May-June 2017 : an ethiopian delegation participates to a Tour in Sweden

Our partnership with SSDE and the future ethiopian eco-municipalities is making great strides this year !

From the 28th of May to the 5th of June, Sustainable Sweden welcomed an Ethiopian delegation from Arba Minch, one of the 14 cities participating in the Eco-municipality Program in Ethiopia, supervised by SSDE. The delegation was composed of 9 people, members of the Goma Gofa Zone, the Arba Minch Municipality and the Arba Minch University, three major actors in the sustainable development project in Arba Minch. This Tour was the occasion for them to observe longstanding eco-municipalities from Southern Sweden (Falkenberg, Gothenburg, Stockholm) and learn from their practices.

Read the entire story of the Tour here :

May-June 2017 Tour in Sweden

By the way, we are glad to announce that a Tour in Ethiopia is being prepared and should take place in the next few months. Stay tuned !

Annual SEKOM meeting and the American Eco-municipalities

On the 15th and 16th of March, the Swedish Association for Eco-municipalities (SEKOM) organized its yearly conference in Luleå, which several representatives from the Swedish Eco-municipalities attended to. This was a great occasion to present all the advances made by the municipalities, as well as expose their vision for the future of the movement.

Cindi Contie, from the Institute for Eco-municipality, Education and Assistance (IEMEA) was the guest of honour for this conference. She gave a presentation on the situation of the Eco-municipalities in the United States, called “American Eco-municipalities after the election : A Chance for Hope and Renewal”.

The whole presentation can be seen here.

March 2017 Tour in the Öresund region

From the 27th of February and the 4th of March 2017, Sustainable Sweden welcomed a delegation of 4 young ambassadors from Montreal, looking to learn about examples of sustainability and social innovation to bring back home and show on the occasion of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebration, which will be held in May this year. The Tour took the participants to the Öresund straight region, travelling both in Denmark (Copenhaguen, Kalundborg, Skibby) and Sweden (Helsingborg, Malmö).

Find more about the project 375Montreal :

March 2017 Tour in Sweden and Denmark

Upcoming Open Tour for 2017

Great news for 2017 ! The upcoming year marks the 25th anniversary of the Rio Summit on Environment and Development, and even if much has been made in the objective of creating a sustainable earth, there is still a lot of issues that need to be taken care of.

We are then starting to plan an open Sustainable Sweden Tour for spring or summer 2017. This time, we plan on making this tour accessible to any individual, or organization interested. Anyone interested in taking part in a SuS Tour is invited to contact us to get more detailed information.

Preparing a Sustainable Sweden Tour takes some time, as we have to contact sometimes hundreds of hosts and guests alike. Furthermore, we have to carefully establish a route across all the Eco-municipalities we intend to visit, and plan accommodation for our guests.

More information about the place and the dates will be available as we advance in our planning in the following months.

If you want to participate or have more information, you can write directly to Torbjörn Lahti at : torbjorn(at)

June 2016 Tour in Sweden

Between the 27th of May and the 6th of June, a delegation from Tigray, Ethiopia joined us for a Tour that took place in Stockholm and later Umeå. The participants got to meet with different organizations, companies, and this time even natural reserves, to learn from these examples. Several conferences were also held in order to assess the progress made within the Ethiopian Eco-municipalities´program.

For a fully detailed summary of the Tour, visit the page below. Otherwise you can find a list of all the Tours and a summary of each of them under the menu “About the Tours”

Summer 2016 Tour in Stockholm and Umeå

March 2016 : Workshop in Ethiopia with Sustainable Sweden Development Ethiopia (SSDE)

On the 2nd of March 2016, a workshop was held in Addis Ababa and Arba Minch (Ethiopia) by Sustainable Sweden Association (SSA) and Sustainable Sweden Development Ethiopia (SSDE). A total 26 participants from different organizations and parts of the country attended to this workshop which was dedicated to assessing SSDE’s work in 2015/2016. This meeting was especially important as it coincides with the second Growth and Transformation Plan that includes sustainable objectives and puts an emphasis on the development of rural areas.

