The Construction Ministry added companies that engage in steel structure related work to a list that requires certification of competence as a prerequisite to obtaining business licenses.
The cabinet of the Ministry of Construction (MoC) has approved the criteria and procedures for the issuance of the certificate of competence for steel structure at the beginning of last month and has sent the proposal to the Ministry of Trade for approval.
“We added steel structure to the list following requests from different companies,” said Samson Wondessen, director of legal services at the Ministry.
Businesses engaged with fabrication and import of steel structures and assembly of pre-fabricated structural steelwork were either not getting the certificates or the business licenses previously.
“To date, these companies [engaged with steel structure operations] have been operating with another business license,” he said, “thus, several companies have been requesting us to formalise the licensing process.”
Currently, the Ministry issues a competency certificate for a total of 18 businesses. Businesses engaged in post-tensioning, works of reinforcing concrete; building and road contractors; consultants; landscaping companies; soil investigation, survey and sampling; and aluminium works are among the companies which get a certificate from Construction Ministry to get business licenses.
Close to a year and a half ago the Ministry of Trade identified areas of businesses and delegated the MoC to issue a certificate of competence to 38 companies. The MoT is mandated to identify business categories requiring a certificate of competence and coordinate formulation of criteria and issuance of the certificate to those business categories that fall under its jurisdiction.
However, by mid-April, following an order by the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ministry of Trade slashed 20 of the businesses under the Construction Ministry in a bid to remove the hustles of the registration process and issuance of licenses.
At a national level, a total of 1,352 business activities were obliged to get a certificate of competence before obtaining a business license. However, the new procedure implemented by the Trade Ministry had reduced the number of business activities by threefold to 429. These certificates are issued by 37 public institutions delegated by the Ministry.
It is a very good move by the Ministry to start qualifying companies by setting criteria, according to Abebe Dinku (Prof.), a university lecture at Addis Abeba University Institute of Technology’s School of Civil & Environmental Engineering.
“Activities related to steel structure have to be restricted to companies that specialised in the area,” he told Fortune.
Abebe also mentions that steel structure is a good option for the construction of mega projects.
“In mega projects concrete will subjugate much space,” he said, “thus using steel structure would save space beyond providing a stronger foundation.”