(June 8, 2024, The Hague, Netherlands) A delegation of Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA), which was attended by Dire Dawa City Administration and Mekelle City Deputy Mayors, Wolkite City Mayor and a member of the Association’s management team, headed to the Netherlands for Study visit returned back home with different Experiences.

The delegation arrived in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and highly welcomed by Mr. Rolf Swart, Business Development Manager (Global) of the Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG International) and Mr. Joppe Bastiansen, the ULGE project manager at VNG International.

This group, which includes the mayors of the member cities and management of ECA, headed to the place for study visit and exchange of experiences with VNG International, which is the equivalent institution, and began their first study visit at The Hague city.

On the occasion of the study visit, Management director of VNG International, Pieter Jeroense, presented the services of his organization, which has been serving three hundred and forty-two members for more than a hundred years, to the delegation and particularly shared their successful experiences on advocating different issues of their member municipalities. On that day, the delegation had also gain an experience with the Institute of Public Economy of the Netherlands, which focuses on economic development.

Later on, the delegation visited the municipal services of The Hague. During the visit, the representative of The Hague City Mayor’s Office gave a presentation about the city’s municipal service deliveries (giving Passport, ID, Driving license and others with in a short period of time) and its general aspect.

The participants of this study visit, Honorable Mayors, who said that if these services are efficient in their respective cities, the regular questions of the society can be solved in a short period of time and also said that they will do their part to make this task successful in the future.

On the second day of the study visit, the delegation of the Ethiopian Cities Association visited the city of Rotterdam and visited the smart city technologies that are being implemented in the city.

Particularly the Dutch Societal Innovation Hub (DSIH) presented the benefits of digitalization and artificial intelligence for Smart City, and it was understood that technology has solutions to many problems of humanity.

In the meantime, the delegation learned how the cities of the Netherlands were able to solve urban problems by using knowledge transfer, how they were able to reconcile nature and human beings in a way that did not harm the other, and how they were able to make cities comfortable for their residents.

Then the delegation visited Die Barel Farm, an organization with extensive experience in urban agriculture. This company, which is run by husband and wife, is known for raising two hundred and fifty dairy cows and fifty thousand chickens.

It is said that Dai Barrel Farm uses modern technology to produce thousands of liters of milk per day and 40,000 chickens and provide it for food in seventy days.

In the meantime, the delegation learned how the cities of the Netherlands were able to solve urban problems by using knowledge transfer, how they were able to reconcile nature and human beings in a way that did not harm the other, and how they were able to make cities comfortable for their residents. In particular, how to use knowledge transfer methods to share experience and information from one city to another, and how to grow and become smarter together.

Besides, a half-day workshop held in The Hague regarding on the Organizational Capacity Assessment of Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA), prepared by the Association in collaboration with the Dutch Municipal Association (VNGI).

In this workshop, the organizational structure of ECA and its capacity in the last 3 years in comparison with what it has reached now was presented and discussed. In particular, it was learned that the implementation of the ULGE project by the Association in the past three years has changed the overall capacity of ECA.

On the fourth day of the Study visit, the delegation of the Ethiopian Cities Association observed the best practice of Rhenen City Municipality’s service deliveries.

According to Rhenen city deputy mayor, Hans Burkamp, ​​and the city’s tax chief, Nils Van Santen presentations, the city of Rhenen, which has about 20,000 inhabitants, is known for its agricultural production, tourist attractions, museums and parks, as well as its natural resources, and it has a modern, efficient and all-inclusive municipality services for its residents.

Particularly, from the Rhenen city revenue collection system, the honorable mayors had gained different experiences and the Honorable mayors said in their comments that they want to take these experiences and expand them to their cities so as to increase their income.

During the last day of the ECA delegation’s stay in the Netherlands, there were a presentations and a field visit focusing on the planning of the Nethrlands cities and the municipal services deliveries of in the Laakkwartier district, which is found on the city of The Hague.

Dr. Aletti Fleischer, who explained to the group that the Netherlands cities facing the threat of flooding and facing nature to make them comfortable and inclusive for their residents, and the extensive experience of sophisticated urban planning methods. She added that it is possible to urbanize and make cities smart by defeating nature.

