New universities for Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Government has set itself ambitious national development goals. GIZ is assisting Ethiopia to build a number of new universities.

University Capacity Building in Ethiopia

The University Capacity Building Programme (UCBP), initiated and funded by the Ethiopian Government and launched in 2005, is a major initiative which is already producing impressive results. The scheme involves the construction of 13 new public universities around the country with capacity for almost 150,000 students. All the buildings are designed and constructed exclusively by Ethiopian companies. The programme not only benefits the education sector: it is also modernising the Ethiopian construction industry on a sustainable basis.
GIZ International Services has been commissioned to implement and manage the programme. GIZ is developing capacities along the entire value chain, from the provision of training for architects and engineers to certification of major construction firms, making them more competitive on the Ethiopian and international markets. It also provides management training for small and medium-sized enterprises in the crafts and trades sector, the aim being to build their capacities, as subcontractors, to compile business plans and marketing strategies, so that they can take over around 40 per cent of the construction work in the medium term.

To date, almost 1,000 Ethiopian firms have been involved in the design and construction of the universities under the programme. A total of 4,233 representatives of companies and cooperatives in the crafts and trades sector have successfully completed their management training, enabling them to cut their operating costs by as much as 30 per cent. Around 560 new firms have been set up in this sector, and jobs have been created for more than 90,000 workers in manufacturing and laying cobblestone paving. As all the universities have been constructed to standardised designs with prefabricated components and modern construction techniques, building times and costs have been reduced while high quality standards, including environmental quality, have been maintained.

All in all, GIZ’s unique capacity development approach has proved highly suitable for large-scale projects as well, not only enhancing skills but also reducing costs.