The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) officially launches this morning, June 21, 2010, the construction of new office facilities in the presence of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
The construction is to cost 7.5 million USD and will take 23 months to complete. The facilities will accommodate 574 staff from various UN agencies.
The Ethiopian Government granted to UNECA the exclusive use of land located adjacent to the existing compound and measuring 28,995 sq. meters for the construction of the new office facilities.
The contract was awarded to local company Rama Construction, and is expected to provide employment for more than 230 skilled professionals and unskilled laborers.
According to the company, the building will be constructed primarily from locally available materials to ensure low construction and maintenance costs.
It is also envisaged to be environmentally friendly as heating, ventilation, and cooling systems will be powered mostly by solar energy.
When complete the new building will be the fourth building complex built by the United Nations (UN) in Addis Ababa. It was in 1961 that the UN accepted the first offer of the government of Ethiopia to build ‘Africa Hall’ as the premises of UNECA.
Since two buildings have been constructed as the number of UN agencies operating in Addis Ababa increased .The second expansion cost 8.6 million USD and was completed in 1976 while the third became operational twenty years later in 1996.