Since the first workshop that was held in January 2015 to introduce SSDE’s work to the Ethiopian Eco-municipality network, more than a year had passed, and it was time to re-evaluate the work that had been done in Ethiopia.

The participants were representatives from :

Mr. Zemede Tefera, Head of the bureau of the Urban Development and Housing, gave a short presentation of the tasks that were expected from the participants. It was followed by a short speech by Adane Negash, who talked about the current state of SSDE and its actions, and determined which projects needed to be given priority. Kenneth Gyllenstig, coordinator of SEKOM then summed up the experiences of the swedish eco-municipalities, and what they coud share with Ethiopia. Finally, Torbjörn Lahti, chairman of SSAE concluded with a summary of the list of organizations that were taking part in the process.

During the question sessions, many issues were raised. Amongst these were questions about :

  • SSDE’s preparation to handle the project
  • Sources of financing
  • Compatibility with the Growth and Transformation Plan
  • Criteria to determine which cities will participate in the project
  • How will the network actors cooperate

It was then decided that an agreement would be signed upon agreeing on the details of the project. A steering committee was also to be established in order to conduct the project. It would include members from Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MUDHo), FTVET, Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MOE),Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT), and SSDE.


Other issues that were tackled during this workshop included the study tour that four selected Ethiopian municipalities are to do in Sweden. We discussed budget costs for the Tour, and criteria to determine which of the cities needed the most training.
The creation of a training centre in Mekelle supervised by Mr. Adane Negash was also agreed upon.

Sustainable Sweden Tour for Ethiopia

APRIL 2016

A new Sustainable Sweden Tour is planned for April 2016. It is a Study Tour and preparation for the upcoming ”Pilot Project for Ecomunicipalities in Ethiopia”, which is expected to start during 2016. The Tour is designed as a training program with a combination of theory and field studies. The participants will get a deeper understanding of sustainable development with a special focus on Ecomunicipalities. The host municipalities will be ecomunicipalities who will share their many years of experiences of how to strategically transform their communities in sustainable direction. The theoretical parts of the training will focus on the concept Ecomunicipality 5.0, which will be the frame work for the Ethiopian projects.

June 2015 Tour in Sweden

Following the decision of the Ethiopian Government to develop its second Growth and Development Plan, a delegation from the region of Tigray came to Umeå and Stockholm for a Sustainable Sweden Tour, where we got to visit companies, NGOs, municipalities and their diverse initiatives in various different fields of sustainability.

For a detailed account of this Tour, visit the page below. You can also find a list and summary of all the previous Tours under the menu “About The Tours”

June 2015 Tour in Sweden : delegation from Tigray, Ethiopia

January 2015 : Conference at Mekele Municipality and Mekele University (Ethiopia)

If you wish to know more about the conference, it has been documented by Mekelle University here

At the beginning of January 2015, Mekelle University in the region of Tigray, Ethiopia held a conference named “Eco-municipality in the region of Tigray” with the members of Sweden Sustainable Development Ethiopia (SSDE). and in collaboration with Tigrai Regional Health Bureau, Mekelle City Administration and Tigrai Bureau of Urban Development Trade and Industry. The goal was to talk about the Pilot Project for Eco-municipalities in Ethiopia, and in particular for the development of the Tigray region.

The theme of the conference was “Linking knowledge to Policy and Action for Sustainable Development and Waste Management”. During the conference several issues were addressed :

  • Explanation of the concept and history of Eco-municipality, and the contents that were to be implemented in Ethiopia.
  • We talked about Waste Management Practices in Mekelle and its implication for future strategy.
  • Current situation and challenges regarding the Waste Management System in Tigray
  • Green and open spaces in Mekelle.

As of 2015, 8 Municipalities and 5 Universities/Technical colleges were participating in the project. Together, they form the first network of Ethiopian Eco-municipalities.