The World Bank approved 600 million USD loan and grant agreement agreement yesterday for better urban governance, infrastructures and public services in cities across Ethiopia, according to a statement from the Bank.
The financing targets aimed at strengthening the capacity and performance of local urban governments, expand sustainable urban infrastructure and services, as well as promote local economic development in cities across the country.
World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia Carolyn Turk said that the new investment builds upon the successes of Urban Local Government Development Program (ULGDP) that incorporates important lessons learned and introduce a new approach. "This new approach will help Ethiopia develop a strategy for sustainably financing urban development," she added.
Abebaw Alemayehu, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project stated on his part that the program would help cities to realize their revenue potential.
Ethiopia is one of the fastest urbanizing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the urban population growing at 3.8 percent a year. Rapid urbanization poses challenges as cities struggle to provide infrastructure, services, and jobs, according to the Bank.
UIIDP will scale up activities initiated under ULGDP to support 73 new cities-for a total of 117-across nine regional states and benefit more than 6.6 million Ethiopians.