After the Dergue Regime had been toppled by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front/EPRDF/ on May 28/1991, Ethiopian nations, nationalities and people’s long-term question for democracy was responded for once and more and was established on firmly basis. Since then citizens’ fundamental issues have been the question of economic and social infrastructures development. Of the currently existing federal institutions the one given such a great mission to respond to economic and infrastructure issues is Ministry of Urban Development and Construction. Having taken this national responsibility, the ministry has carried out so many key activities. Thus, one of top priorities of the Ministry was focusing on structural and organizational arrangements for creating modern service delivery system.
The Ministry has given due emphasis for creating job opportunities to urban residents and empower them to own properties. However, in this regard, due to backward attitude inculcated in the minds of citizens, resorting to better jobs was the toughest challenge amidst of the effort to eradicate poverty. To bring about attitudinal change and producing citizens with entrepreneur and job creating skills has therefore remained as a challenging task to be done. The government of Ethiopia laid and is laying down a wide range of supporting systems to enable citizens to be engaged in various job creating activities. The GTP mega projects such as sugar and chemical fertilizers factories, universities, hydro powers and some other infrastructure projects have been creating vast job opportunities and so many citizens are now becoming beneficiaries from them.
The other fundamental activity of the Ministry is undertaking modern urban land preparation and management system. Accordingly, a new strategy has been designed to insure that towns are led by plan and to enable many more people settle in a small place. We are working towards preparing and supplying land to meet the demand of commercial and social services. Preparing urban land provision system and establishing it on the principle of transparency and accountability and making access for all would be our continuous key activity. Registering land and land related permanent assets/properties would also play a crucial role to guarantee citizens’ right to own, sell, exchange, and transfer them to others. Apart from this, the registration of land and land related properties contributes significantly to boost our country’s economy.
The government is about to establish latest cadastre land management system in order to know and insure by whom each parcel of land is owned, for what purpose it is used and when it is distributed to urban residents and investors. In this respect, expertise in our sector are expected to carry out their duties and responsibilities by handling quality information. Also, the public is expected to give all the necessary supports at the time while the information is gathered and organized.
Furthermore, we are exerting much more effort to implement different options so as to make urban dwellers have their own houses. This includes cost effective houses for low income residents who are not capable of possessing houses either through land lease or buying from real estate developers. In this fiscal year 20,000 modern studio houses are going to be built for low income dwellers. Those community members who have relatively better income would be benefiting from sustained provision of condominium houses.
The other latest option is known as 40/60% savings for housing development program. All necessary preconditions including planning and designing works have been completed successfully and there by the first phase construction project will start in Addis Ababa in the coming Ethiopian New Year. In general, to manage housing development program at a national level, housing development policy is formulated and officially launched to the public.
Developing construction industry which has the capacity of carrying the ever expanding construction works and fulfilling international standards of the construction sector is given due attention.
To realize this goal, the Ministry is offering capacity building trainings for contractors, consultants and machinery suppliers in addition to supplying inputs for them. Above all, the building construction proclamation is ratified and its structure is being underway to enable buildings access for all people and make them disaster resistant. Modern registration and professional assessment is in place to enhance the overhaul capacity of professionals engaged in the sector. And also, construction works undone before must be done now and then jointly with key stakeholders participating in the sector.
Development and good governance are other critical issues in Ethiopian urban centers. Therefore, to realize development and secure good governance in towns and cities, public organizations and councils at all levels should be functional. And in this regard, establishing a transparent participatory approach has a far-reaching significance. The Ministry setup municipality standards to make urban dwellers access for international standards municipality services. However, it is believed that development and good governance management require an all inclusive participation of the public ranging from contributing money to actively participate in them to establish milestone to the forth coming generations.
By and large, to make fruitful the aforementioned key activities of the Ministry and insure that the national Growth and Transformation Plan successful, our all rounded effort must be assisted by massive public mobilization. All cities and Urban residents are therefore expected to directly involve in cooperative and coordinated manner in the development endeavor of the country.
Finally, I call upon the public on behalf of the Ministry and on my own to actively participate in the nation building effort to the realization of development and good governance for it is the only gateway to insure our survival for the future.