Ambassel Trading House Plc, one of the subsidiary
companies under the umbrella of Endeavour, an
endowment company affiliated with a member of the
ruling coalition, Amhara National Democratic
Movement (ANDM), is to build what will be Derbe
Markos’s first high-rise in the town’s 140-year
Located 299km northwest of Addis Abeba, in Gojam,
Amhara Regional State, the first six-storey
multipurpose edifice, with a basement, will be a
major landmark in this rural town named after St
Mark Church, founded in 1869. Compared to its
younger competitor, Bahir Dar, there has not been
much development, both in residential and commercial
real estate, with the exception of a five-storey
mall built by shareholders of Star Business Group
and a gas station that incorporates a hotel owned by
Teleksew Gedamu, both natives of the region.
The administration’s decision to not give out land
within the past year contributed to the slow
progress, said a staff member who works at the Land
Administration Office of the municipality,
confirming that the town has not met expectations.
Although there were several requests from
prospective developers, the Administration had not
been leasing land, in order to rectify problems
related to transparency, according to this staff
In 2008, Ambasel had acquired the plot of a house
previously rented by the town’s municipality.
The company is involved in wholesale import and
export of agricultural and industrial commodities,
and Debre Markos is one of the strategic towns for
“There have only been a few investments carried out
in the town,” Emmanuel Assefa, finance manager of
Ambasel, told Fortune. “We want to contribute to
For a trading house established with a registered
capital of 1.5 million Br in December 1995, the
fertile area of Gojam represents one of its four key
markets for fertiliser distribution and grain
purchases from farmers.
“Debre Markos is like a nerve centre for
distributing our products to farmers in Gojam,”
The edifice in Debre Marko is being designed by OTT
Consulting Architects & Engineering Plc, a company
established in 2003 with a 100,000 Br initial
capital, under the partnership of Girma Kebede and
Mesfin Berede. Participating in state-financed
university expansion projects, the domestic
architectural firm will also oversee the supervision
work of the construction.
Ambasel is in the process of selecting a
construction firm to award the contract to. It is
evaluating proposals from 10 local construction
The ground floor and some floors of the building are
to be used for offices of the company, while the
rest are to be offered up for rent, according to
“It will be a good landmark for the town,” one of
its residents told Fortune.
Debre Markos has a total population of 73,751.
However, residents will see more high raises soon,
according to the staffer from the town’s Land
Administration Office. There are other investors who
have requested land to lease in order to construct a
10-storey building in the town, he disclosed.