On the other hand, Mr. Lawrence, manager of Laakkwartier district, said that his district is providing many municipal services, and that he is very proud of the way they have established a community center that will benefit the low-income communities.

Honorable mayors who have been on this study visit to various cities in the Netherlands for the past few days have announced that they have gained many experiences related to urban development and ECA has to praise by organizing such experiences and expand it to other member cities.

 

 

(May 21, 2024, Aksum) Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) in collaboration with the Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG International) with the financial support of the European Union organized two-day training on the concept of Urban Resilience for the cities of Tigray today in Aksum city.

The head of Tigray Region’s Urban and Construction Bureau, Honorable W/ro Almaz G/Tsadiq, who officially opened this training, said that in this year ECA has prepared trainings for the member cities of Tigray Region in various urban-related concepts and these trainings have opened the door for them to gain new concepts on urban development and start to share their experiences among themselves

The mayor of Aksum City, H.E Ato Abebe Birhane, who gave a welcome speech at this event, announced that preparing this training in the historical and tourist city of Aksum will revive the conference tourism that has been stagnant due to the problems created in the last 3 years and it will also have important meaning for the increment of the flow of tourism in the city.

The General Director of ECA, Ato Andualem Tenaw, said that his institution is expanding its horizons throughout the country. Currently, they have members of more than 94 cities across the country, and this year 9 cities have become new members in the Tigray region alone.

Ato Andualem added that since ECA has been able to establish strong relations with various international organizations, it will continue to strengthen the ways in which all member cities can learn local and foreign cities’ experiences.

The Director-General also stated that this training has a special meaning for the cities of Tigray region and have plans to expand it to other member cities in the near future.

About 50 mayors and managers of the cities of Tigray region participated in this two-day training and they gave on their reflection that the training will give them great potential to solve problems; particularly the cities of Tigray can face and recover from the problems they have been through because of this training, Urban Resilience.

 

 

(April 23, 2024, Addis Ababa) The second meeting of the Advisory Committee to evaluate the ULGE Project, which is being implemented by Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) in collaboration with the Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG International) with the financial support of the European Union, was held today here in Addis Ababa.

During the discussion, the General Director of ECA, Ato Andualem Tenaw, gave a presentation on the overall appearance of the Association and the ULGE project.

Ato Andualem also announced that through this project, the workshops and training that ECA has provided in the field of urban development are increasing and becoming preferred by its member cities.

On the other hand, according to Mr. Joppe Bastiansen, the ULGE project manager at the Netherlands Association of Municipalities (VNG International), the pilot project of ULGE’s Public Finance Management on Yirgalem and Bulbula cities have been greatly helped to increase their municipal income. In particular, he pointed out that the best practice of Yirgalem city’s income generating system has been recognized at the national level and can be expanded to other cities in the country.

In their comments, the participants of the second meeting of the Advisory Committee pointed out that the existence of the ULGE project has strengthened the institutional capacity of the Association.

Particularly, they pointed out that they are proud of hearing ECA’s efforts to get its own multi-complex building and the distance it has gone to establish an urban development sector academy, a center of excellence for knowledge transfer and an orientation center for new mayors and city administrations is a testament to its future development prospects.

In addition, they suggested that the advocacy and lobbying strategy of the Association, that was written on paper to identify pressing problems of the cities should be used and the monitoring and evaluation activities should be strengthened in the future to determine whether the training and workshops are being implemented.

Officials and experts invited from UN Habitat, City Alliance, Forum of Social Studies, European Union, VNG International and ECA were participated in this advisory committee meeting of ULGE project.

(March 13, 2024, Addis Ababa) The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG International) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA), the European Union (EU) and the Federal Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Finance (MoF) organized a national conference on the topic of property tax in Ethiopia and the case of Yirgalem city of the Sidama Region today here in Addis Ababa.

Mr. Rolf Swart, Business Development Manager (Global) of VNG International, who gave the opening speech at the two-day conference, said that one of the main objectives of the United Local Government in Ethiopia four-year project is to build the institutional capacity of Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA).

