Mekuria Haile, minister of Urban Development & Construction (MoUDC)

Mekuria Haile, minister of Urban Development & Construction (MoUDC)


What Happened:


Mekuria Haile, the minister of Urban Development & Construction, joined the spotlight for ushering the new housing schemes that are aimed at solving the long overdue housing problems of Addis Abeba, the capital ofEthiopia. The new housing schemes – named after the ratio of money contributed by home buyers in the form of savings and that to be covered through bank loans – are said to enable all residents of the city own homes. Two of the schemes – 10/90 and 20/80 – are meant to serve lower-incomers, while the third scheme – the 40/60 – is said to serve the emerging middle-class in the city. It was Mekruia’s ministry that has played significant role in rolling out the schemes. For many residents of the city, the introduction of the housing schemes was considered to be a new opportunity to have property in the ever-growing city. Mekuria was, therefore, hailed for pushing the schemes forward to reality.

When It Happened:

The registration for 10/90 and 20/80 housing schemes was undertaken in June, 2013, while the registration for 40/60, for locals, was conducted in August, 2013.

What to Know:

Mekuria’s ministry projected to register 1.3 million individuals under 10/90 and 20/80 schemes. Even if only 40pc of the total was meant to be for 20/80, over 800,000 individuals have registered by the end date of the registration for the scheme. No defined target was set for the 40/60 scheme. The portion of the cost of the house under 10/90 scheme to be covered through saving is estimated to be 35,000 Br. Savings for studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom houses under 20/80 scheme are said to be 151 Br, 274 Br, 561 Br and 685 Br, respectively. A portion of the cost of the houses to be covered through saving in 40/60 is estimated to be 210,000 Br, 280,000 Br and 385,000 Br, respectively, for one, two and three bedroom houses.


Mekuria, who was born in Azza area of Gurage Zone, has excellent educational milestones. His Bachelor’s is obtained in Business Management from Addis Abeba University (AAU). His two Master’s degrees were obtained in International Business and Business Administration fromGreat Britain. His first post in the public sector is the Trade, Industry and Urban Development Bureau of the Southern Region. He moved to theMunicipalityofAddis Abebaas manager of the city under the mayorship of Kuma Demekssa. His move to the federal government came in 2010, as he replaced Arkebe Iqubaye as minister of Urban Development & Construction.


Mekuria’s transfer from the Southern Region to the City Administration is often related to his political dispute with his compatriots in the region. His move from the Addis Abeba City Administration, where he was powerful, to the MoUDC was also considered as relegation, rather than a promotion. The most contentious event in his career happened with the release of the latest Urban Land Lease Proclamation, during which Mekuria was left alone to defend the administration’s intent in issuing the law that saw all urban land holdings being changed into lease in five years time.

Personal Highlight:

Mekuria is said to be less diplomatic in leadership style. He is also less articulate, as compared to his predecessors at both the City Administration and the MoUDC, in explaining government policies.

In Hindsight:

The total cost for the public housing project, until 2005, was reportedly 16 billionBr.In contrast, the outlay for the first phase implementation of the new schemes is projected to be 11.6 billionBr.

Published on Sep, 08, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 697]



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