22 May 2019

Kenya: Ethiopian PM Schools Sonko on How to Raise Millions for City Cleanup

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko could learn a lesson or two from Ethiopian Prime minister Abiy Ahmed on how to raise funds to beautify a city.

The PM over the weekend hosted about 200 guests to a fundraising dinner to beautify Ethiopia's capital city, Addis Ababa.

Each guest paid an eye-watering amount of Sh17 million ($173,000) per plate.

According to local news reports, the dinner was held to raise funds for a three-year project by Abiy to "lift the image" of the capital which has become a concrete jungle with greenery almost extinct.

Last year, Governor Sonko while appearing before the Senate's Public Accounts and Investments Committee, told the Senators that he spent millions of his own money to give the city a facelift.

The Auditor General later refuted Sonko's claim by stating that City Hall had spent Sh18.7 million from the county coffers for the beautification programme.

Governor Sonko can surely borrow a leaf from the Ethiopian PM.

The Addis Ababa project envisions parks, bicycle paths and walkways along the rivers of the capital, planting of trees and the development of urban farms.

Beautifying Sheger, as the project is called, also involves cleaning the rivers and building recreational parks in the capital.

Abiy's website said that those present at the dinner would have a plaque with their name on it placed along the project route, and would have a private photo-op with the prime minister. The pictures would be compiled into "an album of individuals who changed the face of Addis Ababa."

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