Archive for June 2007

Celebrities, sun-seekers fuel Montenegro property boom

June 30, 2007

Celebrities and sun-seekers from the East and West are fuelling a property boom in Montenegro that has seen prices surge two-fold in the year since the tiny Balkan state won independence

Investment speculators led the influx, snapping up houses, apartments and plots of land wedged between Montenegro’s craggy mountains and its glimmering Adriatic coastline

But, with the speculators having moved on to Albania after arriving from Croatia, the buyers today are a mixture of foreigners — mainly Russians, Britons and Irish citizens – looking for a place in the sun
When my son decided to buy a flat in Montenegro, I didn’t even know where it was, but it sounded exotic,” said Margaret Hodgson, who moved with her husband to the Bay of Kotor last year from a town near York, in northeastern Britain
“So we came down to spend a week here, and decided to buy a flat too. Here in the bay it is fabulous. We like the people and the food is excellent,” said the tanned Englishwoman, beaming with a smile

Along with Budva, Kotor’s old city — which is listed as world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for its well-preserved medieval structures — is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Montenegro, situated in a secluded part of a gulf described by some as Europe’s southernmost fjord

Other major attractions include the iconic island of Sveti Stefan, which features luxurious stone houses whose guests have included film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Sylvester Stallone

In January, Sveti Stefan’s famed hotel was leased out for 30 years to Singapore’s Aman Resorts in a deal that also included two other Montenegrin beach resorts

Among the celebrities reportedly showing an interest in the former communist republic are the US actor Michael Douglas, ex-Formula One champion Michael Schumacher, the Williams tennis sisters and businessmen like U.S. property tycoon Donald Trump

Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who owns English football club Chelsea, has been buying up land along the Ulcinj riviera, further down the coast near the Albanian border, local residents said

The oil oligarch has focussed on Velika Plaza, a 13-kilometre-long (eight miles) stretch of beach where he reportedly wants to build a luxury tourist resort

Another project launched since Montenegro broke away from a union with Serbia in June 2006 following a historic independence referendum involves Canadian businessman Peter Munck

In October, Munck signed a deal with the government to buy a military shipyard and develop a stretch of coastline in Tivat, which has an airport that links the coast with European capitals

“The arrival of Canadian millionaire Peter Munck in Tivat caused prices to explode in this small town, where a square metre currently sells for between 2,000- 2,500 euros ($2,700-$3,300),” said Dragan Kascelan, a local property agent

That is part of a trend that has seen prices on Montenegro’s 200-kilometre (125-mile) coastline soar by up to 100 percent in a year, according to property agents

Although some local experts predict stagnation, a report this month by global real estate agents Colliers International said the growth “shows no sign of slowing down.” “Montenegro’s coastline has become one of the most potent property investment markets in the world, as our research shows,” said Jovan Jovanovic from the Serbian branch of Colliers

“Revenue from the sale of real estate in Montenegro has increased by 400 percent in just two years, according to official figures,” said Jovanovic

While the property boom has only made a slight impact on the Montenegrin economy, which posted growth of 4.5 percent in 2006, it is far more noticeable on the winding roads linking the capital Podgorica with the coast

Lorries loaded with bricks and other materials clog the route, along which an increasing number of warehouses have sprung up to provide a steady supply for new constructions

For the Hodgsons, there are no concerns however that the building boom might spiral out of control and harm the ambience of their new hometown

“We don’t want to see concrete buildings all the way around. Unlike in Budva, this area has a great harmony,” said Michael. “We do not think that the bay will get overdeveloped.”

