ILO Lauds Ethiopia’s Labor-based Infrastructure Dev’t . 16 Nov 2017

Addis Ababa November 16/2017 Ethiopia’s labor-based infrastructure development program is an example that deserves emulation by many countries, according to Country Director of International Labor Organization (ILO) George Okutho.

 Okutho stated this at the 17th Regional Seminar for Labor Based Practitioners underway in Addis Ababa.

 According to the ILO Country Director, Ethiopia has shown tremendous success in infrastructure development and these infrastructures are not concentrated in the capital city Addis Ababa.

 “I have had opportunities to visit many, if not all, regions of Ethiopia and I see  similar developments in Hawasa, Jigjiga, Adama, Dire Dawa, Gondar, Aksum and Mekele”, he said.

 Besides the expansion of infrastructure throughout the country, the government has deliberately pursued a policy of labor intensive infrastructure development program which generated job opportunities for thousands of young Ethiopians.

 “I think you know about cobblestone (projects) in Bishoftu, Adama and many parts of the country; and this has contributed to generate income and wage for many people and as ILO we are proud to be associated with this program. We hope this example will continue and inspire the rest of the continent to achieve what Ethiopia has achieved”, Okutho emphasized.

 Transport Minister Ahmed Shide claims that Ethiopia plays a leading role in Africa in using labor intensive technology in infrastructural development that creates mass job opportunities for the youth.

The Government of Ethiopia is striving hard to reduce unemployment, mitigate underdevelopment and poverty by taking appropriate policy measures and implementing various programs, the Minister said.

 “One of these measures is the promotion of labor intensive employment and investment approach in all sectors of the economy to improve employment outcomes and livelihood for citizens”, he added.

 Ethiopian Roads Authority Director-General Araya Girmay told ENA that the construction sector, particularly road construction, has been playing a key role in addressing the problem of unemployment in Ethiopia.

 The Universal Rural Road Access Program (URRAP), which was started during the first Growth and Transformation Program (GTP-1) to create job opportunities for young people and women, in addition to road development, is very successful”, the Director-General noted.

 URRAP has during GTP-1 provided road access for 11,876 kebeles and has generated jobs for 275 consultants, 945 contractors, and 1.4 million individuals. GTP-2 is expected to create 2.7 million jobs.

 Labor-based infrastructural development is an approach of development that uses mass labor instead of machine and other technologies to create more jobs for the young generation.