The Federal Land Bank and Development Corporation (LBDC) is preparing a proposal to relocate federal institutions to a new district to bring together public institutions permanently, which will be out of the central part of Addis Ababa. The land currently held by institutions in the central part of the city will be vacated soon and is going to be used for investment purposes.
These ministerial offices, public enterprises and various public institutions are currently located in the center of the city, which, according to the corporation, can be used for other economically beneficial investments.
With the vision of maximizing the land federal institutions possess in the city, the corporation wants to relocate them to a new secondary center, which will hold one or more public institutions districts.
The Corporation, which is under the newly formed Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH), plans to attract investors into the vacated lands, including for tertiary hospitals, seven star hotels, and an international exhibition center. The corporation is already collecting design concepts for projects over the lands, under the “Revamping Sheger project.”
The projects will be built by private sector partners, which are expected to bring capital. The Holdings and the Corporation will become shareholders in the projects, by contributing the plots of lands. The EIH owns and oversees State Owned Enterprises, including the Corporation.
Following the country’s political reform, the organization has been registering federal land holdings and has mapped over 900 land holdings in Addis Ababa’s 3700 hectare area.
Lensa Mekonnen, CEO of the Corporation, aims to maximize the use of the land by building property on it, creating wealth and ensuring equitable distribution.
“We will not relocate all of the more than 900 federal land holdings. The land has infrastructure on it. But there are also institutions that hold a wide area of land with no use,” Lensa told The Reporter.
The newly launched project of the Corporation, “Revamping Sheger,” is an extension of this plan.
In this project, teams composed of experts from various professions propose alternative design concepts that maximize the use of the plot of lands. Two of the 11 groups that expressed interest in competing in the first phase, submitted their design concepts, which are now on display at a public exhibition in Addis Hall, near Meskel Square.
In this phase, the groups presented their designs to federal land holdings on the roads from Bole Airport through Meskel Square, Stadium and Churchill Avenue to Addis Ababa City Municipality office, and the second from Bole Airport through Meskel Square, Estifanos Church, 4 kilo to the US Embassy.
The second phase will focus on land holdings along the road from Bole to Megenagna.
With the design concept proposed by the competitors, land currently occupied by federal institutions such as the Federal Housing Corporation’s apartments, the Investment Commission, and the Ministries of Education, Finance, and Foreign Affairs might be assigned new plots to generate economic and social gain.
After the competition, the winning design will translate into an investment project, where its project period and cost will be outlined by next year. Afterwards, the projects will be presented to inventors who are interested in developing the land in accordance with the design.
“If the lands are converted for commercial use, the service provided by the institution that owns the land must not be ceased. That is why we are putting together this proposal. We need a holistic approach,” Lensa said.
According to Lensa, the making of the proposal highly considers relocating the institutions to a place where they will be able to streamline and work together, providing services to the community. One of the options for this, as Lensa explains, is to gather them in one or more governmental districts.
Other alternatives will be also assessed in light of the City Administration’s ten-year plan and its master plan. According to Lensa, the country’s social transformation policy, urban development policy, health and education programs will all be considered.
“Because the relocation will have a strong socio economic implication, a decision will be made by the Council of Ministers,” Lensa said.
The Corporation is also mapping federal land holdings outside of the capital in order to broaden its plan to maximize federal holdings. The next destinations will be Jigjiga and Dire Dawa, Lensa disclosed.