A new legislation dubbed the National Spatial Development Framework is underway to guide investments and infrastructure development based on the resources of locations in different sectors.
The main goal of the framework is to lure private or public investments to the regions and cities in consideration of their comparative advantage, and conduct infrastructure development based on these advantages.
According to Fitsum Assefa (PhD), Minister for Planning and Development, the drafting processes of the framework, along with conducting researches are currently in the final stage. Once approved, implementation of the framework is hoped to assure accountability as it will be mandatory.
While presenting her office’s nine-month performance to the House of Peoples’ Representatives last Thursday, April 27, 2023, Fitsum mentioned that investment areas in the country are identified mainly according to their potential.
Furthermore, she added that the legislation prepared as per the already identified locations will mandatorily require investments and infrastructure developments to be made based on their merits.
“Development projects with political decisions aren’t sustainable. For example, if there is a need to build an industry park, it should be done so in consideration of the potential in the area,” Fitsum commented while explaining the framework to members of the parliament in attendance.
After two years of research together with Addis Ababa University and development partners, the areas for public investment and infrastructure development have been identified. “The framework is prepared after thorough research, so any project assessment will be based on this framework afterwards,” she said.
Officials at the Ministry of Planning and Development are looking forward to the ratification of the framework by the two Houses, the parliament and the House of Federation. As per the Minister, implementation might not bring the change swiftly, and the question of fairness and inclusivity might still arise.
“We want to put an end to it,” Fitsum told the parliamentarians.
She further explained how successfully implementing the framework will sustain a fair distribution of public investment.
“We urge both Houses for endorsement and approval to make it mandatory,” the Minister added.
One of the pillars of the 10-year development goal is assuring inclusivity and social justice.