He said that due to doing so, ECA is increasing its income every year besides increasing the number of members as well. Mr. Rolf added that although Yirgalem is a small city, the change in municipal revenue is something other big cities can learn from.

According to Ms. Alexandria Tor, who was the guest of honor on behalf of the European Union, she is proud to represent here the EU as a funder to this important project, which results can be valuable for the upcoming proclamation on Property Tax.

She remarked that the transparent and efficient taxation system is the key component of social trust as it enables people to see how their money is managed by the authorities to contribute to their well being.

Ms. Aleksandra added that ULGE project focuses on supporting municipalities and cities to enhance their capacities to deliver services to people and EU strongly believes that strengthening local governments is a key to its broader support to the Governance sector in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the Board President of the Ethiopian Cities Association the Mayor of Yirgalem City, Ato Terefe Muluneh, said that ECA is developing the best practices of Yirgalem City’s municipal revenue enhancement and organizing various platforms  and expanding it to its member cities.

On the opening day, the best practice of property tax in sub-Saharan countries local government was presented by Dr. Wilson Pickard and discussed, and it was also announced that other topics will be presented and discussed later.

In this conference, the senior officials and experts of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure, the heads and representatives of the Regional Urban and Infrastructure Office, mayors and management members of ECA participated.

(February 22, 2024, Wolayta Sodo) The 9th Ethiopian Urban Forum, which was started with a grand opening ceremony and was jointly organized by the Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA), the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure (MoUI) and the Wolayta Sodo City Administration, has come to an end today.

 

This event, organized under the theme of Modern Cities for the Prosperity of Ethiopia, officially was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hon. Ato Temesgen Tiruneh.

 

 

In the past 6 days, 124 cities have been presenting their works in the urban development sector at Wolayta Sodo city, and at the same time, it has been reported that many urban sector concepts have been considered and discussed side by side.

 

 

This closing program was attended by the Honorable W/ro Chaltu Sani,  Minister of Urban and Infrastructure of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (MoUI), State Ministers of MoUI, the Honorable Ato Fenta Dejen, the Honorable Engineer Wondimu Seta, the Honorable W/ro Helen Debebe, and the Director General of ECA, Ato Andualem Tenaw, as well as higher officials of the Wolayta Sodo Zone and City Administrations attended and was a beautiful closing ceremony.

 

 

One of the benefits of organizing the Ethiopian Urban Forum is creating sister cities. At the 9th Ethiopian Urban Forum, many cities signed their signatures of sisterhood. Wolayita Sodo City Administration and Sheger City signed their signature of sisterhood so as to work together through social, economic and cultural exchange.

 

At the same time a basic document has been prepared and signed to create a sister city relationship between the city of Bishoftu and the city of Hawassa. On the other hand, Gode City Administration has signed a sisterhood agreement with Hawassa city. The city of Kemisse and the city of Sheger have signed an agreement to grow together as sisters.

 

 

In addition, 124 cities that were presenting their works in the field of urban development for the past 6 days competed and received prizes for the cities that won first to third place.

 

 

In the 9th Ethiopian Urban Forum competition, among the cities included in category one, Adama City Administration won the first place, while Hawasa and Desie City got the second and third place.

 

 

Among the cities that competed in category two, Butajra City was the first place, while Bale Robe and Nekmet City were awarded the second and third places.

 

 

Among the cities that competed in category three, Kemisse City was the winner, while Werabe and Limu Genet City were awarded the second and third place.

 

 

In addition, among the cities that competed in category four, Konso Karat City was the winner, while Gelgel Beles and Emdebir City were awarded second and third place.

 

 

Finally, the special awardee of the 9th Ethiopian Urban Forum was delivered to Addis Ababa and Sheger City as well as the organizer Wolayta Sodo City, while Semera City was chosen to host the 10th Ethiopian Urban Forum.

 

(January 31, 2024, Shire Enda Silassie) Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) gave a second round of training on good governance, peace building, inclusive urban planning and smart city concept and Implementation in Shire Enda Silassie city.

