The Ethiopian Standard Agency is building a training academy at a cost of 300 million Br.
The academy will consist of two structures, a seven-storey building, which mainly consists of classrooms, and a five-storey building for dormitories and other facilities. The buildings will sit on a 2,200Sqm plot, while the entire premises of the academy covers 4,000Sqm of land.
The seven-storey building will have the capacity to support up to 500 trainees at a time and will host training rooms, meeting halls, a café, syndicate rooms, administrative offices, an auditorium, a video conference room and a studio.
The five-storey building will house four VIP rooms for trainers and 40 dormitories for trainees. It will also accommodate dining and meeting halls, a cafeteria and entertainment facilities.
“The continuing demand for training from manufacturers and service providers on systems and quality management is the prime reason for this investment,” said Endalew Mekonnen, director of the Agency.
The current training facilities accommodate no more than three training sessions at a time. The expanded capacity of the academy will give the Agency the opportunity to provide accredited trainings for local companies as well as other African countries as the demand for the services is high, according to Endalew.
The number of trainees for the current fiscal year had grown by 38pc from 2,873 trainees in the preceding year.
“The demand will continually grow in the future, because markets require quality standards that are mandatory in every aspect of the manufacturing, service sectors and the export and import trades,” said Mengistu Tefera, director of the Agency’s training department.
The Agency has developed about 12,000 standards, provides nine types of systems management training, including quality management, management system auditing and food safety management.
Awareness creation programs are also undertaken by the Agency, which was founded in 1970 and has since undergone several restructuring until it was re-established in its current form in 2010 and placed under the then Ministry of Science & Technology.
Currently, the Agency is accountable to the Ministry of Trade & Industry. It has three core areas of focus that include standard formulation, organising and disseminating standards, and training and technical support.
The construction of the academy started in September and is aimed at strengthening the Agency’s mandate for training and technical support. It is expected to be completed within 540 days of its commencement.
The project’s contractor is China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), a 12-year-old firm that has been engaged in the construction of roads, railways, industrial parks and the headquarters of United Bank in Ethiopia.
CCCC won the bid floated on March 10, 2018. While 22 companies purchased the bidding document, only CCCC, Blue-Con Construction, Tower and Two Y Engineering passed the technical evaluation. The Chinese contractor offered the lowest bid price of 300 million Br.
The same number of consultants bought bid documents, but five firms submitted offers and passed the technical evaluation phase including Acute Engineering, Yohannes Abay Consulting Architects & Engineers, Signature Consulting Architects & Engineers and Dunia Construction Architects & Engineering. In addition, a consortium organised by Lewi Berhanu Architects & Engineers and Misganaw Alemu Engineering Construction met the technical requirements.
The bid was awarded to Signature, a firm founded in 2013, for its lowest offer of 882,000 Br. The firm has experience in the design and supervision of medium-level housing projects.
Tadele Kume, a consultant on standards and quality for nearly three decades, said that the issue of establishing the academy has been a long-held vision of the Agency.
“As it is very critical and crucial for knowledge transfer of standards in the country, it needs full-fledged trainers with attractive benefit packages to retain them,” he said.
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