New Climate Innovation Center in Ethiopia Transforms Challenges into Business Opportunities

December 2, 2013

Addis Ababa, December 2, 2013 — Ethiopia is set to reap the rewards of a new initiative to help local businesses develop and deploy climate friendly technologies that will create thousands of new green jobs. The new Climate Innovation Center (CIC) in Ethiopia was announced today through the support of a US$ 5 million grant agreement, signed between the World Bank and the Addis Ababa University.

The grant agreement was signed by Mr. Guang Z.Chen, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia and Dr. Admassu Tsegaye, President of the Addis Ababa University, in the presence of invited guests, the university community, donors and the media.

The Ethiopia CIC, spearheaded by infoDev, a global innovation program of the World Bank, will accelerate the use of emerging technologies in locally owned and developed solutions to climate change.  The center, which is supported by the government of Norway, UKAid and the World Bank, will provide financing as well as mentorship and advisory services to a growing number of local climate innovators and entrepreneurs. Through its support to local entrepreneurs, the center will propel innovative solutions to climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods.  It is expected to support up to 20 sustainable climate technology ventures in its first year, and more than two hundred over the next ten years leading to up to  12,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The Ethiopia CIC, which will be inaugurated in the first quarter of 2014, will be established through a consortium led by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center (HoAREC) -- a regional institution hosted by Addis Ababa University (AAU), Meta Meta, Climate Science Center and Maxwell Stamp.  The CIC will collaborate closely with the government of Ethiopia to align priorities according to the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy.

In anticipation of the launch, the CIC is currently running a Proof of Concept competition. The competition is designed to build a pipeline of entrepreneurs and startup businesses that will be supported by the center once it becomes operational. 

The Ethiopia CIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP) which is establishing a network of CICs to help countries benefit from more pro-active participation in the ongoing global clean technology revolution, leading to economic gain and job creation, while reducing emissions. The first CIC was opened in Kenya in September 2012, and has already supported over 70 local innovative clean tech ventures. Other CICs are being established in Vietnam, the Caribbean, India, Morocco, South Africa and Ghana. 

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Angela Bekkers
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