Source: Serbianna

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World defense briefing

June 29, 2007

Deepwater budget gets flexibility not funds

The US Coast Guard (USCG) is to be allowed to shift funding in its federal accounts to hire additional staff to manage the USD24 billion Integrated Deepwater System contract, according to a source in the US Congress. However, that budget flexibility does not mean additional dollars for the beleaguered programme, which faces significant staffing and systems challenges

US Aegis BMD destroyer makes first warhead intercept
A separating ballistic missile ‘warhead’ has been intercepted outside the Earth’s atmosphere by a US Navy (USN) Arleigh Burke-class destroyer launching an SM-3 Block IA missile. The successful engagement by USS Decatur on 22 June is a first for a destroyer equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) combat system

Taiwan plans defence spending increase to cover purchase of P-3 Orions
The Republic of China (Taiwan) legislature has approved a 24.8 per cent rise in military spending to cover part of a long-delayed procurement package that includes P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Defence spending will increase to TWD295.8 billion (USD8.9 billion), with the defence allocation rising to 18 per cent of the national budget from 16 per cent last year
Commander Jens Walther: Head of the Royal Danish Navy’s MULTEX Training Range
Initially a lookout station during the First World War and a German coastal battery in the Second World War, Denmark’s -Naval Weapons School (NWS) was established in March 1953 and stretches 10 n miles into the southern Kattegat. Its major asset is a battery line equipped with SeaSparrow and Harpoon launchers, an Oto Melara 76 mm gun and 76 mm -Super Rapid gun, a Stinger launch pad, a decoy launch system and a machine gun firing range

China’s naval ambitions: Congressional report details major warship programmes

A report prepared for the US Congress by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has detailed the continued modern?isation of China’s armed forces, asser?ting that the Beijing government “is pursuing long-term, comprehensive transformation of its military forces to improve its capabilities for power projection, anti-access and area denial”. The annual unclassified document, entitled ‘Military Power of the People’s Republic of China 2007’, was released on 25 May
Navies endeavour to police the Mediterranean Sea
Criss-crossed by busy shipping lanes and kissing the shores of 21 culturally diverse littoral nations, the Mediterranean Sea’s 2.5 million km2 of water have become a crucial proving ground for NATO-led security initiatives. Members of the 26-nation alliance, along with its Mediterranean Dialogue and Partnership for Peace (PfP) affiliates, contribute political support as well as assets and int­elligence to Operation ‘Active Endeavour’ (OAE), which was set up by NATO as a direct response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001
Boarding party: pursuing pirates to the world’s end
When the Danish-flagged general cargo vessel MV Danica White steamed out of Dubai en route to Mombassa, it’s a fairly safe bet that the-International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB’s) statistics on global piracy were not the main topic of conversation among the ship’s five-strong crew. In its most recent security alert, the-organisation advised all civilian traffic not making port-calls in Somalia to steer well clear of the troubled country’s coastline – ideally at least 200 n miles away

Fulton report spares blame but pinpoints multiple failures
A report into the seizure of 15 Royal Navy (RN) sailors and marines by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy (IRGN) forces in the Northern Arabian Gulf (NAG) has identified a series of shortfalls in training, intelligence and communications as contributory factors in their abduction. It also suggests that the command misjudged the risks inherent in operating in such a complex environment
Clean sweep for Navantia in Australian warship deals
Australia has selected Spanish designs for its new generation of air warfare destroyers (AWDs) and landing helicopter docks (LHDs) in a unique double worth AUD11 billion (USD9 billion). The cabinet’s National Security Committee chose Navantia’s in-service 5,900-ton F100-class frigate against a scaled version of the US Navy’s Flight IIA Arleigh Burke-class destroyer offered by US company Gibbs and Cox
Dutch alliance attempts to preserve submarine industrial base
Dutch companies and institutes with expertise in developing and building submarines and associated systems have formed an alliance in an effort to preserve the country’s submarine industrial base. In an early initiative, the Dutch Underwater Knowledge Centre (DUKC)  – which includes Imtech Marine and Offshore, Thales Netherlands, TNO Defence Security and Safety, MARIN, Nevesbu and Bosch Rexroth Hydraudyne – is casting its eyes on a service-life extension programme for the Walrus-class submarines

Greek-Turkish Cypriots demand opening of crossing points

June 29, 2007

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot residents of Pyrgos Tyllirias and Limnitis villages, on the northwest of the island, have demanded the opening of a crossing point in the area to facilitate movement of people between Cyprus’ southern government-controlled areas and the northern Turkish occupied part of the island.

