UN to host workshop on sustainable urban development in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 4, 2019 (ECA) - A multi-stakeholder capacity development workshop is planned for 6-8 March, 2019 to support the building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels of the Ethiopian urban governance system.

The workshop, which will be held in Addis Ababa on the theme of Transformational Leadership for Sustainable Urban Development, is expected to prepare city officials to contribute towards the building of democratic good-urban-governance and to promote active engagement of the urban population.

“It is also intended to support the leadership and public servants to gain the skills they need to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels towards Goal 16 of the sustainable development goals,” says Economic Commission for Africa’s Eunice Ajambo.

Ms. Ajambo, an Economic Affairs Officer in the ECA’s Macroeconomics and Governance Division, says strong public sector institutions and structures, capacity-building and institutional reinforcement are needed to steer urban development on the continent.

“This entails transforming the way governments, institutions and public administrations are organized and work in an effective, inclusive and accountable manner, as committed in SDG 16,” she said in an interview ahead of the workshop.

She adds that a transformational leadership is therefore crucial to achieving the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

“Leaders need to have the necessary capacities and mindsets to drive the change,” said Ms. Ajambo, adding the transformational change called for in the 2030 Agenda requires a shift in mindsets in the public service to address requirements of both public service institutions and public servants themselves.

Thus, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda will not be possible without mobilizing the public service and building public trust, alongside the principles of effectiveness, integrity, impartiality, equity, transparency, ethical standards, values and selflessness along with accountability, she adds.

By bridging and linking focused and clear leadership visions with the right mindsets, the implementation of Agenda 2030 Agenda can effectively achieve organizational goals, instilling values of professionalism, ethics and integrity; while also empowering citizens, including the most vulnerable and marginalized, and their local communities.

“Cities and human settlements are key to achieving the sustainable development goals,” Ms. Ajambo said, adding SDG 11 recognizes the central role of urbanization in sustainable development. It calls for ‘making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.’


Urbanization in Ethiopia is increasing and projected to triple, reaching 42.3 million by 2037. Not only is population expected to increase, but big cities are to densify, land to be expanded by including nearby peri-urban areas or by converting rural surrounding to urban settings. This level of urbanization and urban development is currently at its infant stage, providing an opportunity to support the growth, industrialization and sustainable development agenda of the country.

To this end, the Ethiopian government has put a holistic urban development blue print in place to guide the sustainable urban development plan, and has made amongst others, urban good governance and capacity building a strategic apriority.

Ethiopia has started transforming the state with the implementation of its national Growth and Transformation Plans (GTPs I & II), which is aligned with the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development.

The workshop will be held under the leadership of Ethiopia’s Urban Development and Construction Ministry.

The Addis Ababa City Government, the Addis Center for Sustainable Development at Kotebe Metropolitan University, and the Ethiopian Cities Association will collaborate with the United Nations in running the workshop.

The UN, through a joint inter-agency taskforce; the ECA; United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is providing substantive guidance and support, contributing to the conceptualization and delivery of the workshop.



For more information, please contact: Ms. Eunice Ajambo, Economic Affairs Officer, Macroeconomics and Governance Division (MDG), UNECA. (ajambo@un.org

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org