24-hours for city-level solutions to climate change 

Do you want to take direct action on the local climate change challenges faced by Addis Ababa? 

Do you have a solution already, or do you want to work together with great minds to develop innovative solutions to these challenges?

Do you want to participate in a global event in which people around the world simultaneously work on climate solutions for their cities? 

Do you want to receive all kinds of support to put your idea into practice?

Join the Climathon, drive Climate action 

What is a Climathon?

The Climathon is a global 24-hour hackathon-style climate change event that will take place simultaneously in major cities around the world. It seeks to find solutions to climate change problems by ensuring great minds work together to develop innovative solutions to a pre-defined challenge.

Who is organizing this Climathon?

In Addis Ababa, this Climathon is being organized by the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (www.ethiopiacic.org), the incubation center supporting innovative entrepreneurs working on climate technologies.  https://climathon.climate-kic.org/cities/item/83-addisababacity2 

The global Climathon is an initiative of the Climate-KIC (www.climate-kic.org), the EU's main climate change innovation initiative.

When and where is the Climathon?

The Climathon will take place on the 28th of October 2016, starting at 10am and lasting 24hours (until 10am of the 29th of October). It will be hosted at the headquarters of the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center, centrally located in Addis Ababa.

What is the Challenge?

During this Climathon teams will be working on solutions for the following challenge:

How can local businesses contribute to more sustainable and climate smart urban waste management?

The effort for efficient waste management is pressured by rapid urbanization of Addis Ababa city. The pressure concerns waste collection, transportation and disposal. Primary collection from each household is conducted by micro and small enterprises and secondary collection is conducted by the Municipality. The observed challenges are, low service coverage (collection, recycling and reuse), poor quality service and improper selection of technologies.  Solutions developed at the Climathon must be implementable and preferably also create job opportunities and viable businesses. Potential solutions may include presentations, concept notes, pilot ideas or visualizations.

What is the reward?

Besides a fun and energetic day in which you will receive professional coaching to further develop your idea, the team(s) who come up with the most innovative and feasible solutions to address their city’s climate change problem, will get the opportunity to further develop their ideas in the months following the Climathon. They will be supported by experts to further their solutions and can access the ECIC work space.The Ethiopia Climate Innovation center (ECIC) will select the best team and relevant training will be organized for the winners.

How to participate?

You can register as a group or as an individual. Participation is open to both participants with existing ideas, as well as to participants that still need to develop potential solutions. Participants could be, but are not limited to, students, start-ups and (budding) entrepreneurs, big thinkers, technical experts or app developers.

Register and give us the required additional information no later than Friday the 30th of September through the website: https://climathon.climate-kic.org/join/steps/1

Let’s help Addis address its waste management challenges!

24 hours on the Road to Paris, working together to find solutions to the city’s challenges around water availability and quality.

The Climate-KIC Climathon is a global 24-hour hackathon series that was hosted simultaneously in 16 major cities around the world on the 18 June 2015. In Addis Ababa it run from 18 of June 10am EAT until 10am on the following day, and was organized by the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center in collaboration with the Source to Tap and Back Program and Hohete Tibeb Share Company in order to solve the city’s water management challenges.

The challenge

During Addis Ababa’s Climathon participants worked on the following challenge: how local business can contribute to more sustainable, climate-smart urban water management.

Climate change - in addition to the rapid urbanization - places pressure on the availability of water resources for Addis Ababa and the surrounding metropolitan region. The pressure concerns the catchment areas, the groundwater resources, but also the areas that source food to the city region. In addition, the quality of the water resources is affected by increasing waste streams.

Pitching to expert judges

The Addis Ababa Climathon had a total of 23 participants: 20 were physically present at the Climathon venue, 3 participated remotely. The latter are Ethiopian PhD students based in Wageningen, The Netherlands, who attended the workshops through Skype and kept in touch with the facilitators / mentors through online communication tools.

The ECIC organized workshops on water management problem of Addis Ababa, business model canvas and presentation skills to the participants during the 24 hours.

