The agreement earlier this year between my company, Sinopia Group, and the World Trade Centers®Association (WTCA®)to establish the World Trade Center® (WTC®) brand in Ethiopia is a huge step toward making Africa more attractive for global investments.
Sinopia has operated in Ethiopia and global markets for the last 14 years, engaging in the export of agricultural commodities such as coffee, pulses, oil seeds and spices. With offices inmost major cities throughout East Africa and the U.S., as well as in Guangzhou, China, Sinopia is uniquely positioned to provide a complete supply chain solution in wide-ranging sectors such as printing, lab equipment and related supplies, agro and solar technology, solutions and more. As CEO and Managing Director, I know firsthand that Ethiopia’s economy is opening up, and we expect an inflow of foreign investors. It’s an attractive market—however, it has been underserved because it was a closed economy. Ethiopia has a considerable opportunity in the manufacturing, service and finance sectors.
That opportunity is one of the reasons that we wanted Ethiopia to become one of the over 300WTC locations in nearly 100 countries. It has been proven again and again that countries with WTC-branded services and facilities, greatly benefit from the enormous opportunities and significant economic advantages it provides to local business communities in their effort to attract international partners. The WTC is a global brand.
WTC Addis Ababa will be on 10,000square meters of land in downtown Addis Ababa. Thebuilding will be a mixed-use development with offices, retail spaces, residential units and a hotelthat offers upscale meeting spaces. Addis Ababa is called “the political capital of Africa”because it serves as the headquarters for the African Union, UN Economic Commission forAfrica and the delegation of the European Union. WTC Addis Ababa will become a center forbusiness meetings. We have a pro-business government, so we believe business meetingsherewill increase substantially in the upcoming years. We want to make WTC Addis Ababa amelting pot for international global businesses to connect to do transactions.
This year’s WTCA General Assembly (GA)took place in Accra, Ghana, from April 23-28 for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa—with the theme “Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence” and brought together leaders from business, government, academia, media and international organizations to explore new opportunities for growth and development across Africa. It was very timely given the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA). While only some countries are currently implementing the agreement, I believe it will help other African countries become more confident in trading with each other in the future. Trade comes first before investments, and you have to know the market in order to invest. The GA was a critical step towards helping make Africa more attractive for global investments.
We aim to have WTC Addis Ababa open for trade services in September 2023 and have the WTC-branded building fully completed by 2027-2028.We will see significant growth in Africa’s economy over the next decade, and WTC Addis Ababa will play a key role in its development