Published: 22 June 2018

Seminar 1.0

Guiding Rapid Urbanization

Annual workshop series on rural urbanization in Addis Ababa

Image of the Seminar poster

This workshop series was launched by ECL-AA in 2018 to establish a discourse and exchange platform for discourse on urban development in Ethiopia. Such platforms are so far lacking, but they are essential: As one of the least urbanized but fastest growing nations in the world, Ethiopia is at a crossroads. Will it follow the well-trodden path of modernist urban development or rather learn from the mistakes and achievements of the past?

In the era of globalization, in which countries compete for global capital, cities are regularly seen as seductive toolboxes that generate profit at any price (with cheap labor and low environmental constraints). Cities that allow seemingly unlimited growth have become the norm for emerging economies, but an urban development that is driven by market forces alone leads to great income disparities among the population, which in turn leads to slums and societal tensions.  While such trade-offs of industrialization and urbanization were often seen as ‘natural’ growth pains of an economic development process, the hypothesis of this workshop series is simple: To avoid or minimize the risk of falling into a state of paralysis through urbanization. Ethiopia must learn from the wealth of historical and contemporary urban experiments.

Raising hopes for a better – urban – future demands that time and resources be devoted primarily to thinking and discourse. Accordingly, the seminar series is organized around four key interrelated coordinates of inquiry: Know-how, perceptions, resources, and instruments. The seminar discusses past experiences and current strategies in Ethiopia’s urban politics, research, and teaching with regard to these coordinates.

International experts on African Urbanization, involved professionals of the BuraNest project and interested students of EiABC & partner universities engaged for two days discourse and discussion.

Students of EiABC and partner universities working on a model town getting feedback and consultations from well experienced instructors.
Wrapping up and handing of certificates for participants.

Managing team:

Asst. Prof. Zegeye Cherenet, Ingo Helmedag, Metadel Sileshi, Israel Tesfu