Five groups were formed, each working on a different solution either introduced by one of the participants or developed on the day itself.

The Climathon event culminated in the presentation of each group’s idea in front of a panel of judges which provided valuable feedback. The panel was comprised of different experts, including business experts and representatives of the Source to Tap and Back Program – directly involved with the water management challenges of Addis Ababa.

Criteria for selection included:

The extent to which it addressed the water availability and quality challenges faced by Addis Ababa.

The feasibility of the idea (the idea should be applicable to the real world, this includes the ability to either make money or attract funding to deliver the idea)

The opportunities the idea offered to create jobs and viable business

The level of innovativeness for the Ethiopian context, either regarding its input, process, or output.

The positive socio-economic and environmental impacts

The level of interest of the team in developing their idea further.

Solutions developed

Based on the selection criteria mentioned above, the judges have selected three teams that are continuing to stage 2. These are ranked as follows:

#1: WaT Green Business (WaT stands for Water and Tress)

WaT Green Business aims to enable Small and Medium Enterprises to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities. The idea has 3 main focus areas: 1. Upper Watershed Management; 2. Middle Watershed Management; and 3. Water Harvesting. In the upper watershed, WaT aims to rehabilitate the watershed by registering climate / carbon financing program and by setting up small and medium seedling producer enterprises. In the middle watershed it aims to involve farmers to change its farming system from seasonal crop to annual and perennial multipurpose crops. Also, WaT aims to collect collect rain water from roofs for non-domestic purposes.

#2: Environmentally friendly sanitary water supply for condominium housing projects in Addis Ababa

This group (based in Wageningen) has developed a sanitary water supply system for condominium housing projects in Addis Ababa. They aim to collect rain water in reservoirs that will only be used for flushing toilets. The small reservoir will be filed by collecting rain water from the gutters of the condominium buildings and also by directly harvesting the rain water in to the reservoir. Most importantly, a community friendly waste treatment and recycle site will be established to continuously keep the level of water in the reservoir constant.

#3: Teza

This group has developed a mobile application for students, environmental

advocates and community leaders to create awareness and help them contribute to urban and sanitation challenges. The idea is to increase awareness on Addis Ababa's water challenges and on the options for saving water, and - by doing so - reduce individual and household water use.

The other two (non-winning) teams are:

#4. Dewrain

Dewrain has developed an affordable, sustainable and scalable technology

to harvest water from dew and solve water shortage for Addis Ababa and

increase the city’s water reserves. The technology is simple to operate and maintain, can fit to several situations and infrastructures, and produces cheap and pure water, suitable for drinking.

#5. Integrated Rain Water Harvest and Waste Management Project

This team's idea is broad and contains elements of awareness creation, rain water harvesting technologies, urban solid waste management, and upstream and down stream water shed management.

The follow-up

Climate-KIC’s Climathon brings together cities and their citizens to actively solve a real local climate change challenge. The three winning teams will enter a coaching trajectory to further develop their idea into a viable solution for the cities. The best ideas from around the world will be selected and presented at COP21 in Paris.

Involved partners

Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center

The Climathon was organized and hosted by the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), Ethiopia’s first climate incubation center. The ECIC supports Ethiopian small and medium enterprises that are developing innovative solutions that address climate change challenges. It aims to accelerate the development, deployment and transfer of climate technologies by providing SMEs a set of holistic country-driven support services, including early-stage financing, business support and capacity building.

The ECIC organized the Climathon in collaboration with the Source to Tap and Back Program and Hohete Tibeb Share Company.

Source to Tap and Back Program

The Source to Tap and Back Program (S2TAB) aims to improve water and sanitation services in Addis Ababa by protecting its water resources and improving water the services offered by the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority. There are several partners involved in the program, including: MetaMeta, Dutch water boards, the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority, and the Oromiya Water, Mineral and Energy Bureau. During the Climathon the Source to Tap and Back Program facilitated the workshop and coaching related to Addis Ababa’s water management challenge.

