ADDIS ABABA, March 31– A new World Bank–supported business hub, the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Centre (ECIC), has been launched in Addis Ababa to support pioneering clean technology enterprises which address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

The centre, the first of its kind in the country, will help more than 3.1 million Ethiopians increase their resilience to climate change and is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Ethiopia’s agriculture, which is highly sensitive to fluctuations in rainfall, represents the basis of the national economy. It accounts for approximately 46 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 80 per cent of the jobs of the working population.

According to a World Bank report.itled “Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change”, without a proper green growth strategy, the total climate adaptation costs for Ethiopia could range from 1.22 billion US dollars to 5.84 billion USD per year.

In order to reduce climate adaptation costs and create opportunities of growth, the Ethiopia CIC, which was inaugurated ast Friday, will provide financing, mentorship, and advisory services to the growing number of local clean-tech entrepreneurs working in agribusiness, energy efficiency, renewable energy and biofuels.

“This initiative supports key components of the Government of Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy,” says Guang Zhe Chen, the World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia.

“The CIC is a unique initiative which will help to unleash the growth potential of local entrepreneurs, while at the same time enabling them to come up with innovative business solutions to challenges related to climate change.

“By employing emerging clean technologies,- such as off-grid solar energy, green building design and agricultural waste to energy plants,- these entrepreneurs will continue helping Ethiopia adapt to climate change while creating jobs and improving the livelihoods of local citizens.”

By supporting local entrepreneurs and ensuring the transfer of modern technologies, the ECIC is expected to improve access to energy for 265,000 Ethiopians and increase agricultural efficiency for 120,000 farmers. Furthermore, the centre will promote Ethiopia’s climate resilience by mitigating almost one million tons of carbon dioxide and avoiding the loss of 31,000 acres of forest.

“Injera cooking accounts for about 90 per cent of all household energy consumption. I decided to develop an efficient biogas stove that drastically reduces fuel wood consumption,” said Getu Alemayehu, one of the innovative entrepreneurs supported by the centre.

“The ECIC is like a wake-up call for all small initiatives in Ethiopia: it stimulates us to keep on developing ourselves, to further improve our technologies, to establish a company; it calls us to be entrepreneurs.”

The Ethiopia CIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Programme (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of innovation centres across seven other countries.

The Ethiopia CIC is supported by the government of Norway, UKAid and the World Bank. It is managed by a consortium led by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre (HoAREC), a regional institution hosted by Addis Ababa University (AAU) and other public and private sector partners.


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