Sector Overview

Econ/commercial officers met with the general managers of several private construction firms and government enterprises regarding Ethiopia's construction sector. Many of these firms specialize in building roads and bridges but several have won recent contracts for office buildings in Addis Ababa. One local firm is slated to build a new Ethiopian embassy in Djibouti.

Moreover, the donor-funded road sector improvement project is creating a lot of opportunities for construction firms and significant demand for building materials.

Equipments and Materials

Although most wood and concrete building materials can be obtained locally and several firms are providing sophisticated steel products, Ethiopia must depend on imports for most other inputs in the construction industry. For example, Ethiopia imports diesel fuel, explosives, steel panels, welding parts, timber and plywood, composite material panels, and bitumen from overseas. The majority of these materials are brought in from Europe and Saudi Arabia.

The four oil companies operating in Ethiopia -- Shell, Mobil, Total, and Agip -- supply the necessary diesel fuel and lubricants. In addition, Shell is the main bitumen dealer in Ethiopia. The construction of a ring road around the capital and the donor-funded Road Sector Improvement Project have increased the need for hot bitumen in Ethiopia. Shell is developing its Djibouti plant and bitumen transport fleet to meet this demand.

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