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Ethiopia: Slums in the city center slowly disappearing


The Ethiopian government wants to do two things at once. Ridding the capital city Addis Ababa of its slums, and providing housing for three million inhabitants of the capital.

The main slums in Addis must become the business center of the Ethiopian capital, but slum dwellers do not like the idea. The municipal had given them a month to clear out of their homes and they have complained that they had been forcefully removed.

For the authorities however, whose objective is to raise Ethiopia among the middle-income countries by 2025 – a gross national income (GNI) per capita above $ 1,000 – the revamp is also designed to create a middle class homeowners, less prone to anti-government protests.

“The main idea for ​​our city development plan is to create a livable place for all residents of Addis. We need to build more roads and more green spaces. As a city that represents African Union, our ambition is to create a modern city,” said Haregot Alemu, Director of the Agency of urban renewal and land development.

The government plans to build about 700,000 homes in five years. For now, though, housing prices remain high. The government put an asking price tag of a minimum contribution valued at 10% of the total price of the apartment. A sum of between 5,000 and 25,000 dollars well beyond the minimum wage in Ethiopia which is 34 dollars a month.

Alemu however insisted that the aim is also to encourage citizens to take the habit of saving in order to buy homes.

The forced march to development was needed to “change the image of Addis Ababa,” added Alemu

“As the seat of the African Union, our vision is to create a modern city and a model on the continent,” he said.


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