The Shenzhen Outbound Alliance (SOA) has opened its first African branch office in Addis Ababa to make available ICT-related expertise and strengthen economic ties between Ethiopia and ultimately the rest of Africa.
The organisation has previously established links with cities in countries, including Canada and the UK, from where it helps Shenzhen companies engage in outbound investment and cooperation in those locations.
Sun Tianlu, vice chairman and secretary of the Alliance says Shenzhen is where global tech firms like Huawei, ZTE and Shenzhen Energy Group are based and is well-placed to share best practice with other global cities.
“With the city’s total economic output expected to hit 2 trillion yuan (US$302 billion) in 2017, owing largely to high-tech products and services, it was natural that Shenzhen wanted to impart its successes to overseas destinations.”
The Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC) claims that Chinese companies have more than 370 projects that have either been operational or under implementation in the country over the past five years.
Sehul Tirusew, Investment Attraction Advisor at the EIC, has lauded SOA’s decision to open an office in the country.
“It is critical to have business partnerships with foreign partners and the EIC is committed to ensuring that Chinese investments are successful and thriving in Ethiopia. We will do all we can to make sure that we assist,” said Tirusew.
Berhane Keleta, Director General of Ethio-ICT industrial park, which will cost Ethiopia’s government more than US$250 million says more Chinese companies should be on the lookout for opportunities offered by the East African nation.
“Ethiopia has already been a beneficiary of IT services from companies like Huawei and ZTE, and invites more Shenzhen-based companies to create alliance with local investors to create ICT partnership.”
Ethiopia has improved its ranking on the International Telecommunication Union’s Measuring the Information Society Report, moving up one place to 170th over the past year. The Report measures the state of global ICT development globally.