 

The Head of Tigray Region Urban and Construction Bureau, Honorable W/ro Almaz Gebre Tsadik, who started the training in her opening speech, said that the FDRE Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure and Ethiopian Cities Association have organized various programs at different times and are helping us to reach the level of other cities in Ethiopia.

 

In particular, W/ro Almaz, who said that they understood that ECA provided standard training on urban development concepts from the first round of Adama city, it would be very beneficial to provide the same training to other cities of Tigray. She also called on the cities of Tigray to participate in the ninth Ethiopian Urban Forum to be held in Wolaita Sodo.

 

The Deputy Mayor of Shire Enda Selassie City, Honorable Ato Teferi Hailemelekot, who delivered his welcome message, said that this training shows how we can make our cities comfortable for their residents and how we can solve problems related to urban development.

 

The General Director of the Ethiopian Cities Association, Ato Andualem Tenaw, reminded that the cities of Tigray that are members of ECA have not been provided with the services provided by the Association for the past 3 years and said that the training gave for two series will help ECA member cities in Tigray Region to get the services and move together with other cities in the country.

 

On the second day, the development works of Shire Enda Sillasie city were visited, and it was learned from participants’ comment that the work done in green development attracted the attention of the visitors and thus they are ready to implement it in their respective cities.

 

During the visit, the manager of Shire Enda Sillasie city Municipality, Ato Tekleweyni Thomas, said that we have discussed and coordinated many investors in the city to participate in green development.

 

Ato Tekleweyni said that various green development works have been carried out by these investors, adding that they were able to cover more than 8 million birr to carry out the work and added that employment opportunities have been created for many people.

 

H.E, Ato Hailay Tinsu, Deputy Head of the Tigray Regional Urban and Construction Bureau, who conveyed the message about the completion of the training, said that the continuous support of ECA for the cities of Tigray is commendable and has proven to be a learning platform for the development of cities.

 

It was learned that more than 30 participants including mayors and higher officials of the regional and zonal Urban and Construction Bureaus of the Tigray Region participated in this two-day training.

(January 25, 2024, Addis Ababa) Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Social Anthropology Department of Addis Ababa University to work together on various urban development issues.

 

The parties who signed this Memorandum of Understanding is head of the social anthropology department of AAU, Dr. Kiya Gezahegn, and the General Director of ECA, Ato Andualem Tenaw.

 

The main objective of this memorandum of understanding is to establish a framework for cooperation between the two institutions in order to promote sustainable urban development in Ethiopia and encourage research, policy advocacy and knowledge exchange in the field.

 

In particular this MoU has focused on sharing knowledge and experience on urban governance, urban planning and sustainable development practices. The MoU also emphases that undertaking joint research projects, conducting studies and advocating evidence-based policy recommendations to addres urban challenges.

 

It was also pointed out that it is an agreement to organize workshops, seminars and training programs in order to increase the capacity of urban management experts, policy makers and researchers.

 

At the signing ceremony, Dr. Kiya said that this agreement is of great importance to study the culture and other related values of Ethiopian cities to create better community interaction for their residents.

 

On the other hand Ato Andualem said that, since one of the goals of ECA in its five-year strategy is to create an institution that can solve the pressing problems of Ethiopian cities and make it a center of excellence in the field of urban development, this MoU will play a vital role for its dream to come true.

 

 

 

 

 

(January 12, 2024, Diredawa) Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) in collaboration with the Minister of Urban and Infrastructure organized a two-day workshop focused on Municipal Revenue Reform, Urban Planning Implementation, Land Management, Legal Cadaster and Cleaning and Beauty at Diredawa today.

State Minister of the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure H.E, Ato Fenta Dejen, who was the guest of honor of this experience exchange workshop, said that the ministry is working to make cities comfortable for their residents, managed by plans and changing the lifestyle of their residents.

The State Minister, Honorable Ato Fenta, added that since Ethiopia is one of the earliest countries in Africa, it was chosen to host the first African Urban Forum, which will be organized for the first time in our continent, and will contribute greatly to the revitalization of our cities. He also called all cities of Ethiopia to participate in the 9th Urban Forum that will be held in Wolita Sodo city.

