Over the past decade, Ethiopia has seen great economic growth. An annual growth rate of about 10% on average which has led to increasing purchasing power in the country, a growing middle class and more cars in the streets of the capital Addis Ababa, a city of 4.5 million inhabitants. Consequently, the city is experiencing a sharp increase in air pollution and congestion on the roads putting a brake on productivity and hampering the economic growth.
“It is a development that authorities in Addis Ababa want to reverse. They want sustainable growth, where the country's economic development goes hand-in-hand with consideration for the environment and climate change” says Jens Chr. Helbech Hede, Senior Director in Ramboll's Transport division with responsibility for international projects.
He elaborates: "Our experts should help local authorities develop a strategic infrastructure plan across all modes of transport, so there are more sustainable and low carbon alternatives to the car, for example metros and railways”
Ramboll is lead consultant on the project and the Smart Mobility division will assist in developing a demand-based transport model and coherent plan for future infrastructure projects in the city up to 2030. The work will be done in a consortium with two Italian companies and a local subcontractor. The Consortium will assess the travel demand patterns and transport conditions in Addis Ababa to identify transport strategies for the city of Addis, test the alternatives and identify the best solution. Citizens and other stakeholders will be consulted during the entire development process of the plan through several workshops, public information sessions and the set-up of a project website.
The project is a concrete example of an increasing demand for sustainable engineering services in developing countries. Citizens in developing countries are more exposed to climate change, and to address that agenda they often enter into partnerships with development banks, such as the World Bank who can assist with the funding and knowledge needed to incorporate sustainability into the development projects.