Ethiopia Cities Network



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
1) Starting with informal cooperation and experience exchange provides a stronger base for sustainable networking than formal structures of a network. 2) The commitment and contribution of the member cities is major pre-requisite for the sustainability of the network.


Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of urbanization in Africa. Ethiopian urban centers suffer from a host of social and economic problems. A major challenge for the city administrations in Ethiopia is the implementation of the integrated Development Plans. The municipalities in Ethiopia lack information about experiences on how to implement development plans. It is believed that the Ethiopian Cities Network (ECN) would fill this gap and provide a platform for knowledge exchange among the different city administrations. The purpose of this preparatory project is to support establishment and operation of ECN, first knowledge exchange experience among the cities of Ethiopia, with an objective of providing a forum for member cities to exchange experiences on improvement and implementation of strategic urban planning processes and innovative approaches for pro-poor urban development.
The objective of the present proposal is: a) To support first knowledge exchange experiences among the cities and the establishment of the Ethiopian Cities Network (ECN) The objective of the Ethiopian Cities Network is: b) To provide a forum for member cities where they can exchange experiences on improvement and implementation of strategic urban planning processes as well as innovative approaches for pro-poor urban development.
1) Kick off workshop for the preparation of the ECN; Clarify and mediate the expectations of the different participating cities; 2) Assess legal conditions for foundation of an independent body and prepare establishment of a secretariat; 3) Clarify the mode of operation of an ECN knowledge exchange; 4) Explore possibilities to feed the cities’ common concerns and interests back into the national urban agenda; 5) Define the financing modalities of upcoming projects; 6) Draft the application for the follow-up phase; Legal establishment of the ECN and preparation of bylaw.
Expected Impacts and Results
1) The Government of Ethiopia decided to designate a day to celebrate the Ethiopian Cities Day. 2) The Mayors of the member cities confirmed that the ECN and the experience exchange forums and instruments organized through it correspond to their needs of knowledge exchange. The number of member cities has increased to 21. Cities from emerging regions have joined the network among others and are represented in the executive board. The ECN executive board has asked all member cities to submit a commitment letter endorsed by their respective city councils to confirm their membership. There were 19 initial founding members of ECN, and 8 of them had signed the grant application to the CA. 3) German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has formulated the technical support to the Ethiopian Cities Network and the knowledge exchange platforms as one core component of its programme. GTZ intends to multiply and scale up the tools and innovations produced in the programme via the ECN. 4) The project is expected to have high aggregate level impacts. The cities would strengthen their role in the governmental system by increasing participation and dialogue between cities and other stakeholders of urban development at the federal, regional and local level. The cities would show improved performance in urban governance, service and infrastructure delivery especially for the urban poor based on innovative strategies for city development and slum prevention/upgrading.