H.E Ato Harbi Buh, Deputy Mayor of Diredawa City Administration, who gave a welcome speech on the day, said that the cities’ experience exchange workshops are important to check the good performance and gaps in the urban development sector, to strengthen the cooperation and connection between the cities, to find a common solution to the challenges faced and to accelerate the global development.

On his part, the Director General of Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA), Ato Andualem Tenaw, said that ECA organizes various workshops in the country and invites member cities to raise their awareness on urban development and good governance.

He also said that ECA is doing its part to capacitate its members by creating favorable conditions for exchange of experiences. He also announced that last year, 25 member city mayors of ECA were invited to make a study visit to Europe, Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia, so as to gain international experiences.

It is known that Mayors of the member cities of ECA and experts in the urban development field were participated in this two-day workshop.

(December 19, 2023, Adama) Ethiopian Cities Association (ECA) organized two-day training for the cities of Tigray Region on Good Governance and Peace Building as well as Inclusive Urban Planning and Smart City Implementation today at Adama city.

H.E Ato Haylay Tinsu, Deputy Head of Tigray Region Urban and Construction Office, who gave the opening speech, recalled that ECA had contributed greatly to the development of the Tigray Region’s cities in the past. He added as a mayor who works well and has ideas about urban development can create a good city, the ideas presented in this training will create great potential for our mayors.

The director general of ECA, Ato Andualem Tenaw on his part said that this training is a training that will open the door to start municipal services that were closed due to the two-year war in the region and make their service more efficient and inclusive.

He recalled that in the past the cities of the Tigray Region were considered to be at the forefront of urban development and service delivery and this training will contribute a lot to bring back the same success.

At the conclusion of this training, H.E Ato Haylay said that the Association should be praised for understanding the many problems we have and responding in a short time and organizing this training.

He added that the importance of this sentisizing training is particularly important so as to the municipalities of the region that were closed and can respond to the pressing issues of the residents instantly and provide efficient and modern services.

On the other hand, Ato Andualem said that ECA is prepared to help the cities of Tigray will work to facilitate a platform where they can share experiences with other cities of the country. In addition to this, he invited the cities of Tigray to participate in the 9th Cities Forum, which will be held in Wolayta Sodo city in the coming February.

It was learned from the opinions of some of the trainee mayors that ECA has to be admired since it was able to select and train new ideas in the field of urban development in a short period of time and they have acquired a lot of knowledge and are ready to implement them in their respective cities.

(November 21, 2023, Mekele) A forum for the exchange of experiences of countries focused on the expansion and planning of cities was held in Mekele city.

The President of the Tigray Region Interim Administration, Ato Getachew Reda, who opened this forum, said that this consultation exchange of experiences forum hosted for the first time by the city of Mekele after the end of the two-year war and contribute greatly to the further expansion and reconstruction of the city.

State Minister of the Ministry of Urban and Infrastructure, Ato Fenta Dejen, announced that this exchange of experience based and focused on the best practices of Ethiopia, Uganda and Somaliland countries in the implementation of the urban expansion planning program.

He added that this exchange of experiences is the time for Mekele, which has been selected as a demonstration of urban expansion plans and infrastructure constructions among Ethiopian cities, to start a new path to speed up its main urban development activities in the beginning of its reconstruction.

It was also pointed out that Ethiopian mayors and urban development experts, including state ministers of the Institutional and Infrastructural Expansion Program of Uganda and Somaliland Cities, participated in this experience exchange forum.

During their three day stay, the participants visited various aspects of Mekele city’s infrastructure development and expansion plan.

For Further information, use the following ECA’s Social Media Links:

Facebook1: https://www.facebook.com/Ethiopian-Cities-Association-363331527583292

Facebook2: https://www.facebook.com/ketema.zelalem.37

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yeketemoch-medrek-ethiopian-cities-association-a32963230/

Telegram: Ethiopian Cities Association ECA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CitiesEthiopian

Website: www.ethiopiancities.org

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197278555@N08/

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/@ethiopiancitiesassociation8644

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