Bahir Dar, Ethiopia - UNESCO Learning City Awardee 2015
The inaugural UNESCO Learning City Award was presented to twelve cities across all UNESCO regions in 2015. All of these cities have made outstanding progress in piloting and implementing the Key Features of Learning Cities since the 1st International Conference on Learning Cities in 2013.
Bahir Dar was one of the twelve cities that was conferred the UNESCO Learning Cities Award 2015. Bahir Dar shares its key ideas of building a learning city in this interview series entitled, ‘12 Cities - 12 Perspectives’.
Bahir Dar’s development as a learning city is being spearheaded by Bahir Dar University, which has launched the Learning Community Programme. This programme, which is at a very early stage of development, aims to bring together the currently isolated and uncoordinated learning initiatives run by the city’s various organizations. It is hoped that becoming a learning city will help Bahir Dar to tackle some of its major challenges, which include poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, gender and socio-economic inequality, and a lack of environmental awareness. The Learning Community Programme’s current priorities include informing citizens about the learning city concept, encouraging stakeholders to become actively involved, and finding innovative ways of mobilizing resources to realize the learning city ideal in Bahir Dar.