IAAE successfully held the Strengthening Conference 2013!

The IHS Alumni Association in Ethiopia (IAAE) proudly celebrated a reunion of IHS alumni as well as enthusiastically look forward to a strategic decision to reactivate the association by putting in placed the necessary vision,mission and goals of the association in a strengthening conference held last October 25, 2013 at Wassamar Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. More than 20 urban management professionals sharing the same roots at IHS-Erasmus University have actively participated in the conference. The refresher course participants coming from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa of the Post-Disaster Prevention and Urban Resilience which was held at the Ethiopian Civil Service University from October 21-30,2013 have also attended the conference.

In his welcoming speech, the newly elected IAAE president Ato Wondimagegnehu Girma pointed out that the attempt to organize the alumni association has undergone so many ups and downs. This might have happened as a result of several factors; the main reason could be lack of crafting a common vision that would mobilize the professional graduates of IHS. This time alongside the expansion and growth of globalization, it has become imperative for countries to give priority to urban issues calling forth the contribution of professionals trained in urban studies. He further noted that the professional service contribution cannot be limited to official engagements in Government, NGOs and Private sector. Professionals can contribute to the agenda through venues such as the alumni association. Through this association, professionals will establish knowledge networking that directly benefits members, the country and respective employers. Furthermore, he underlined that such alumni association would  promote urban development and management issues which  focus in the provision of municipal services and infrastructure, land and housing, urban environment, urban finance, and urban local economic development. Finally, he expressed sincere appreciation for IHS Alumni International for sponsoring the conference and invited an honorable guest Ato Kebede Birru, Head, Resource Management and Coordination Bureau of the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing & Construction to deliver an opening speech.  

The guest of honor, Ato Kebede Birru, representing the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction, has stated that the Government of Ethiopia has been implementing the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for the last 3 years towards achieving Ethiopia’s long term vision and sustaining the rapid and broad based economic growth witnessed during the past several years to end poverty. In view of this, in the past seven years Ethiopia has registered rapid economic growth that spurred the process of urbanization. In particular with the launching of the GTP, the urban agenda is becoming an urgent policy issue requiring strenuous effort from policy makers, professionals in urban studies and other stake holders. Such a phenomenon is definite to demand a concerted effort from all of us, who are linked up to expedite our respective roles in enhancing urban development policies, strategies and development programs. As against the background, the establishment and effective running of such a professional association is timely, responsive and worth appreciating.   Besides, the association could also serve as a forum to nurture accomplished professionals who can serve the country as lead think tanks in undertaking policy research and provide advice whenever deemed necessary.

IHS Senior Staff Saskia Ruijsink joined the celebration and shared that the IHS Alumni International has been working over the past years to strengthen national alumni association with a view  to apply the knowledge gained over the years through training at IHS towards ‘Making Cities Work’. IHS is committed to establish a robust association that will not only promote the image of IHS in Ethiopia but also improve and enhance the bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and Netherlands.

The event wrapped up with the induction of the newly-elected board members who are as follows:

President Mr. Wondimagegnehu Girma 
Vice President Mr. Frew Mengistu 
Secretariat Mr. Bizuneh Gultu 
Accountant Mr. Ezana Haddis
Cashier Mrs. Haregewyne Bekele


The Conference Participants  The IAAE New Board Members
IHS Senior Staff Saskia Ruijsink   The IAAE Conference Banner