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Public enterprises had been in full force to host guests who came to Addis for the Third Financing for Development (FFD3) international conference.
Scores of Heads of states and governments, representatives of influential organizations and companies attended the conference.
The government undertook massive preparations in utilities provision including security, electric power supply, hotel, and telecom services.
The meetings were held at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and eight hotels that were selected as venues for FFD3 conference.
Andualem Admassie, CEO of Ethio Telecom, told Capital that the enterprise had made major preparation to provide good telecom service. Andualem said the enterprise had made available an additional 400 megabytes network connection to the UNECA. He said the network was large enough to accommodate all participants at once with high speed free internet access.
The telecom enterprise has also augmented the wireless network capacity at the Millennium Hall, which was a center for participants’ registration and issuance of identification and ATM cards.
“The enterprise also provided 127 smart phones with SIM cards that are upgraded to 4G and 1,000 birr free airtime for the main organizers of the event.” The sole telecom provider has also made available additional internet network to hotels the guests were lodging.
There was no congestion on the network, Andualem had said. In addition, Ethio Telecom provided SIM card at its sales booth at Bole International Airport.
The electric power provider Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) had also provided uninterrupted electric supply throughout the conference days, according to an official of the electric provider.
Gebregzabiher Taffere, External Relations Head of EEU, told Capital that the enterprise had set up temporary command posts to prevent outage.
In the past years, electric supply was erratic and big international events taking place in the capital were sometimes interrupted by power cuts. For instance, a black out lasted for an hour during the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union about two years ago at the Millennium Hall. In addition, in 2011, a blackout lasted 30 minutes while State Secretary Hilary Clinton was delivering a speech at the African Union Headquarters.
Gebregzabiher said that there were no power interruptions at the hotels and conference venues during the event.
The utility had identified 130 hotels where over 7,000 guests were staying and conference halls and had taken strict follow ups.
“We checked every hotel if they have standby generators to restore power automatically,” he said.
The EEU had also provided backup transformers to UNECA and deployed a contingency repair team in case power is out.
Security was similarly high alert during the four days of the convention. Ethiopia had organized the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) event in 2011, which was also considered as a major international event the country had ever hosted. It also hosts yearly the African Union.
Gezahegn Abate, Public Relation Head at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that the ministry had selected 150 hotels that have a combined of 7,500 beds to serve the guests.
Gezahegn said the ministry collaborated with relevant government organizations like ethio telecom, fire brigade to handle emergencies. According to the public relation head, it was a big event with huge participants and many lessons were learned.
“The hotels had experience of handling these kinds of events, especially in the past few years. This event had also taught us the use of working with the hotels’ association,” he added.
Bezuayehu Assefa, Air Traffic Service Director at Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, told Capital that the planes that landed at Bole International Airport were served without any delay, even though the traffic had momentarily increased. The aviation sector has an experience entertaining large, frequent air traffic from events like the AU summit. “This one is different because the participants did not come on the same day,” Bezuayehu said.
The arrival of Heads of States and governments at Bole International Airport on the same day had made the airport significantly busy.
The domestic airline operator’s flights were usually delayed because of frequent arrivals and take off of international flights.