PM Office Orders Transfer of Lemi Valley to Corp.


The park has been under the management of the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology




The Office of the Prime Minister has ordered the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) to transfer the lone ICT-Park, a.k.a Lemi Valley,of the country to the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC).  The MCIT is in charge of Ethio telecom and the Ethiopian Postal Service.

Lemi Valley was not transferred to the IPDC as required by the industrial park proclamation of 2015 states that any existing industrial zone or information technology park shall be presumed as an industrial park administered under the industrial park corporation.

Launched in June 2015, the ICT-Park in Lemi Valley was built at the cost of five billion Br and sits on 200ha of land close to Bole-Lemi Industrial Park. The park hosts 22 technology companies and other innovation and business start-ups.

The park was initially realised as a project to support the information and communication sector and develop IT infrastructure. Later it was upgraded into a park, and the Ministry covered its budget.

The transfer of management of the park was discussed last week between the Ministry, the Corporation and the Ethiopian Investment Commission.

“The decision to implement the provision of the proclamation should have come earlier. But it was delayed as the IT Park was not fully operational,” Belachew Mekuria (PhD), Ethiopian Investment Commission commissioner, said.

The development is a positive one for the CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde G.Mariam, whose enterprise plans to open a manufacturing wing, Aerospace Manufacturing, that will make airline seats and exteriors.

“We are negotiating with the IPDC to open a plant there and export manufactured products,“ Tewolde said during an agreement signing ceremony between Ethiopian and the ACM Aerospace of Germany last Thursday.

IPDC has seven priority areas: agro-processing, textile and garment, leather and leather products, sugar, chemicals, pharmaceutical products and metal and engineering industries.

The ICT-Village currently hosts firms such as Transsion Manufacturing Plc, the assembler of Tecno mobile phones and manufacturer of accessories, which is also constructing a local headquarters on 25ha of land.

Ethio Telecom is also planning its 14-storey headquarters to be built in the park at the cost of three billion Birr. It is set to be completed within three years. CNET Software Technologies, a local IT company, has also moved in constructing an ICT centre at the Park at a cost of 480 million Br.

Ethiopia ranks low, 170th out of 176 countries on the 2017 ICT Development Index – a report published by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union.

Currently, eight industrial parks are under construction and have not become operational. Bole Lemi, Addis Industrial Village, Qilinto and Hawasa industrial parks have come fully online, with Dire Dewa Industrial Park still in the pipeline. The industrial parks have thus far generated over 100 million dollars.



By YARED TSEGAYE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Jul 07,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 949]


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