The Addis Ababa Land Management Bureau has called 20 companies who are asking for between 500 and 5,000sqm of additional land to come to their office. In most of the cases the land they are asking for is next to their current business places, although some land is further away but those companies feel the land suits their business needs. This is unusual because normally land is auctioned off. In fact the Urban Land Lease Holding Proclamation No.721/2004 states that land must be auctioned off unless it is for manufacturing, government or international institutions.
Abyssina Bank, Ayat Real Estate, National Tobacco Enterprise, Repi Soap and Detergent, East Africa Pharmaceutical PLC, Rainbow Plastic and Foam PLC, Ethio Polymer, K.K.Trading PLC, Z Farm Star are among the companies asking for expansions.
Nigusse Teshome, Public Relations Head of the Addis Ababa Land Management Bureau says the action they are taking does not go against the spirit of the proclamation because they are not necessarily giving the land to the companies. Instead they are trying to determine if their requests are legitimate. They also want to be sure that allowing the companies to expand on the land will positively impact Ethiopia’s development. Finally they want to make sure the companies are using the correct legal procedures to lease the land. In the past there have been issues when investors say they are using land to expand manufacturing but instead simply use it to build new buildings which then are rented out. On other occasions land selling off land has not been regulated properly. Some companies have even fenced off land for over 10 years which could have been used by other investors.
Addis Ababa’s land area covers approximately 52,000 hectares. The City Administration established a land bank in 2013 to facilitate the lease process. This is overseen by the City Cabinet, the highest executive body of the Administration. So far there have been 24 regular auctions. There are two types of auctions regular, for people attempting to acquire land for houses and businesses, and special, for hotels, real-estate companies, educational, health and research institutions.
After the proclamation was passed in 2011, city districts had teams preparing lease contracts, handing over land, issuing title deeds and making.