Addis Ababa Celebrates Membership into 100 Resilient Cities

Mr. Deriba Kuma(R) and Mr. Otis Rolley(L) giving press briefing
Mr. Deriba Kuma(R) and Mr. Otis Rolley(L) giving a press briefing

The selection of Addis Ababa as one of 100 Resilient Cities was officially inaugurated in an event that took place at HoA-REC&N’s Headquarters. The inauguration took place on 8th December 2016 as part of Resilience Agenda Setting Workshop organized by the City Government of Addis Ababa, 100 Resilient Cities, and HoA-REC&N.

The workshop was attended, amongst others, by Mr. Deriba Kuma, Mayor of Addis Ababa City; Mr. Otis Rolley, Regional Director for 100 Resilient Cities, Africa Region and Dr. Araya Asfaw, HoA-REC&N’s Executive Director.

Speaking at the event, Mayor Deriba Kuma said it was “a sobering moment” for him when he had first heard about the selection of Addis for 100 Resilient Cities back in May 2016.  Joining 100 Resilient Cities helps Addis Ababa “become more resilient to [challenges] the city is facing,” he said.

100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC),  is a program dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

While Addis Ababa is growing at a faster rate than ever, it is feared that problems such as flooding, fire and earthquake on one hand and challenges such as unemployment and water scarcity on another hand could hamper its development endeavor.  Mayor Deriba, however, expressed his hope that the new membership in 100RC would help Addis Ababa develop and learn tools to face its current and future resilient challenges.  “I have a deep conviction that 100RC is a platform to network and showcase what cities can do and learn from each other,” he said.

Mayor Kuma, touching upon efforts undertaken by his Administration to make Addis Ababa more resilient, expressed his conviction that this new membership of Addis Ababa would make more effective the efforts the city is already making.

Concluding his speech, he acknowledged the importance of partnership with HoA-REC&N in securing membership in 100RC. He also highlighted the importance of the current partnership between the City Administration and HoA-REC&N in beautification and waste management effort of Addis Ababa.

Resilience Agenda Setting Workshop at HoAREC&N HQ
Resilience Agenda Setting Workshop at HoAREC&N HQ

Mr. Otis Rolley, also speaking at the event, congratulated the Mayor and the City Administration on selection of Addis Ababa for 100 Resilient Cities. “I have to say that you should never look at this as just an award…because you literally beat over a thousand other cities… it is something to be proud of,” he said.

Dr. Araya Asfaw, in an opening remark, congratulated Addis Ababa upon being admitted to the “prestigious Club of 100 Cities.” “We can ensure the current and future generation a resilient Addis Ababa… this is a great legacy we all should be proud of,” he said.

The workshop, that took place  from 8th – 9th December 2016,  gathered more than 100 participants, including cabinet members of Addis Ababa City Administration, representatives of various Ethiopian ministries, government and non-government institutions, embassies, NGOS, HoA-REC&N’s staff and the media.  The various sessions of the workshop focused on a better understanding of resilience, small group discussions on resilience realities in Addis Ababa and site visit to different parts of the city, including HoA-REC&N-led waste management project site at Sendafa Landfill.