UN agency supports sustainable infrastructure projects in Ethiopia

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The Ethiopian Civil Engineers Association (EACE) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) jointly hosted the National Conference on Climate-Resilient Sustainable Infrastructure in Addis Ababa this month. The event underscored the critical importance of a systemic approach to developing sustainable infrastructure, vital for Ethiopia’s ongoing and equitable growth.

With a focus on inclusive planning and design, the conference spotlighted key areas such as water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), transportation, housing, and energy infrastructure. Stakeholders emphasized the necessity for substantial financial backing, both domestically and internationally, to ensure inclusivity and resilience, leaving no vulnerable groups behind.

The conference served as a platform for policymakers, practitioners, and experts to exchange best practices, discuss cutting-edge technologies, and drive policy formulation in sustainable infrastructure. H.E. Mr. Wondemu Seta, State Minister of Urban and Infrastructure, urged collaboration, innovation, and determination in the discussions, recognizing the far-reaching implications of decisions on future generations.

Over a two-day workshop, infrastructure professionals engaged with presentations and discussions covering various aspects of sustainable infrastructure development. Deliberations emphasized policy briefings, integrating social, environmental, and economic sustainability, and exploring innovative national policy approaches. Ongoing collaboration between the UN agency and Ethiopia is crucial in expediting mega projects that will enhance Ethiopia’s transforming infrastructure.

Eng. Yonas Ayalew, CEO of Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation and President of EACE, highlighted the role of engineering design in fostering sustainability, advocating for resilient homes and smart city development.

UNOPS reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Ethiopia in infrastructure planning and management, citing ongoing infrastructure projects in various regions across Ethiopia. Ms. Worknesh Mekonnen, UNOPS Ethiopia Multi-Country Office Director, stressed the importance of infrastructure that caters to diverse user needs, promoting climate resilience and inclusivity.

Infrastructure development, when sustainable and climate-resilient, has a transformative impact, advancing multiple Sustainable Development Goals. By prioritizing sustainability and inclusivity, Ethiopia aims to foster economic growth, create employment opportunities, and enhance access to essential services.

The conference concluded with a call for continued collaboration and action towards building a sustainable, resilient future for Ethiopia and its citizens.

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