Improving the Reception, Management and Integration of Rural-Urban Migrants with a Registration Scheme, Resource Centre, Networking, and Infrastructure Development in Adama, Ethiopia

A pilot project of the Cities and Migration programme

Project: Improving the Reception, Management and Integration of Rural-Urban Migrants with a Registration Scheme, Resource Centre, Networking, and Infrastructure Development in Adama, Ethiopia

Implementing Partners: The Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU) in partnership with Adama City Level, Labour and Social Office
Location: Adama, Ethiopia
Duration: December 2019 – November 2021


This project aims to enhance the responsive capacity of the Adama city administration in receiving, managing and integrating migrants. It will do so by implementing registration and resource centres that will help the city collect information on migrants and give them guidance on available services; establishing a networking group to create the space for discussion and cooperation among all stakeholders; and basic infrastructure development in migrant settlements to improve their living standards and economic opportunities.  



Ethiopia is one of the most rapidly urbanising economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is already Africa’s second most populous country with a population of 102 million, and that number is projected to reach 188 million by 2050. Today, only 20% of Ethiopia’s population lives in cities. This low urban population share, combined with rapid population growth and strong overall economic growth, may lead to rapid migration flows and urbanisation over the next decade.

Adama is the second most populous city in Ethiopia and one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It is the largest city in the Oromia Region, which features industries and manufacturing enterprises, and is strategically located on the main road linking Addis Ababa to Djibouti. There are several factors that explain Adama’s migration trends. The main push factors include environmental degradation, low agriculture productivity, inadequate social services, demographic pressure, land shortages, lack of rain, recurrent drought and conflict. Pull factors include public services, security and job opportunities. 

Adama city is increasingly challenged to absorb migrants and displaced persons, and city authorities are struggling to provide adequate services. The city administration lacks data on migrants and is unable to plan and budget accordingly. Better information, resources, and strengthened capacity would help the city to develop a policy framework and strategies to incorporate migrants into sustainable urban development programmes. 



The overall aim of the project is to improve reception, management and integration of migrants by implementing several components: a registration scheme, resource centres, networking, and infrastructure development. 

The project has three main objectives:

1.    Encouraging migrants to register at a city desk when they arrive in the city so they can receive adequate care services. The registration process would also provide valuable information to the city administration and help it plan more effectively. 

2.    Establishing networking groups that can provide the space for local stakeholders – including migrants, the city administration and the Ministry – to discuss the main challenges and opportunities of migration in Adama. 

3.    Improving and developing public infrastructure, including toilets and marketplaces, to provide migrants and displaced persons with better living conditions and economic opportunities. 

Together, these components will improve the capacity of the Adama city administration to manage to migration.


Result 1: Registration and resource centres that provide information on, and guidance to, migrants 

The project will assist the Adama city administration to implement registration and resource centres by establishing one migration desk at the city level and three sub-desks at the sub-city level. In addition to registering migrants, these city desks will also serve as one-stop-shops to provide them with guidance on employment opportunities and available local services. 

Result 2:  A networking group that brings together all stakeholders around migration issues 

This part of the project will establish and support a networking group consisting of the city-level migration desk officers; pertinent government officers including the urban ministry;  representatives of local authorities, local industries, and NGOs; at least one elected migrant or displaced person; community leaders; and other interested local stakeholders. This network group will meet during organised discussion forums two to three times a year to discuss challenges and opportunities arising from migration. 

In addition, the project will train the desk personnel and the city-level officers on migration mainstreaming and organise awareness-raising campaigns on migration. 

Result 3: Improved infrastructure and services to promote migrants’ engagement in business activities   

The project will improve toilets and bathrooms and support the construction of two market centres within settlements where migrants and displaced persons live. These settlements currently lack basic infrastructure, such as sanitation facilities or marketplaces. As a result, many migrants engage in informal business and work as street vendors, which is illegal and may lead to detainment. A partnership with the Ethiopian Family Guidance Association will also be launched to provide primary health services and basic training on first aid.