News: Addis Abeba mayor appoints first chief resilience officer, approves establishment of city’s resilience office


Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation – is Dedicated to Building Resilience in Cities around the World – Addis Abeba is a Founding Member of $164M Effort

Addis Abeba, February 08/2018 – Addis Abeba’s mayor Deriba Kuma has appointed Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene as Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), a new position created to lead city-wide resilience building efforts to help the city prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life. As Chief Resilience Officer, Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene, who most recently served as deputy director, CRO Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network, will report directly to the mayor’s office and oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for the city. Mayor Deriba Kuma additionally announces the creation of the Addis Abeba Resilience Project Office.

Speaking about Fitsumbrhan’s appointment, Mayor Deriba Kuma said, “Addis Abeba is the country’s capital, growth engine, and home to 25% of Ethiopia’s urban population. The city’s population is expected to double in the coming 10 to 15 years, bringing both challenges and opportunities to a country aspiring to be a middle income economy by 2025. I have a strong belief that as our first Chief Resilience Officer,  Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene will work closely with all concerned stakeholders and guide our city toward greater resilience, in the face of ever growing economic, social, and spatial demands. Furthermore, I would like to stress that my city administration is determined to guide the growth of Addis Abeba towards a more sustainable and resilient path.”

Appointing a CRO is an essential element of Addis Abeba’s resilience building partnership with 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation. The 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) organization is part of a $164M commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. The position will be fully funded by 100RC for at least the next two years. Addis Abeba’s engagement with 100 Resilient Cities kicked off in December 2016 with a “Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop,” and it is expected that under Fitsumbrhan’s leadership, the city is poised to take the next step in its resilience planning.

“We want Addis Abeba to be a model for the region,” said CRO Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene. “The city, and Ethiopia on the national scale, has already demonstrated global leadership in promoting climate resilience and a green economy. In my role as Chief Resilience Officer, I am looking forward to folding these types of initiatives into a more holistic resilience strategy. The Resilience Project Office will furthermore be critical in institutionalizing resilience thinking into city planning.”

The CRO is an innovative feature of 100RC’s resilience building program, specifically designed to break down existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances, and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all city residents. In addition to providing financial and logistical guidance for establishing the CRO position, 100RC offers each city in the network technical support for developing a robust Resilience Strategy, access to a wide range of partner services to help develop and implement their resilience strategies, and membership in a global network of cities who can learn from and help each other.

“Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene joins a network of peers from cities across the globe that will share best practices and surface innovative thinking,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “Fitsumbrhan will become a global leader in resilience, and will be an asset for Addis Abeba and other cities around the world.”

The administrative capital of Ethiopia and the unofficial diplomatic capital of the continent, Addis Abeba faces some of the fastest rates of population growth and urbanization worldwide. Responding to these opportunities and challenges, the city’s resilience initiative looks at urban planning, innovative financing schemes, communication technology, and trans-regional development to address issues as far-reaching as public health, affordable housing, unemployment, flooding, and secure infrastructure. Mr. Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene will be charged with fostering a citywide dialogue that ultimately cultivates a holistic view of resilience.

Fitsumbrhan will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC; and utilize resilience building tools from private, public, academic, and NGO sector organizations that have partnered with 100RC. Addis Ababa’s Resilience Strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented blueprint to build partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable populations.

To further support the work of the Chief Resilience Officer, Proclamation No. 89/2017 legally established an independent Resilience Project Office for the period of five years. The City Government additionally committed funding of up to 750,000 USD for setting up the Office and covering the first year’s operational costs. Directly accountable to Mayor Deriba Kuma and under the leadership of Fitsumbrhan Tsegaye Beyene, the Addis Abeba Resilience Project Office will be responsible for developing a robust City Resilience Strategy and for mainstreaming its principles into existing and future city and sectoral plans. The Office will play a key role in the Strategy’s implementation by developing bankable project proposals and securing resources and partnerships at all levels for their successful execution. AS


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