Construction giant China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has laid the foundation stone for a $70m, 23-storey twin-tower development in Djibouti, set to be the tallest structures in the Horn of Africa.
The scheme will be the Djibouti headquarters for the state-owned firm, which recently completed a standard gauge railway between Djibouti and Ethiopia, as well as providing commercial and residential space for "international business people", China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.
It will be a new landmark of Djibouti– Yuan Li, president of CCECC
Located at the opening of the Red Sea – the approach to the Suez Canal – Djibouti is of prime strategic importance to China’s One Belt, One Road strategy. In 2015 China announced it would build its first foreign naval base there. In addition, the new railway to Ethiopia promises to open routes for trade in Chinese goods to Africa’s interior.
A poor country of just under 900,000 people, Djibouti is hoping to capitalise on its location by attracting investment in transport and logistics infrastructure.
The 12th January ceremony was seen as important enough to the nation to have drawn the attendance of Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh, and Chinese Ambassador to Djibouti Fu Huaqiang.
Xinhua said the 42,000-sq-m building will have 480 small-office-home-office apartments, conference rooms, dining rooms, gymnasium, a basketball court and swimming pools.
Yuan Li, president of CCECC, said the development would provide space for international business people.
"It will be a new landmark of Djibouti," he said.
Since first coming to Djibouti in 1981, CCECC has undertaken more than 100 projects including the Industrial and Commercial High School of Djibouti, the Hassan Gouled Stadium, the Llyad Market, and the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, Xinhua reported.
Image: Officials laid the foundation stone on 12 January 2017 (Xinhua)