In their petition to the UN Special Representative in Cyprus, Michael Moller, the inhabitants stated that officials “have no right to deprive us of this basic human right.” They added that, “We the people of Tylliria welcome the construction of the checkpoint by the government of Cyprus and its readiness to allow the free movement of people. We demand that the Turkish Cypriot authorities respond to the call by ordinary people on both sides and make similar arrangements.”

They also noted that “for the first time people on both sides have a common dream, to move freely in their own country. Surely that’s not much to ask. What is a basic human right, for us is a dream.”

Mr. Andreas Karos, speaking on behalf of the Pyrgos-Limnitis residents, said that the people are prepared to welcome and celebrate the opening of the crossing points.

Furthermore, the Turkish Cypriot community leader of Limnitis underlined the wish of Turkish Cypriots to open the crossing points in order to have free movement, which the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots inhabitants of the region have been deprived of.

Several crossing points to and from the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus have been in operation in the past few years and there is also an increasing demand by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to open a crossing point at the end of Nicosia’s commercial street, Ledra Street, and another one near Limnitis. Up to now, the Turkish Cypriot side and specifically the Turkish military have been unwilling to make any move towards this goal.

Source: Cyprus Embassy in the USA

Worldwide military update

June 29, 2007

Iraqi 350ERs set to receive General Atomics suites, ground stations

New Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) Beechcraft King Air 350ER intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft are to be fitted with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) suites and associated ground stations, it has been awarded. The contract – announced on 11 June – revealed that the 350ER ISR aircraft will be fitted with GA-ASI AN/DPY-1 Lynx II synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indicators, L-3 WESCAM MX-15i electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera systems, Control of Lynx And Workstation (CLAW) software and high-bandwidth datalink systems

BONUS MkIII waits in the wings
An enhanced version of the BONUS 155 mm sensor-fuzed munition projectile is under development by Nexter Munitions and BAE Systems Bofors to meet new operational scenarios. The BONUS MkIII Laser is aimed at a wider set of targets and more restrictive rules of engagement than was the case when the BONUS requirement was originally raised
Turkey plans talks with KAI for KT-1 basic trainer aircraft
Turkey’s Undersecretariat for the Defence Industry (SSM), Ankara’;s civilian arms procurement agency, is set to begin contract talks with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) over the procurement of at least 36 KT-1 basic trainers. KAI is the only company left in the bidding process following the elimination of Embraer last week — which was bidding with its EMB-314 Super Tucano aircraft — following evaluation from a committee consisting of SSM and Turkish Air Force representatives
ASC chooses Hansen Yuncken to design RAN’s AWD shipyard
Australian shipbuilder ASC has awarded a AUD100 million (USD84 million) contract to Hansen Yuncken to design and construct the shipyard for the Royal Australian Navy’;s (RAN’s) new air warfare destroyers (AWDs). Under the contract, which was awarded on 27 June, final designs for the new shipyard are scheduled to be completed in September 2007, with construction to commence in October 2007 and be completed by October 2009

Value of Chinese companies soars following investment deal
Chinese defence companies listed on the country’;s stock exchanges have surged this week following an announcement on 22 June that foreign companies will be conditionally allowed to invest in firms producing military equipment. In making the announcement, Beijing’;s Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defence (COSTIND) said the move was designed to expand financial and technical support, boost innovation and improve the competitiveness of China’;s defence industry

US Congress votes to withhold FMF funds for Egypt
The Egyptian Navy’;s fast missile craft programme and other weapons purchases could be hampered by recent moves in the US Congress to pre-condition USD200 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to Egypt, US defence officials told Jane’;s on 26 June. On 22 June US Naval Sea Systems Command awarded USD41 million to VT Halter Marine, Inc, to modify the command-and-control systems on three vessels Egypt is purchasing from the US through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’;s (DSCA) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme
Brunei keeps up pledge with release of updated White Paper

Brunei has released an update to its 2004 Defence White Paper in line with its earlier pledge to review the policies outlined in this inaugural study every two to three years and report on progress of the ambitious force development plan it laid out. One locally based foreign diplomat previously described the White Paper, Brunei’s first, as an effort to “think comprehensively on force development and the strategic environment”

