Addis-Africa International Convention and Exhibition Center, on the 18th of March, managed to sell shares worth more than 4 million birr during the official opening of share sales.
This formal launch is intended to attract big companies with more spending capacity and to show it is a private-public partnership project.
Formed in November, 2012 by 20 shareholders with a capital of 10.85 million birr, the center will be built on a 110,000 sqm plot of land. The total cost is estimated at 2 billion birr.
Dan Technocraft brought shares worth one million birr with Awash Insurance S.C. and Yod Abyssinia purchasing 500,000 birr worth of shares each. Ozzie Trading, Z-General Trading, Africa Beza College, Tamesol Communication, Sabir Argaw owner of Alsam Plc., and Gift Real Estate were just a few of the companies and private individuals who wanted a slice of the pie.
The new share holders are set to get a 33.5 percent rate of return on their investment starting from the completion of the first phase, according to Meseret Mamo, deputy general manager of AAICEC.
Meseret during the event gave a presentation on meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) to entice prospective share holders to buy shares.
In her presentation she outlined the opportunities Ethiopia has in the market. According to her, 33 percent of Africa’s MICE tourism goes to South Africa. When AAICEC’s construction is complete, the company plans to hold 50 exhibitions per year.
“The only reason that MICE tourists don’t come to Ethiopia is because we don’t have such kind of facilities,” she said. “We want to provide that.”
Elias Genete, president of the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (AACCSA) described the center as the brain child of successive chamber leaders.
Before designing the center, the architects of the center went to Hong Kong, Milan and Dubai to visit international standard exhibition and convention centers.
The first phase construction requires half a billion birr to complete. After the company raises the 300 million birr, it will get the remaining amount from a bank as a loan.