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The home of the Institute of Strategic Affairs for the last 24 years is now being used for the project office of the Mesqel Square Rehabilitation project.


The Institute for Strategic Affairs (ISA), a federal agency under the Ministry of Peace, has been forced to leave the headquarters it has been residing at for the past 24 years. The premises have been turned into a project office for the Mesqel Square Municipality Rehabilitation project.

As of the past three weeks, the building has been occupied by the project's contractor, the Chinese Communication Construction Company (CCCC), and B&K Architects & Consulting, which is supervising the rehabilitation project. The large-scale undertaking was launched two months ago at a cost of 2.5 billion Br. The project includes a two-level, underground parking lot that can serve over 1,500 cars and features six lifts.

The Chinese state-owned firm, which has over two decades of experience working in Ethiopia including the design and construction of the Bole International Airport Expansion & Renovation Project and the Addis Abeba-Adama Expressway, is expected to deliver the project in three months.


“The project office is temporary,” said Demelash Kebede, head of the Bureau. “The purpose of the building is yet to be known after the project ends."

Having received a letter of evacuation in April, the ISA has been looking for its next home for the last three-plus months.


The Housing Corporation, which is chaired by Demitu Hambissa and administers the building, initially wrote a letter to the Federal Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission ordering the evacuation of their office to make room for the Institute. However, the Commission, which is headquartered inside a building located next to the headquarters of the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) on Marshal Tito St. in Kazanchis, refused to leave the building. The Corporation then dedicated the former Embassy of Eritrea, which has been serving as a camp for federal police, to be the new office of the Institute.




Before the Institute officially moved to the new office, the City Administration relocated the Institute's office equipment to the new premises, which is located next to the Oromo Cultural Centre across from the National Stadium, although the new space was not prepared or equipped to host the Institute ahead of time. ISA, which has 35 staff members, is now undergoing a transition to settle itself at the former Embassy. The renovation work includes painting, which began at the end of last week.

The Institute evacuated the building just a few months after it had completed designs for its office renovation, which was completed pro bono by Ras Architects with the support of the Ethiopian Architects Association.

The Institute, under the stewardship of Hallelujah Lulie, has been undergoing an organisational restructuring and has revised its establishment regulation, revisited after six years, which has been tabled to the Council of Ministers for approval. Its restructuring includes the formulation of a five-year strategic document dubbed the ISA Strategy, which focuses on the events the Institute will organise, the publications it will unveil and fundraising strategies among others.


It is also working to introduce four products that include monthly seminars and conferences that focus on nation building, federalism and democratisation.

Founded in 1996 under the wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Ethiopian International Institute for Peace & Development, the Institute worked mainly on research and training for foreign policy and regional integration. In 2014, it went through a restructuring under the leadership of Sebhat Nega and changed the label of its organisation to the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute.

After Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) came to power in 2018, the organisation left the wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Peace and changed its name once again to the Institute for Strategic Affairs.



PUBLISHED ON Jul 13,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1055]






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