Russia, NATO hit stalemate over CFE treaty
The extraordinary conference of the signatories to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), held in Vienna on Russia’s initiative from 12 to 15 June, ended with no statement adopted, its participants having failed to reach a compromise. In their opening statements, both Russia and NATO underlined the importance of the CFE regime as a cornerstone of European stability and explained their “rather different” approaches to saving it

US pledges boost in military aid for Israel, threatens conditions for Egypt

US President George W Bush has pledged to increase military aid to Israel over the course of the next decade. Following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert 20 June, Bush stated that he is committed to reaching a new 10-year agreement that will give Israel the increased assistance it requires “to meet the new threats and challenges it faces”

China draws up industry reforms in bid to raise competitiveness
Beijing is set to introduce a series of defence industry reforms designed to expand financial and technical support, boost innovation and improve the competitiveness of China’s defence industry. A draft of the measures – which has already been approved by the Chinese State Council and is currently being written by Beijing legislators into a new policy – includes the conditional allowance of foreign and domestic companies to invest in Chinese firms, and the gradual adoption of boards of directors

Hungary employs K-1P automated fire-control system

The 12th Air Defence Missile Brigade of the Hungarian Air Force, headquartered in Gyor, is using the K-1P automated fire-control system to control its upgraded 2K12M2 Kub-M2 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems and its newly acquired Mistral short-range air-defence systems, writes Miroslav Gyurosi. Able to connect to NATO-standard automated and older legacy systems, the KP-1 is based on the earlier 9S44M K-1 Krab, but retains little more than the original wheeled vehicle
 

MANPADS used in RN Lynx attack

The Board of Inquiry into the loss of Royal Navy (RN) Lynx AH.7 XZ614 in Iraq on 6 May 2006 has concluded that the helicopter was shot down using a man-portable air defence system (MANPADS), writes Doug Richardson. The type of missile likely to have been used in the attack was identified, but no details were given in the unclassified section of the board’s report that was released to the public

Russia tests a new ICBM
Russia launched a new model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the Plesetsk test centre on 29 May, writes Doug Richardson. The missile was fired from a modified version of an existing transporter-erector-launcher (TEL), and the target was at the Kura test range at Kamchatka in the Far East

Tetraedr unveils EO sensors for SAM systems
 
Tetraedr displayed two new electro-optical (EO) devices intended to maintain the combat capabilities of surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems in the presence of heavy jamming at the MILEX-2007 exhibition held in Minsk, Belarus, on 22-25 May, writes Miroslav Gyurosi. One was a totally rebuilt version of the 9Sh33 Karat daylight TV camera used by the S-125 Pechora (SA-3 ‘Goa’); the other was a passive thermal imager
Source: Jane’s Defense Journal
 

SYRIA: Warning of looming crisis as Iraqi refugee influx continues

June 28, 2007

A joke circulating here has two Iraqis wandering the streets of the Syrian capital, angrily protesting the large number of Syrians taking over their city.

With up to 2,000 Iraqi refugees arriving each day, adding to the 1.5 million – equivalent to around 8 percent of the Syrian population – who have flooded into Syria since the start of the US-led war on Iraq in 2003, economists and refugee experts warn of a looming social and economic crisis.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi families are now living in and around Damascus pushing up demand for already limited goods and services. Observers warn pressures will soon become unbearable as Iraqis use up their savings and become more reliant on the Syrian welfare system.

“When the Iraqis first came, Syrians were happy to help them but now that is no longer the case,” said Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights (NOHR) which has monitored the effects of Iraqi refugees on Syria. “Now most people hate the refugees and are angry because food and houses are expensive and there is no work because Iraqis take the easy jobs.”
Inflation

According to government figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics, inflation will reach 8 percent in 2007, slightly down from 9.2 percent in 2006. However, with reliability of official figures on the economy a significant issue in Syria, some Damascus-based economists estimate the real figure for this year’s inflation could be as high as 30 percent.
The highest inflation has been felt in the real estate market, with the tens of thousands of extra Iraqi families buying and renting properties across Damascus and raising prices by up to 300 percent. A study by NOHR estimated that the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Damascus had risen from 8,000 Syrian pounds (US$160) in 2005 to 20,000 Syrian pounds (US$400) today.

