Conference looks into the future

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representatives of Ethiopian Engineers Professional Association, Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, Ethiopian Economics Association and Unity University, in partnership with the Association of Ethiopian Architects (Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Ethiopian professional associations in collaboration with well-known experts from the diaspora and higher education institutions will host an international conference with the theme: ‘Ethiopia 2050: grand challenges and opportunities’.
The objective of this conference is to identify the key challenges and opportunities as a starting point for national conversation amongst policy-makers, political and economic leaders, professionals and various stake-holders and provide key points towards formulation of concrete and actionable sets of policies that could turn these challenges into opportunities.
During the two day event that will be held at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel from December 19 to 20 sessions, papers, policy recommendations and possible options will be presented.
During the press conference at Sheraton Addis, representatives of Ethiopian Engineers Professional Association, Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, Ethiopian Economics Association and Unity University, in partnership with the Association of Ethiopian Architects gave a preview of the upcoming conference.
The statement of the organizers indicated that the hosting institutions have recognized the fact that Ethiopia’s population continues to grow and is expected to reach about 200 million by 2050, “it is also expected this will bring about a multitude of potentially destabilizing societal threats in terms of providing adequate food-security, energy, housing, transportation, and health-care, if well thought policies, plans and actions are not put into place ahead.”
According to the statement that the joint organizers dispersed at the press conference, it is the conviction of many scholars and hosting institutions that unless proactive efforts in predicting these massive needs are carried out early and thoughtful plans to address these are prepared accordingly, it will be hard not only to eliminate poverty but also to avoid the threat of the accompanying highly destabilizing societal problems.
“Arguably, the next set of potential conflicts in our region could be driven by the competition for valuable resources such as water that will be further exacerbated by pressure from population increase and adverse effects of climate change,” the statement added.
Ethiopia 2050 will be opened by senior government officials and it is expected to be attended by about three hundred individuals: cabinet members, parliamentarian, policy makers and influencers, representatives of development partners, experienced leaders and young professionals, world class scientists, educators, researchers, high end practitioners and industrialists, medics, agronomists, engineers and architects as well as planners environmentalists, lawyers and others gather from across Ethiopia USA, Europe and other countries.
Tesfaye Workineh, President of EACE said that half of the participants will be local.
Conference speakers include experienced technical and policy advisors in various disciplines, industrialists, educators and researchers, top-notch finance and insurance specialists, ICT and digital infrastructure & economy personnel, among others.
The conference is expected to lead to a comprehensive report that highlights the key challenges and opportunities together with recommendations for decision-makers at all levels.
According to the organizers some of the discussion topics on the two days conference includes integrated water resources management, large scale urbanization, food security, sustainability and environment, meeting energy demand, advanced manufacturing, transportation infrastructure development, ICT infrastructure expansion, access to health, and ESTM education, workforce and employment.