Africa is in a state of rapid urbanization but this has resulted in a number of environmental problems. Urban green spaces could help solve urban environmental problems. However, the green spaces of Sub-Saharan Africa are confronted with lots of challenges that could affect the provision of ecosystem services. By taking Addis Ababa as a case, the challenges to and the opportunities for urban green space development and management are documented using interview, questioner, focus group discussion and site visit. The challenges are related to perspectives of planning, legal framework, implementation mechanisms. The spatial distribution of urban green space was mapped using recently taken high resolution satellite imagery. Between 2006 and 2016 built up area increased by 36%, green space decreased by 32% and bareland increased by 32%. The decrease in green space is mostly due to the conversion of agricultural land into residential and industrial land use. The recorded woody species composition of the different green space types showed that indigenous species are more dominant than exotics. Finally recommendations are provided that could improve the planning, development and management of urban green spaces in Africa.
Key Words: Addis Ababa, Ecosystem Services, Green Space, Urbanization