In a country where an average state wage in the bloated public sector economy remains little more than $120, many Syrians are forced to do two jobs, and still struggle to pay rent.

“It’s a big, big problem for us,” said Rami, a middle class teacher from Damascus. “I want to buy a house but it’s become far too expensive for me. Since the Iraqis arrived house prices have gone crazy.”

The booming real estate market had raised cement prices to $200 a tonne by March, a 300 percent increase on three years ago, stunting the country’s building boom.

Increased demand for bread

Figures from the Syrian Consulting Bureau for Development and Investment (SCB), compiled from the state-run press, found that since the Iraqi influx began in early 2005 the demand for bread in Damascus – home to the majority of the refugees – has increased by 35 percent, electricity by 27 percent, water by 20 percent and kerosene by 17 percent.
Health, education services under strain

The state’s social services are under intense strain.

“They are increasing the claims on all of the subsidised services, particularly our education and health systems which Iraqis have free access to,” said economist Nabil Sukkar, head of the SCB.

There are an estimated 75,000 Iraqi children registered in Syrian schools, with many class sizes doubled to 60 students and schools working double shifts to cope.

Other than recent initiatives led by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to build three new schools and one hospital, there has been little infrastructure growth to meet the additional pressures.

“The added pressures the Iraqis are putting on the existing system are pushing it to its limits at the moment,” said Sybella Wilkes, UNHCR spokesperson in Damascus.

However, while many Syrians now blame Iraqis for their long-term economic difficulties and up to 20 percent unemployment, the economic burden of Iraqi refugees has not yet impacted dramatically on the basic economy.

“[The price of] essential goods, which are mainly foods, went up a bit late last year but has re-stabilised again,” said Damascus-based economist Jihad Yaziji. “So the inflation rate is not that indicative of how far the purchasing power of the average citizen has been reduced.”

Government subsidies

Many basic food goods, as well as electricity and transport, are subsidised by the government by up to 40 percent, meaning it is the state and not its population that is bearing the major burden of inflationary pressures.
Kerosene, for example, sells at a subsidised rate of seven Syrian pounds per litre ($0.14) but is bought by the government for around 30 Syrian pounds per litre ($0.60). With a 17 percent increase in consumption, “it is costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars per year,” said Yaziji.

Boost for growth
 

The effect of the refugees has not only been negative. The increase in demand for consumer goods and real estate spurred by the influx of Iraqis has boosted domestic consumption, contributing towards the increase in the government’s expected GDP growth to seven percent from 5.6 percent in 2006.

According to Sukkar, the Iraqis have “brought in money, invested in real estate, and opened shops, something that – on the positive side – has increased spending in the economy”.
Source: IRIN

Indonesia proposes solution to Kosovo row

June 28, 2007

Rather than directly supporting or rejecting independence for Kosovo, Indonesia has suggested the province be treated the same way as other ex-Yugoslavian territories in terms of independence and European Union membership (EU).

Speaking in front of lawmakers Monday, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said that both the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) should not rush into making a decision on Kosovo’s independence.

Instead, a time line for independence should be set to reduce sovereignty complications, in accordance with plans to grant EU membership to ex-Yugoslavian countries, including Serbia.

“Therefore, Serbia, Kosovo and other ex-Yugoslavian countries would all be under the EU umbrella.

“Instead of punishing Serbia for rejecting Kosovo’s independence by prolonging the time it takes for the nation to be granted EU membership, the grouping could provide an incentive to Serbia by promising a membership,” he said.

Hassan said he agreed in part with the EU’s argument Kosovo should be viewed as a special case. The EU has argued Kosovo’s independence would be a continuation of independence granted to other ex-Yugoslavian states and therefore could not be used as a precedent by other separatist movements demanding independence.

However, he said it was difficult for Indonesia to accept the disintegration of a sovereign state, with state sovereignty protected under the UN Charter.

