Manufacturing investment boom in Mekelle signaling environmental concerns
I had the pleasure of travelling to Mekelle, the seat of the Tigray Regional State, last week and the Southern Zone of the region on a five-day fieldwork assignment. Before landing at Ras Alula Aba Nega Airport, I glanced down at the northern star only to get astonished by its rapid expansion: its tall buildings, large industrial estates, and large construction of residential buildings.
I received a humble welcome from one of the taxi drivers and got a ride to my hotel. No less was I impressed seeding on my way to Pepsi Factory a large billboard reading, “Welcome to the City of Knowledge”. A great branding, I said to myself.
Although, I was there ten years ago and had information about the city’s fast growth, I was little prepared for such development in all aspects in just a decade.
Right after the demise of Derg, Tigray gave priority for environmental rehabilitation and agricultural development, expansion of education and health facilities. Now, after 25 years, the region has over a million of educated, relatively well-fed and healthy youth. The region has four big public universities with over 100 faculties and departments that are sprawled over different campuses located in the main towns of the region. The cornerstone of the fifth and international university, i.e., the Pan-African University was laid last week. These together with 12other private university-colleges as well as hundreds of technical schools and training centers have tremendously improve