Hohete Tibeb Share Company

Hohete Tibeb Share Company (HTSC) is devoted to providing quality education and value-enhancing related services to aims to develop and enhance the quality of life in our society through creating opportunities and disseminating of knowledge. For that it provides quality education and related services including: tailor-made corporate training courses and exam preparation, developing teaching materials, online examination practice, etc. HTSC facilitated the Climathon event.


Climate-KIC is the EU’s main climate change innovation initiative and the largest public-private partnership of its kind. Their aim is to bring down CO2 levels, adapt to climate change that’s already occurring and boost the low-carbon economy through innovation. The Climate-KIC educates the next generation of clean-tech change makers; runs the world’s largest climate change startup accelerator; and brings together partners on major mitigation and adaptation projects. They are the initiators and supporters the global Climathon event.

Addis Ababa and the Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy

Ethiopia is committed to building a climate-resilient green economy, comprising of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while safeguarding economic growth, and of taking adaptation initiatives to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Water is identified as one of the sectors most vulnerable to the hazards of climate change.

Currently, existing water supply sources for Addis Ababa are mainly from surface water. Several projects are planned to develop additional surface water sources to meet the short and medium term requirements for Addis Ababa. These include rehabilitation and expansion of existing water reservoirs and the construction of new ones. In addition, groundwater development has been given good emphasis in the government development strategies, as well as solid waste management issues that affect water quality.

More information?

Follow the ECIC on Twitter and Facebook or contact us to stay up to date with the latest news.

The Climathon forms part of Climate-KIC’s Journey to Paris campaign. It is run from June until December 2015, with the UN’s crucial COP21 climate change summit as destination. Every week for 28 weeks, Climate-KIC puts the spotlight on a different part of Europe. Join us and meet the people and initiatives who are building Europe’s low-carbon economy! Visit www.climate-kic.org/climathon.



Pictures can be found at:


As women are a central strategy of the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), the ECIC organized the Women Innovators of the Year Award - WIYA 2015 in recognition of the Global Entrepreneurs Week in Ethiopia.The event was organized with the objective of celebrating the efforts of Ethiopian innovative women entrepreneurs, stimulating innovation as well as entrepreneurship and raising awareness on climate change challenges.

WIYA 2015 was colorfully celebrated in the presence of representative of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Bank, the competitors, government and non-governmental organizations. Inspirational speeches and presentations on climate change and gender, the World Bank Support to the ECIC and women and innovative businesses were presented. Out of 25 women applicants the selected fourfinalists of the WIAY 2015 pitched about their innovative businesses.

The WIYA 2015 awards were categorized into the following categories.

  • First place winner in climate technology business idea. Award of $2,200
  • First place winner in non-climate technology business idea. Award of $2,200
  • Second place winner in any of the above categories. Award of $1,100

In addition, the WIYA judges recommended the ECIC that the third place business idea deserved to be recognized, thus, recognition was given to the third place winner.

The winners were:

  1. Tarikayehu Gebreslassie is the first place winner in climate technology business idea. Tarkiayehu works on production of bamboo vinegar solution- used as organic fertilizer, bamboo soap and water purifier from bamboo charcoal.
  2. Alemtsehai Greiling, the first place winner in non-climate technology business idea, is focused on manufacturing affordable and nutritious food production. She is currently producing breakfast cereals and cereal bars at her kitchen and on the process of establishing a nutritious food product processing plant in Addis Ababa.
  3. Blen Solomon, who is the second place winner showcased in this award her weaving machine that can be used by the disabled, the blind and other people.
  4. Rahel Heruy, was recognized as the third place winner as recommended by the judges. Her company produces natural herbal personal care products from sesame and herbs grown in Ethiopia. She grows herbs and spices on farms in Menagesha, Bahir Dar and Bonga.

Tarikayew Gebresillasie 1st place winner in climate technology business idea

Alemstehay Greling 1st place winner in non-climate technology business idea

Blen Solomon 2nd place winner in any of the above categories

Rahel Heruh 3rd place Winner in any of above categories

Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared working environment, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is also the social gathering of people who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with people who value working in the same place alongside each other.

