(Contract) Future Cities Africa (FCA) - Part of Output 2 - The climate change and energy debate in the context of Ethiopia



Approval Date
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type


Research Project 2: The climate change and energy debate in the context of Ethiopia 15. Cities are at the centre of the climate change debates. Cities are the primary sources of carbon emissions and the primary target for policy interventions to improve energy efficiency and foster low carbon growth. On the other side of the coin, cities and citizens are often the major victims of climate change impacts and related hazards. Climate change and related environmental risks threaten growth and public health thus compelling cities to adapt to the changing environmental circumstances. The urgency of these issues cannot be overstated in the African context as extreme climatic conditions, rapid urbanisation and fast paced economic growth make the question of how these fast growing cities will power themselves a make-it-or-break-it developmental issue. 16. Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa with a population of approximately 90 million. Economic growth is averaging around 10% per year over the past decade despite 70% of the country’s population lacking access to electricity. Future growth in Ethiopia will be driven by cities. According to the World Bank’s Urbanisation Review (2015) the rate of urbanisation is one of the fastest in the world at 4.7 percent. It is estimated that by 2037 Ethiopia will be about 40% urbanised resulting in an additional 35 million people living in cities. To sustain Ethiopia’s growth cities will need energy and how this will be provided is a critical policy choice. 17. The development of renewable energy sources is central to Ethiopia’s efforts to shift towards a green growth path as part of its growth and transformation plan (GTP2). In Ethiopia, the majority of on-grid electricity generation comes from hydropower. Exports of hydro power to East Africa can further encourage low carbon growth. However, there are climate change risks to the Ethiopia’s power sector and thus growth ambitions. Ethiopia is highly vulnerable to extreme weather variability, particularly erratic rainfall. According to a World Bank study, climate change will likely increase the frequency of both flooding and droughts in Ethiopia and hydropower generation is the energy source that is most likely to be impacted by climate change because it is sensitive to the amount, timing, and geographical pattern of precipitation as well as temperature. Assessing how climate change factors will shape energy choices and inclusive growth is an important focus of the research. 18. The purpose of this research project is to fill crucial theoretical and evidence gaps, by collecting and analysing data on cities, energy and climate change in Ethiopia, testing the relevant theories/models and feeding the results into the current academic and policy debates at national and international level. City-level data and evidence should be gathered by cities of focus to the FCA project (Dire Dawa and Mekele) but not restricted to them and aggregated at the national scale. It is expected that the results of the Ethiopia case study will be compared African and international scale to further validate and generalise the research results. 19. In addressing the topic the following research questions are of initial guidance to the service provider. It is recognised that the main research question and its sub-questions will need further refinement as part of the Project Initiation / Inception Phase – taking into consideration the more detailed context of the study and likely research challenges. The development of an appropriate framework for analysis should form part of the Inception Report. • How are climate change factors expected to affect energy consumption, sources and supply in Ethiopian cities in the future? • What affordable, low-carbon and universal-access energy options are available and viable in Ethiopia? • What are the implications for city land – use, infrastructure and service delivery of low carbon energy choices and growth strategies?
20. Tasks. The research plan should include the following tasks. It is anticipated that these tasks will be refined and operationalised in a detailed work plan as part of the inception phase: • Task 1. Inception. This task will lay the conceptual foundations of the study and the plan to execute research. During the Inception Phase, the service provider will provide a literature review covering the most recent global and regional theory/debates on the subject, identify key challenges, gaps and trends, define the main research questions and sub-questions, define the main hypotheses and models to be tested, and assess the available data sources. The detailed deliverables’ description, work plan and project management arrangements will be further developed and specified along with the approach to collaborating and building capacity of the participating national and regional research networks/centres, research institutes/universities and other stakeholders. • Task 2. Mobilisation and engagement of the scientific communities. As part of this task, the service provider is expected to mobilise and engage the existing networks of research professionals/entities in the country (such as AURI where available) as well as the national research entities and other stakeholders in the development, review and dissemination of the research project. While the national level is the most relevant, engagement should also involve the international scientific community – especially within Africa through AURI or other leading institutions. Engagement should take place at all stages in the research process through a series of workshops, knowledge exchanges, roundtables, seminars etc. in the final modalities and schedule as agreed with the Cities Alliance Secretariat. The critical focus here should be to build long term research capacity within the participating research institutes and to develop a research agenda aimed at strengthening resilience and inclusive growth as part of the urbanisation process. • Task 3. Data collection and analysis. This task includes the collection of the best available secondary data and as practical primary data at the field level for the main case study in the Ethiopian cities (sample should include Dire Dawa and Mekele) as well as nation-wide data. Data will be then be statistically analysed, aggregated and structured to test the research hypothesis and models related to climate change and energy. Methods of analysis should be quantitative to the extent viable. Qualitative data should be used to triangulate and complement information where relevant. Data collection might also include secondary data and other data gathered from the other FCA countries and other relevant regional example for cross comparison, testing and induction purposes. • Task 4. Write up and dissemination. This task includes the finalisation of the different deliverables, most notably the monograph of the case study as well as activities finalised at the dissemination and ownership by the scientific community of the research project outputs. This task should also define potential research frontiers and setting future priorities for a country research agenda.
Expected Impacts and Results