Experience in Landmark building fulfills young Ethiopian engineers' dreams
Belay Bitew, a young Ethiopian civil engineer, is overseeing the final construction stages of Ethiopia's Chinese-contracted 209.15-meter tall landmark building, which is already regarded as the tallest structure in East Africa.
Located at the heart of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the over 200-meter-tall future headquarters of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) - Ethiopia's largest public-owned commercial bank - is receiving constant accolades for serving as a teaching platform for aspiring young Ethiopian engineers and students, as well as local construction companies.
For the past three and half years, Bitew has been working as a technical engineer alongside experienced Chinese construction experts at the Chinese contractor - China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).
As the project approaches its completion, Bitew and fellow aspiring young Ethiopian engineers cherish the rare experience sharing opportunity.
"I was very lucky to have this invaluable learning experience since the project's early construction stage, which is very difficult to find elsewhere in this country," Belay said.
Comparing with his prior engagement in a construction project contracted by a local construction firm, Bitew stressed the construction materials and technologies that were applied during the iconic construction process were of international standard.
"For one hand, learning firsthand from the construction techniques and technologies used during the project's construction that were uncommon here was a great experience," Bitew said.
"The learning endeavor during our stay with our Chinese colleagues has been another milestone," he added.
Natnael Birhanu, who joined the Chinese contraction giant - CSCEC shortly after his graduation, is another young aspiring Ethiopian civil engineer who spoke highly of his four years of time at the project.
"Joining the project right after my graduation was like an internship endeavor for me," he said, adding he had learned a lot from this project. "Even though I have still a lot to learn, working here for about four years boosted my ability and confidence."
In addition to the experience sharing endeavor to junior Ethiopian engineers, the project had also ignited young Ethiopian students' aspiration through successful knowledge transfer.
The building, including four underground floors, has hosted thousands of Ethiopian students from all academic levels who were able to witness the state-of-the-art technologies and construction techniques used during the project's construction, according to figures from the CSCEC.
The project's construction commenced in June 2015 on about a land of about 165,500 square meters, just miles away from the iconic African Union (AU) Headquarters that was built by CSCEC.
As the project nears its completion and is set to be inaugurated this year, CSCEC, which is presently building Ethiopia's new National Stadium after an agreement signed with the Ethiopian Ministry of Youth and Sports in January 2016, expressed its keen intent to introduce the latest technologies and techniques in its construction ventures in Ethiopia.
Feng Zhenlei, Deputy Project Manager of the CBE future HQ project at CSCEC, told Xinhua that experience sharing has been key essence of CSCEC during the project's construction phase.
The project, which also involves the construction of two 5-story podiums in addition to the main tower, is also being praised among Ethiopian experts and scholars in the construction sector.
Speaking to Xinhua previously, Isaias Gebre-Yohnis, project supervisor and professor at the Addis Ababa University, said the project has been a practical teaching center for Ethiopia's future engineers and construction sector professionals.
"The project has been very significant for the country as well as construction technology schools," Gebre-Yohnnis told Xinhua.
According to Gebre-Yohnnis, in addition to becoming an iconic image of Ethiopia, the project is igniting a new momentum in the East African country's construction sector with the most modern and state-of-the-art technologies.