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Why,About and Background of Sheger City

The Oromia regional state revealed last month that it had created a megacity made up of six cities that surround Addis Abeba. The city administration officially became the administration of Sheger City today after taking an oath. Golo Gelgelo and Teshome Adugna are appointed as mayor and deputy mayor, respectively. The city council has elected Kabeto Albe to be its speaker. Shimeles Abdisa, the head of the Oromia regional state, is directly responsible to the city government. The creation of the new city has not received approval from the regional council, Chafee. According to the DW Amharic report, the Mayor contends that the Oromia regional administration has the authority to organize itself without his or her consent.

For a long time, the towns of Sebeta, Burayu, Legetafo, Legedadi, Sululta, and Gelan were a part of the Finfine special zone in the Oromia region. Over 160,000 hectares make up the new city.  The source stated that the city intends to construct over a million homes over the following seven years.

According to Teshome Agugna, the Finfine special zone development plan for the Oromia region did not proceed as planned. It resulted in “illegal construction” and issues with the provision of government services. He claimed that Sheger City is a viable alternative to deal with the difficulties. The “Oromia region Finfine Special Zone” and the two town administrations, Sendafa and Chancho, are not included in the new arrangement. The former special zone arrangement was abolished by residents opposed to the new Sheger City arrangement. 

Why was the need for Sheger city?

The residents of the two cities are unhappy about the situation. They point out that in order to access government services, they must travel to zone-level administration.

Teshome Adugna commented on why the two towns weren’t included in Sheger City and claimed that it would be difficult to include the two towns because the new city is too large.

He is quoted as saying, “As things stand now, the city neither has the capacity nor the will to include the towns in Sheger City.”  But he added that it would be taken into account later.

Uncertainty regarding the new project

The citizens of Addis Abeba and other Ethiopians outside of the capital have expressed a great deal of skepticism toward the Sheger city. According to statements made by activists, many believe that the Prime Minister’s Party Power-based, the Prosperity Party Oromia, is using its position of authority to impose dominance and Oromization on the rest of Ethiopia.

According to government officials, it is improper to observe the creation of Sheger City outside of the circumstances surrounding those circumstances. According to Kabeto Albe, the region is portrayed as a matter of administrative effectiveness when it comes to addressing economic, social, and political issues.

Background

The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization claimed exclusive ownership rights over Addis Abeba City when the TPLF lost control of the federal government as a result of widespread protests across the nation and the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) emerged as a dominant force. The ODP later changed its name to Prosperity Party and rebranded itself as the ODP.

Ownership claim over Addis Abeba was reportedly shelved as ODP changed its name to Prosperity Party Oromia chapter and maintained control under the direction of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his colleague Shimeles Abdissa, who is currently president of the Oromia region.

Instead, maintaining tight control over the Addis Abeba City Administration became the main priority. First, Takele Uma currently the minister of mining was appointed mayor by PM Abiy. Takele was charged with altering the city’s demographics through the widespread distribution of condominium housing units and the issuance of city identification cards to people who don’t live in Addis Abeba.

Adanech Abebie, who Prime Minister Abiy later replaced him with, was portrayed as a moderate ethnic Oromo nationalist rather than a radical one, but Addis Abeba residents were unconvinced by this. Many of the issues under Takele Uma persisted, albeit in more subtle ways. Resistance was encountered during the most recent attempt to introduce the flag and anthem of the Oromia region in Addis Abeba’s schools. However, the city government was able to silence it by merely locking up a large number of students and teachers.

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