(2) We met with several local Architectural & Engineering (A&E) firms to select one to partner with our US-based A&E firm led by Willy Schlein. As you know, the more A&E work is done in Ethiopia, the more it will be cost effective for us. Of course, we are cognizant that there are certain complex areas of the hospital, such as Operating Rooms (ORs), advanced imaging centers, high-end power generation and supply, etc, that will have to be done by our US-based team. The knowledge and skill for the design of an international standard hospital, especially for certain complex areas of hospital, does not exist in Ethiopia. Having said that, there are many aspects of the A&E work that could be done locally in Ethiopia. Prior to our visit, we issued a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) to the local A&E firms. When we met the local A&E firms, we gathered questions and comments so we can finalize our RFP. We will issue a final RFP to the local A&E firms within a week. Based on the responses, a selection will be made to have the selected firm partner with our US-based A&E team. The selection criteria will be based on capability and price.
(3) We received a very warm reception at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) and, when we are ready, we expect to obtain a loan at favorable terms for EADG.
(4) We met with potential international partners that have expressed strong interest in working with us, such as a large medical equipment manufacturer and a private equity firm focused on Ethiopia.
(5) Willy Schlein, our architect, has been asked by the Ministry of Health to assist the ALERT facility come up with a grand Master Plan based on inputs of all stakeholders to address future patient care, environmental stewardship, and other issues that are deemed critical for the future of the site.
(6) Met with the Ethiopia-based web site designer (Altours) that we have hired to develop our web site. The new web site will have many features that will be helpful for the dissemination of information to our membership, including social media capability. If you recall, one of the suggestions made during our annual meeting was to redesign the website to make it more robust.