Ethiopia's urban population booms

Posted: 31 March 2003

Ethiopia is experiencing a big increase in its urban population as families, faced with drought and food shoretages, move from the countryside to the towns and cities.

The country is facing one of the highest migrations from villages to cities in Africa.The scale of this emerged at a conference on regional and urban planning and landscape architecture in Addis Ababa.

Berhanu Tamrat, Minister of State in the ministry of federal affairs, promised to meet the situation with a new federal urban planning law which would ensure "structured and organised"development. He told German and Ethiopian experts at the conference that the government was alrady drafting the new law.

Urban population growth in Ethiopia is increasing at around six per cent a year, compared to other sub-Saharan countries where growth rates aregenerally rising by around four per cent.

German Ambassador Helga Strachwitz said that Ethiopia faces major challenges as the numbers moving to urban areas increase. She said that "increased pressures" on the country's already stretched infrastructure would rise as more people move into cities.

Already the population in the capital is in excess of four million people, making it one of the largest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: IRIN, 25th March 2003