Unsustainable Land Use due to „Catching Up‟ Investment Pursuits in Ethiopia… 193
that are made based on a set of comprehensive urban plans and zoning
ordinances. To this end, laws and standards set forth performance requirements.
Like most of the African states, Ethiopia has been using land “… in unplanned
and uncontrolled fashion without due regard to the land‟s best potential use and
without due consideration for conservation of natural resources and
safeguarding the environment”.9 The rate of urbanization and the expansion of
different land uses for various economic activities have been large and very fast.
The change is also occurring without due consideration to the potential land use
and plans where undesirable environmental and social consequences are
exhibited because of the conversion of arable lands, grasslands, and forest areas
to urban centers and industrial sites.10
Ethiopia has a short history in urban planning and its implementation.11
Study reports show that nearly a quarter of the „recognized urban centers‟ do not
have guiding plans of spatial development and those holding the plans are also
found to have difficulty in implementation.12 Beyond the factors of poverty and
underdevelopment, lack of qualified personnel, standards for planning, and
proper legal frameworks for preparing and implementing urban plans are
identified as main factors.13 GTP-II identifies challenges in this regard which
include problems of malpractices in land use, administration and governance.
Ethiopia‟s industrial policies and strategies focus on assuring the transition
from agricultural led economy to industrial led economy. The establishment of
government based industrial development zones or industrial parks are also
sought to be the primary tools of the economy.14 There were two Industrial
zones constructed in GTP-I and eight industrial parks are under construction.15
9 Zemen Haddis et al. (2017), „Ethiopia‟s Move to a National Integrated Land Use P olicy
and Land Use Plan‟, Paper Prepared for Presentation at the 2017 World Bank Conference
on Land and Poverty, The World Bank - Washington DC, p. ii, March 20 -24, 2017.
10 Id., p. 1.
11 SCRIBD, Urban Planning and Implementation Manual, p,3 available at
Manual . Accessed on 15 Dec, 2017. See, for example, Ministry of Urban Development,
Housing and Construction(2010), „Manual for the Preparation and Implementation of
Basic Plans (Structure Plans) of Small Towns of Ethiopia‟, available at
www.mwud.gov.et/c/document_library/ Accessed on 12 Jan, 2018.
14 Alebel Bayrau et al. (2017),„Study on Industrial P ark Development: Issues, Practices and
Lessons for Ethiopia‟, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Resear ch Report 29,
available at <www.edri.org.et/Resources/Research_Reports/Research_Report_029 >.
Accessed on 16 December 2017.
15 Federal and Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Growth and Transformation Plan II (GT P