Co-working spaces are new to Africa and more new entrepreneur startups are looking for more structured support, mentorship and seed funding to facilitate acceleration of their ventures – which is what business incubators are designed to do. Co-working spaces offer more flexibility than traditional business incubators, and may actually be a better environment for startups because it gives them what they really need.

Register to

Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC) launched two outreach centers each in Bahirdar and Hawassa during last couple of weeks at the presence of Professor Yosef Mamo, Hawassa University President, Dr.Tesfaye Shiferaw Vice President for Research and Community Services in Bahir Dar University, Dr. Araya Asfaw Executive Director to HOAREC, Ms. Welela Ketema World Bank Program Officer, Ms. Tehut Tesfaye CEO of ECIC, regional government representatives, non-governmental organizations, ECIC existing clients, potential clients, financial sector representatives, students, university staff and the media. Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), was launched in Bahirdar University on June 11, 2015 and Hawassa University June 18, 2015 to support pioneering clean technology entrepreneurs that address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods at the regional level. Both outreach centers were opened in collaboration with the respective universities.

The outreach centers are also the regional representation of ECIC to work closely with regional clients. The outreach centers are an important means for entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas with the support of center. The centers also provide opportunities for universities students, university staff and communities to involve themselves by engaging on green innovations and business.

On the opening remarks of the launch events Tehut Tesfaye ECIC, CEO reiterated that the purpose of launch ceremonies is to establish collaboration with partners, stakeholders, regional government, existing as well as potential clients and the media, so as to further the support to climate technology entrepreneurs and contribute to Ethiopia’s green economy.

On the other hand, Ms. Welela Ketema, the World Bank representative on her keynote speech said “The World Bank and Ethiopian government have had a strong relationship for some time especially during the past decade. The World Bank project portfolio shows that Ethiopia is the second largest recipient from Africa in terms of financial support and this because of Ethiopia’s positive project performance. During the last year alone, Ethiopia received from the World Bank more than 2 billion USD. Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center, as one of the projects under World Bank’s private sector development group is established with two objectives. The first one is to strengthen capacities of the private sector and the later to bring solution for climate change related issues. The importance of opening outreach centers is to promote and encourage indigenous knowledge at regional level for climate change related problems”.

Dr. Araya Asfaw on his speech said that much is expected from the ECIC to contribute to the government’s target for Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). The private sector working on climate related technologies will bring significant transformation for Ethiopia’s green economy.

Professor Yosef Mamo on his welcome speech articulated that “Working in partnership with ECIC will support university graduates to develop climate change related business. Linking university researchers with the ECIC and the Entrepreneurship Center will enable them to convert their researches into businesses”. On the other hand, Dr. Tesfaye from Bahirdar University said that integrating the University’s business incubation centers with the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center will help to promote and encourage green technology business among students and staff.

During the event presentation was made about the work of the ECIC and what has been achieved since the outreach centers were opened at the end of January. The outreach center work as described by the outreach center Coordinators revolved around setting up the center, identifying stakeholders, conducting stakeholder analysis, building partnership, identifying potential clients and work closely with government institutions to ensure ECIC regional representation.The launch event also showcased proof of concept (POC) grant winner ECIC clients (GM Clean Energy and Dan-Ant-Cide) and potential clients from each center (Mr. Bedelu Kifle and Ms. Tarkayehu G/Selassie) presented their works for the audience. After lunch, the event participants visited GM Clean Energy in Bahirdar and Dan-Ant-Cide in Hawassa. While GM Clean Energy produces efficient biogas stove for ‘enjera’ and composite ‘mitad’, Dan-Ant-Cide produces n atural pesticide for different types of crops.

During reflection by the audience, participants expressed that they had been inspired by the presentations. Many pledged to support the entrepreneurs.

The ECIC had expressed its commitment to provide access to regional support of entrepreneurs in different regions by opening two additional outreach centers each Adama and Mekelle in collaboration with the universities. The Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), which is currently being hosted by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre & Network, Addis Ababa University is an initiative supported by the World Bank’s InfoDev and funded by the United Kingdom’s UKaid and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.