Radar | Apr 25,2020
October 31 , 2020
By BEMENET WONDEWOSSEN
A local steel manufacturing company has made the first export of a telecommunications tower to Tanzania earlier this month. The 45m tower was sold to Helios Towers, a UK-based telecommunications company.
Gatepro Steel Plc shipped the tower three weeks ago after securing the deal this May. The tower was manufactured at the company's plant located in Aqaqi Qaliti District that covers a 10,000sqm plot. The company started manufacturing towers for power transmission a few years back after going through an expansion.
The expansion was undertaken after the company secured a loan from the state policy bank, the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE). The company secured loans from the DBE that amount to 30pc of the project cost.
Despite being a high-risk project, the DBE got involved in this project due to its potential for a significant developmental impact, according to Nathanael Hailu, acting director of strategy, change and communications at the Bank.
Established 38 years ago with start-up capital of 45,000 Br, Gatepro Steel Plc has a production capacity of 40,000tn of steel and metal annually and employs 120 workers. The company started operations with the manufacturing of primarily warehouse metals, fuel tankers and tin roofs, and now it has expanded to the production of structural steel for electric power substations, pre-engineered steel buildings, free-span bridges, and, most recently, towers.
Following the initial stages of their production plan, the company made contact with Helios Towers, a British-owned subsidiary of IHS Towers, the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider in Africa, Europe and the Middle East by tower count. Founded in 2009, Helios currently operates in five African countries, including Tanzania, the Democratic Republic Congo and Ghana.
The cost of manufacturing a tower is determined by the height of the tower, which can vary from 25m to 80m. The 80m towers are generally produced for use in mountainous places. Though the manufacturing sector has minimal impact on the total exports of the nation, metal processing is a significant industry in Ethiopia.
During the first quarter of this fiscal year, the export of metal and electronics generated 8.2 million dollars, a 20pc premium to the government's target.
The industry is beneficial, and the government should offer attention and support, according to Terrefe RasWork, a telecommunications expert. He cited Chinese telecom firms as a good example of government-backed success stories.
Ethio telecom deserves special government attention in the expansion of its infrastructure to compete with the international firms set to join the market after liberalisation, according to Terrefe.
The government is in the process of liberalising the telecommunications industry by letting two new telecom operators join the market. In letting the companies join the industry, it temporarily closed the doors for firms that manufacture or supply infrastructure, sometimes called "infraco" companies.
"The telecom industry needs to work with local companies like Gatepro to expand its tower count to accommodate the planned 5G network," Terrefe said.
Currently, the company started working with Ethio telecom in providing telecom towers in different sizes, according to Dawit Afework, vice president of the company.
"We plan to shift half of its total production toward exports," he said. "We're requesting additional land from the government since the current space is inadequate for our increasing production capabilities."
PUBLISHED ON Oct 31,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1070]
Radar | Apr 25,2020
Radar | Oct 16,2021
Radar | Feb 20,2021
Fortune News | Mar 16,2019
Radar | Oct 17,2020
Radar | Jan 05,2019
Agenda | Jan 06,2019
Radar | Dec 19,2020
Fortune News | Oct 19,2019
Fortune News | Apr 13,2019
November 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
November 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
October 16 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
Residing in a country with no capital market, an organised marketplace for trading se...
August 28 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
The streets of Addis Abeba are as varied as they are many, although too many of them have yet to be named. From the narrow alleyways of the...
The terms corporate accountability, corporate ethics, corporate citizenship, corporat...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
January 15 , 2022
Foes and friends of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) agree that his administration is...
January 7 , 2022
There has not been much research to put a number on high costs wars inflict on Africa...
January 1 , 2022
It is a norm to emphasise grand structural changes to address the myriad political pr...
December 25 , 2021
In the words of Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, it is older...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
I lived in Tanzania some time ago, working on a project. I met new people who came f...
Or see contact page