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HomeOpinionThe Commercial Bank of Ethiopia's New Headquarters: Luxurious Prison or Modern Workplace?

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia’s New Headquarters: Luxurious Prison or Modern Workplace?

courtesy _ Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
The new Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Headquarter , Addis Ababaa (Photo : courtesy of the author)

By Dagmawi Getachew 

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) recently made a significant move to its new 46-story skyscraper head office in the heart of Addis Ababa, signifying a major milestone in its growth trajectory. However, the implementation of stringent control measures following the relocation has generated concerns among employees. This article explores the impact of increased control on employee satisfaction and the potential risks it poses to the bank’s ability to retain its skilled workforce and maintain long-term success.

A Luxurious Prison or Modern Workplace?

CBE’s move to its new headquarters was intended to showcase progress and reinforce its position as a leading financial institution. The modern facilities and prestigious location were expected to elevate the bank’s stature. However, subsequent control measures have led some employees to view the new office as a “luxurious prison” rather than a modern workplace.

Tightened Control and Restricted Freedom:

Under the new regulations, employees are subjected to strict working hours from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, with a lunch break from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Furthermore, employees are unable to leave the premises even for work-related purposes without prior approval from their managers. These restrictions have limited employees’ freedom and autonomy, leading to growing dissatisfaction among the workforce.

Employee Turnover and Loss of Skilled Professionals:

Unsurprisingly, the stringent control measures have had a profound impact on employee turnover at CBE. Skilled and experienced professionals, crucial for the bank’s success, are increasingly being enticed away by private banks offering more flexible work environments. The bank’s inability to retain its talented workforce has transformed it into a training ground for newly opened banks, jeopardizing its long-term stability.

Poor Management Decisions and Potential Consequences:

The bank’s failure to retain skilled employees and its growing reputation as a training platform for competitors stem from poor management decisions. While the bank may appear too big to fail, the erosion of employee satisfaction and the loss of experienced professionals pose significant risks. Without a skilled workforce, the bank’s ability to adapt, innovate, and deliver quality services may be severely compromised.

Balancing Control and Employee Satisfaction:

To address these challenges, CBE must reevaluate its approach to employee control and foster a more employee-centric environment. Prioritizing work-life balance, empowerment, and engagement will be crucial in retaining skilled professionals. By creating a supportive and flexible workplace, the bank can secure its position as a leading financial institution and ensure long-term success.


The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia’s move to its new 46-story skyscraper head office represents a significant milestone in its journey. However, the subsequent tightening of control measures has created a sense of dissatisfaction among employees. The bank’s inability to retain its skilled workforce and its increasing role as a training platform for competitors highlight the risks of poor management decisions. By striking a balance between control and employee satisfaction, CBE can mitigate these risks and maintain its position as a thriving financial institution in the capital city of Addis Ababa.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of  


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  1. Humble Opinion,
    I hope my ONE BIR [yes, one simple bir] Account matches the “46-story skyscraper ” ha ha ha ha …..
    That was my most beautiful days long back in BEAUTIFUL Addis Ababa. Ahhhhhhh……..
    I say: Bringing down the everlasting New Flower [Addis Ababa] is the greatest CRIME on EARTH.
    Ethiopians deserve to go to UNIVERSAL COURT — for wanton destruction of a BEAUTIFUL ENTITY.


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