City to administer Sheger, Entoto parks
The Addis Ababa City Administration (AACA) is set to administer the newly inaugurated Sheger and Entoto Parks. This was disclosed by Adanech Abiebie, the newly appointed de facto mayor of Addis Ababa City.
In her report delivered to the first ordinary session of the 8th year term of the Second City Council on Tuesday October 20, 2020, Adanech said that the parks were built to make Addis Ababa the flower its name stands for.
“Following the reform, with the intention of making Addis Ababa a flower like its name suggests, PM Abiy Ahmed initiated the construction of Sheger Park’s Friendship Square and Entoto Park. We will soon take charge of these parks and administer them,” she remarked.
Apart from these, the projects in Meskel Square, Adwa Park, the Grand Library, vehicles parking lot, transport office and Municipality building are said to be completed within schedule since they are progressing according the plan.
Sheger Park, constructed by the Chinese State owned CCCC construction group and financed by China Aid, is located in front of the Sheraton Addis Hotel. Entoto Park, built by local contactors is located on the Entoto Mountain North of Addis Ababa.
Initiated by PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD), Sheger Park was inaugurated on September 10, 2020 on the Eve of the Ethiopian New Year. Entoto Park was inaugurated on October 10, 2020. Both inaugurations were filed with fanfare and enthusiasm.
Abiy lauded the projects as a symbol of his administration’s ability to execute beyond planning. He also repeatedly made an example out of them to showcase that concerted efforts can bring success.
However, the projects have also faced criticism with claims that spending this much money on cosmetic projects is not worth it while people are starving and dying as a result of manmade and natural disasters. Abiy has refuted such comments with strong words.
In his recent appearance at the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR), for instance, a query about the projects by an MP was met with an unexpected response from Abiy who said that it is not right for the members to ask him about the projects since they did not allocate any budget for them from government coffers.
“You can’t ask me whether I built Entoto Park or not because you did not give me a penny,” he sternly responded.
In addition, he attacked critics who said bread should come first to the deprived society rather than spending money on such projects.
He pointed out “People don’t live only on bread,” adding that a bakery has been constructed and other measures like expanding agriculture and creating market linkages are being given due attention to answer “the question of bread.”
But this reply by the PM has drawn criticism from the public who took the reply as the PM defying the parliament’s authority by refusing to account for the money he has spent to construct the parks.
In a related news, the Addis Ababa City Council’s meeting on Tuesday voted to form an 11th sub-city in Addis Ababa by partitioning Yeka and Bole sub cities. Besides this, the Council also approved the rearrangement and redrawing of woredas within sub-cities.