Gatehouse supported a private equity portfolio business in assessing the contextual sensitivities of a sugar development project in Ethiopia – a $200m drip-irrigation project for the (Government-owned) Ethiopian Sugar Corporation.
Focussing on the political, governance, security and economic context, Gatehouse curated a team of expert contributors and convened a consultancy session to test the firm’s underlying assumptions for the project. The session revealed several elements of local practice that had been overlooked, including the nuances of the legal (contract) process, import restrictions and the necessary buy-in of local stakeholders at a time of heightened ethnic tension/ government clashes. Greater understanding of Ethiopia’s devolved governance and emphasis on local government relationships – face-to-face contact with officials at the federal, regional, district and even sub-district level would be crucial for project success.
Gatehouse helped the client develop a project-context management plan and carefully map the in-country stakeholders, introducing a local stakeholder relationship manager to provide coordinated contact and business advice – easing the implementation of the project and solving tricky contract issues. The irrigation technology company has successfully solved project-tender difficulties and begun the 18-month implementation programme.
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