The projected cost for the construction, which will lay on 1000m2, is up to 100 million birr and is expected to be completed in three years.