Event poster
Published: 22 October 2022

ECL-AA & abc Congress 2022

Guiding Rapid Urbanization: On Community-Led Urbanization took place in October 2022


This year Congress, which was organized jointly by ECL-AA (EiABC -AAU) and ABC (Association for Building Communities), aims to explore alternative models in guiding rapid urbanization in North-East Africa. It particularly focuses on exploring the culture of community (communal living) in Ethiopia/Africa as a rich resource in the making of a human habitat that guarantees stability and resilience. It explores a community-led model called Grassroots Urbanization (GRU) as an alternative package to the usual Infrastructure-led Urbanization model – hence, an attempt to address the economic and social challenge at its roots. Accordingly, the congress broughttogether community leaders, academics, professionals, and decision-makers to deliberate on the concept.

During the first half of the one-day congress Introductions was given by Dr. Heyaw Terefe and presentations by Dr. Alula Pankrhust- An alternative reading of reality (Challenges and Opportunities in the making of the human habitat in North East Africa) & Dr. Zegeye Cherenet - Grassroots Urbanization (concepts). These were followed by a discussion by the presenters and Moderated by Assoc. Prof. Fasil Giorghis.  

During the second half of the day, ABC vision, strategy, and program for Building Communities through voluntary action Group was briefly discussed. The congress also hosted the first screening of the documentary movie in Addis Ababa - “URBAN GENESIS” by DokLab Switzerland (a movie that followed the initial stages of the making of an experimental model rural-town in Ethiopia called BURANEST). The screening was followed by a discussion moderated by Amanuel Teshome.

In addition, a book written on the subject titled “Grassroots Urbanization: Building Town Communities in Ethiopia”) was presented.


The presentation and discussion video of the congress can be accessed through this link.

Group photo of congress participants
Discussions during the coffee breaks
During the documentary movie discussion