Dire Dawa 25 November 2014—The government of Ethiopia held its sixth edition of the National Urban Forum from 15th to 22nd November 2014 at Dire Dawa city under the motto “our cities being centres for enterprise development, will ensure the renaissance of Ethiopia”. The event was attended by high ranking government’s high level officials including the President of the Federal Republic, Dr. Mulatu Teshome , the Deputy prime Minister, cabinet ministers, regional officials and mayors. It was organized by Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Construction, Dire Dawa City Administration and Ethiopian Cities Cooperation Platform. The forum was structured in three ways: panel discussion, plenary discussion and exhibition. Panel and plenary discussions were led by different urban specialists from different universities in the country where UN-Habitat has also taken part.

Objectives of the forum

In his speech, the Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Construction Mr. Mekuria Haile outlined the objectives of the forum as follows:

  • To create an opportunity for knowledge transfer among stakeholders in the area of urban development and management and then pinpoint important ideas for policy development and implementation targeting poverty reduction in urban centers
  • To create common understanding on urban Development policy and institutional capacity building issues among governmental, non-governmental and international bodies, and to adopt best practices of other countries on ways of implementing fast urban sectoral development use the lessons for revising, planning and implementing policy directions
  • To organize a forum that gathers different stake holders engaged in the sector such as federal and regional urban managers and political leaders, NGOs, CBOs and institutions, influential community leaders, academic institutions and the private sector and to create public forum on urban development issues so as to promote public decision on a new and innovative ideas and concepts

UN-Habitat participated in two panel discussions and two plenary sessions during which Mr. Roi Chiti presented the relevance of the new urban agenda at country level and the process leading to Habitat III. The Ministry showed interest in the Ethiopian participation in the global process that will work towards consolidation of the National Urban Forum into a permanent multi-stakeholders platform for debate on policy and programming at the urban level.

Urban Good Governance and Housing were the two thematic areas where Prof. Fantu Cheru and Ms. Fernanda Lonardoni presented principles and best practices on their respective areas. Each session was attended by more than 120 leaders and urban agenda specialists.

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