“If the UN Security Council declares a part of a sovereign state an independent entity, it will set a dangerous precedent for developing countries facing separatism threats,” he said.

Many experts have argued that a UN Security Council decision to grant Kosovo independence would set a legal precedent that parts of sovereign states could become independent.

Indonesia is currently grappling with separatist movements in Aceh and Papua. It granted independence to Timor Leste in 1999.

The EU and the United States, based on a proposal from Finland’s former president Martti Ahttisaari, have openly supported a plan for the internationally supervised independence of Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia that has been UN-ran since the end of the 1998-1999 conflict.

Belgrade has won backing from traditional ally Moscow in its opposition to calls for Kosovo’s independence. Most Serbs consider the province the cradle of their nation’s history, culture and religion.

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent UN Security Council member, has rejected three Council resolutions based on an independence proposal presented by UN special envoy Ahtisaari in March.

Belgrade broke off diplomatic ties with Washington in 1999, at the start of a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia to halt a crackdown by Serb forces against Kosovo Albanians.

Diplomatic relations were re-established between the two sides in late 2000 after the ouster of late Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic and his autocratic regime.
Source: Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta PostJakarta Post

AFRICA: Urban population to double

June 27, 2007

The urban population of Africa will double from 294 million in 2000 to 742 million in 2030, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) stated on 27 June.

“In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas,” said Monique Rakotomalala, UNFPA representative to Ethiopia, at the launch of the annual State of the World Population 2007 Report in Addis Ababa. “By 2030 this number is expected to swell to almost five billion,” she said.

Eighty percent of the world’s population will live in the developing world in 2030, according to the report.

“If policy makers could reduce the intensity of population growth, they would have more time to address existing needs while preparing to deal with future increases in urban population,” Rakotomalala said. “The solution lies in reducing the rate of natural increase by improving the social conditions of the poor and advancing women’s rights.”

Tewodros Tigabu, programme manger of UN HABITAT in Ethiopia, said Ethiopia, one of the least urbanised countries in sub-Saharan Africa, was one of the fastest urbanising nations with 4.3 percent growth a year.

“By 2020, the level of urbanisation will reach 25 percent, which means that one out of four Ethiopians will be an urban dweller,” he said.

In Ethiopia, UNFPA pointed to migration, rather than the more common natural population increase, for the increased urban growth.

“This is an issue of some concern, in particular with regard to the most vulnerable segment of the population, girls and adolescents, who currently migrate in great numbers to urban centres from the countryside, escaping early marriage and in search of opportunity,” Rakotomalala said.

The theme of this year’s report is ‘Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth’. “Urbanisation, the increase in the urban share of total population, is inevitable, but it can also be positive,” Rakotomalala said. “No country in the industrial age has ever achieved significant economic growth without urbanisation.”
However, cities faced immediate concerns of poverty, housing, environment and administration. “Sharing three toilets and one shower with 250 households in a community is not at all unusual in cities of sub-Saharan Africa,” the report stated. “Conditions like these increase stress on all inhabitants, especially women, who are also subject to greater risks of gender-based violence.”
Poverty
The report revealed that more than half of the urban populations of Angola, Chad, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone and Zambia lived below the poverty line.

Tewodros said that in Ethiopia, poverty was increasing faster in urban areas than rural ones. He said that though the incidence of poverty dropped from 47 percent in 1995-1999 to 45 percent in 1999-2000 in rural areas, it increased from 33.3 percent to 37 percent in urban Ethiopia in the same period. He added that 40 percent of the urban population was living in extreme poverty.

According to the UNFPA report, the slum population of sub-Saharan Africa almost doubled in 15 years, reaching nearly 200 million in 2005.

“In sub-Saharan Africa, urbanisation has become virtually synonymous with slum growth; 72 percent of the region’s urban population lives under slum conditions, compared to 56 percent in South Asia,” the report stated.

Slum dwellers account for a billion people, of whom more than 90 percent are in the developing world. In Ethiopia, the majority of urban dwellers live in slums.
Source: IRIN & UNFPA