Why Are Local Contractors Lacking in Large-Scale Projects?
Despite the fact that the number of local contractors in Ethiopia has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, something seems to be amiss with regard to why they aren’t handling large-scale infrastructure projects. Take, for example, road construction projects. Between the 1997/98 and 2013/14 fiscal years, there were a total of 443 road projects being undertaken by foreign and local contractors. Of the total projects, Ethiopian contractors were responsible for 337, amounting to ETB54.9 billion. However, the foreign construction companies maintained dominance in terms of cost of the projects. They executed 106 road projects, worth ETB76.4 billion. Government officials say that local contractors don’t have the capacity to handle large-scale projects, while local contractors say they aren’t given a fair chance to compete with foreign companies. EBR’s Fasika Tadesse spoke with industry insiders to learn more about why local contractors aren’t handling large-scale projects.