The Ethiopian Embassy in collaboration with Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (UNABCEC) on Thursday organized a virtual seminar on the construction sector under the theme: “Building Capacity through Partnership to enhance regional Competitiveness”.

The aim of the seminar was to look into ways of partnership and share experience and potentials of the Ethiopian Construction Works Corporations to Ugandan Companies and stakeholders in order to utilize the untapped potentials of the construction sector in East Africa.

Some of the participants attending via zoom

In the opening remark, H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret, Ethiopian Ambassador to Uganda, noted that the seminar has its own contribution to facilitate sharing of information and experiences in the construction sector in Ethiopia and Uganda.

Noting infrastructure development in the region has a pivotal role for the socio-economic developments in the countries and the region, the Ambassador emphasized the need to utilize the untapped opportunities of the sector such as in quality infrastructure development in the region.

Ambassador Alemtesehey deliberating during the zoom engagement on Thursday.

“In the last couple of years, Ethiopia has embarked on giant construction works, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) by which the construction sector has been progressing well and capacitated local companies with knowledge, finance and experience in the sector.

In this regard, Local companies in Ethiopia and Uganda and other companies in East Africa should combine their knowledge, expertise and resources to capacitate themselves in order to emerge competitive in the region and beyond “the Ambassador added.

Esaw Maza, Head of Business Development Affairs at the Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation, revealed the corporation’s potential, areas of engagement, and the capital to the participants.

He noted that the corporation has developed immense potential and experience through working and engaging in various areas of construction sectors such as in water and Dam infrastructure, road and railroad infrastructure, Real-estate development and housing construction as well as producing construction input for the company itself.

Furthermore, he revealed the corporation’s interest to partner and joint venture with companies working in the sector in East Africa, including Uganda.

“East African Companies in Construction Sector needs strong partnership to build capacity and to enhance regional competitiveness,” he explained.

In his remark, James Olonya, President of Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (UNABCEC), stated that enabling partnership and consolidating the construction sector plays very important role to realize national agendas such as industrialization for inclusive growth and sustainable wealth creation as well as strengthening local contractors to be competitive in the region.

Furthermore, he highlighted areas of readiness of Ugandan contractors, mentioning that members of the Association took time to invest so heavily in construction equipment and building with the intention of cost reduction for construction, and engaged in mega projects such as in oil road project which allowed them to build capacity.

Eng. Dr. Michael Moses Odongo, Commissioner of Construction Standards Quality Management at the Ministry of Works and Transport of Uganda, disclosed that the construction sector is a big business in Uganda and such platform is important to create partnership and to look into opportunities available in the region as well as to make the sector deliver better.

In the concluding remark, Ambassador Alemtsehay reiterated Ethiopia’s readiness to work together with Uganda for creating enabling atmosphere in the construction sector in which the local companies and contractors be benefitted and build their capacity to be competitive in the region.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He... More by Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam

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