Ethiopian Cities Sustainable Prosperity Initiative (ECSPI)

Presenter: Ato Abuye Alemu (Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Urban Development, Housing & Construction, Ethiopia)

Ato Abuye Alemu presented on the Ethiopian Cities Sustainable Prosperity Initiative (ECSPI). The ECSPI is the main guiding policy framework being used to pave the way for Ethiopia to achieve middle-income status through a process of planned industrialisation and economic growth. It is a transformational agenda that is being used to build upon on-going urban initiatives that were spawned from the urban development policy established in 2005. Ato Abuye outlined two big challenges in Urban Policy for Ethiopia going namely, affordable housing and adequate transport infrastructure.

In addition to needing better planning and development policy for urban development, Ato Abuye also discussed the challenges of establishing backwards and forward linkages between rural and urban communities. As one of the least urbanised cities in the world, Addis Ababa represents a unique testing ground to experiment with producing effective and balanced urbanisation in tandem with good governance that promotes housing, transport infrastructure and industrial development.

The industrial development strategy outlined addressed the importance of structure for economic growth. Major towns function well as the centre for industry whilst smaller-towns can support food security needs by serving as agro-processing centres and suppliers of urban foodstuffs. In closing, Ato Abuye emphasised the importance of developing strong monitoring and evaluation systems to assess effectiveness of the ECSPI and other development policy initiatives for producing sustainable growth.

Summary written by Upaasna Kaul, Managing Editor and Hub Economist