Lensa Mekonnen is assigned to lead the Land Bank and Development Corporation (LBDC), the latest SOE established just eight months ago. The corporation audited 3,700 hectares of landholdings under federal institutions and enterprises—constituting 5.2Pct of Addis Ababa’s 54,000 hectares.
The corporation has embarked on a state-led property development endeavor and is already attracting world-class developers and financers towards developing housing projects, convention centers, seven-star hotels, tertiary hospitals, and specialized education centers on 30 prime locations identified in Addis Ababa, including the redevelopment of Ghion Hotel. The LBDC will indulge in a minimum 20Pct equity share in the projects, to be developed under a build, operate, and transfer PPP modality. The corporation has also identified government districts where public institutions will be relocated to in a clustered fashion.
Given the land scarcity in Addis Ababa, LBDC’s efforts are a relief for investors with cash looking for prime locations, although Lensa says international developers are given priority. Yet, her agility in availing public holdings to private developers is showing results faster than previous governmental processes towards land provisioning, where land is owned by the public and government and is very scarce as hens teeth in the market.