Ethiopia to Build “Ethio ICT”, a Technology Park on a 200 Ha of Land in Addis Ababa


By Ashenafe Endale

New ICT Park Costing 5b Br Materialises

ZTE, Techno Mobile already obtained 25,000sqm land each to establish own incubation centres

The Ethio ICT village will have five zones, to be distributed over 200 ha of land…

The Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MoCIT) is to start the construction of an ICT Park, called ethio ICT, with a total financial outlay of five billion Br. The Park is aimed at boosting information technology services and offering reliable mobile broadband infrastructure in the country.

The construction of the Park, whose design is finalised with construction set to begin within a month, is planned to be hosted on 200ha of land behind Bole International Airport, in Bole District, according to Brehane Keleta, manager of the project.

Private operators, ZTE, Techno Mobile and Security Innovation Network (SINET) have obtained 25,000sqm plots, each, to establish their own ICT incubation centres, manufacturing plants and software development centres in the Park.

More than 12 local and international companies have also registered and taken office space in the Park, according to Brehane.

“Softwares that operate in local languages will also be developed in the Park,” said Addis Alemayehu, member of the board of directors of ICT-ET, a sectoral association, and managing director of 251 Communications, a communications firm. Addis presented the plans of the Park at the 11th Innovation Africa Digital Summit, held last week at the Sheraton Hotel, wherein Mekonnen Manyazewal, minister of Industry, inaugurated the plan.

The village is envisioned to have internal roads, such as a 50m wide access road, a 40m wide arterial road, a30m wide primary road and a 22m wide secondary road, in addition to a convention centre and petrol stations. It will also include supportive facilities, such as a food court, restaurants, pubs and karaoke lounges, medical facilities, financial services, postal and banking services.

The Park is to also host institutional supporting facilities such as child care centres, training centres, estate management, a fire station, police customs, and recreational facilities.

“It will be completed in three years,” said Brehane, in a press conference after the Summit.

Hosted companies involved in manufacturing and export will be provided with a two to seven year income tax exemption, in line with their export proportion, Fortune learnt.

The feasibility study and design of the Park is undertaken by WiPro IT consulting, an Indian company, where the model is adopted from.

The Park will be divided into five zones, which include business, assembly and warehouse, commercial, administration and knowledge Park.

The Ethiopian government has a plan to boost mobile subscription in the country by 20 million in its five-year plan, dubbed the Growth & Transformation Plan (GTP), ending in 2014/15. It also envisions raising the number of Internet service subscribers to 3.69 million.

Source: Addis Fortune

Related Post:

Ethio ICT Village to Embrace 15 Companies

By Berhanu Fekade

– Ethiopia to initiate digital TV soon

The long-awaited construction of the ICT industry zone, located in the Bole Lemi area just behind Bole International Airport, has attracted 15 companies with Tecno mobile, the new Chinese company bringing designs of future plants to the attention of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MoCIT).

Samsung, MTN, Tecno Mobile, ZTE, Huawei, and others are following suit, it was learnt by The Reporter.

The construction of the ICT village, according to Peter Gatcot, minister of state in the MoCIT, is expected to be finalized this year. He told The Reporter that the construction was sluggish, forcing the ministry to spend much higher than the estimated initial budget. The ICT Village was set to cost some 1.2 billion birr when it was initiated three years ago. A few months ago, MPs visited the site and said that the very slow accomplishment of the project was due to the fault of the five local contractors. The MPs rejected reports about the projects presented by the MoCIT, particularly the inflated cost of construction and the time it took to finalizing the project. For one reason or another they knew that it could not be realized by the end of this year. However, some 70 percent of the new headquarters of MoCIT has been completed. The data center that is currently situated at the Prime Minister’s office is said to be shifted to the new ICT Village.

Ethio-ICT Village [at first it was named ICT Park] sprawls on 200 hectares of land, with some 130 hectares dedicated to private companies’ investments. The remaining 70 hectares MoCIT will be devoted to buildings and infrastructures, with small and medium-sized businesses geting into the vicinity. According to MoCIT, when the Village is completed, 300 thousand people will gain employment.

Peter told The Reporter that Ethiopia’s digital TV implementation process is to commence by the end of the year. He said that the documentation process is already set and the implementation ordeals are on the way to change the very nature of analogue TV installations of the country.

In a related news, at the three-day long summit, dubbed Africa Innovation Digital Summit, that brought together major conglomerates like KPMG, Analysis Mason and Berkeley Research Group (BRG), it was revealed by Analysis Mason that smart phones will remain too expensive at least for the coming five years in Africa, and the regulatory and market forces are expected to put sustained pressure on mobile voice pricing in sub-Saharan Africa.

During her conversation with Yann Burtin, senior telecom officer at the World Bank Group, Roz Roseboro, the principal analyst at Analysis Mason, spoke about the pertinent challenges the group may want to change in the continent. According to Burtin, the digital switch-over from analogue to digital connectivity is believed to broaden the telecom connections significantly with the enhanced megahertz. Yet that remains a challenge for many governments in Africa due to the huge financing it requires and the group currently is not financing such projects.

Source: The Reporter