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News: Gov’t to expand Public-Private Partnership scheme into the housing arena

The government launched a large-scale affordable housing initiative aimed at constructing approximately 80,000 mixed-use housing units nationwide (Photo: The Guardian)

Addis Abeba – The Ethiopian government is extending its public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to the housing sector. The PPP Office, operating under the Ministry of Finance, has initiated a Request for Qualification (RFQ) this week, inviting expressions of interest from potential investors.

The objective of the RFQ is to identify qualified private developers to execute a large-scale affordable housing initiative aimed at constructing approximately 80,000 mixed-use housing units nationwide.

The proposed housing development will be executed in stages by designated contractors. The initial phase includes the construction of over 3,600 units. These will be undertaken by private entities for the Federal Housing Corporation (FHC) and employees of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), targeting over 1,600 and 2,000 units, respectively.

The RFQ process is designed to pre-qualify developers that demonstrate both the technical prowess and financial robustness required for such an extensive project. Interested parties are required to formally register with the Ministry of Finance and secure the RFQ document at a cost of 10,000 birr by the deadline of 22 February, 2024.

Developers who successfully navigate the prequalification stage will be invited to tender detailed proposals for specific housing developments. The Ministry is optimistic about drawing significant foreign investment and facilitating the transfer of innovative housing technologies through these PPP arrangements. Additionally, developers who meet the qualification criteria may gain eligibility for future housing projects currently in the government’s pipeline.

This foray into the housing sector via PPPs follows the government’s fruitful efforts to attract investment in the renewable energy sector.

Just three weeks prior, AMEA Power, a UAE-based energy firm, announced its intention to develop a 300 MW onshore wind power project in Ethiopia. This venture represents a landmark development for the nation’s renewable energy capabilities.

The Aysha wind power project, poised to be the largest of its kind in the Horn of Africa, will span 18,000 hectares. With an investment of $600 million, the project is set to be established in the Somali Regional State, significantly bolstering Ethiopia’s renewable energy resources.

Additionally, the PPP Office has been exploring opportunities in the healthcare sector. Last year, it sought expressions of interest from investors to establish an integrated diagnostic center, which would offer comprehensive laboratory, pathology, and imaging services.

The PPP Office is a sector of the Ministry, reporting to a board presided over by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide. The 11-member Board holds the authority to sanction projects, including feasibility studies, substantial modifications to project agreements, and the approval of bids and negotiation results. AS

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