Circular Economy Initiative Tackling Pollution and Creating Jobs for Women and Youth Recognized in Addis Ababa

TechnoServe, a member of the LIWAY consortium, was recognized for its work to support recycling in Ethiopia’s capital city

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (November 18, 2022) – International nonprofit TechnoServe was recognized by the Addis Ababa City Administration for its work supporting recycling businesses in the Ethiopian capital. President Sahle-Work Zewde presented the Mayor’s Award of Recognition to TechnoServe Ethiopia Country Director Jonathan Griswold in a ceremony on November 6th.

The award recognizes work that TechnoServe has led as part of the Livelihoods Improvement for Women and Youth (LIWAY) initiative, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and implemented by a consortium of partners that also includes SNV, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children. The initiative aims to improve economic opportunities for women and young people in Ethiopia.

The recognition presented to TechnoServe comes after Addis Ababa won an international award at the C40 Mayors Summit for the city’s innovative approach to tackling solid waste. Like many cities around the globe, the Ethiopian capital has had to contend with pollution from plastic, paper, and other contaminants: the amount of solid waste generated by the city’s growing population is increasing by 5% every year, risking contamination of waterways and other environments.

Through the LIWAY program, TechnoServe is helping to address this challenge by forging a missing link in the recycling value chain: street-level collection. Previously, the city’s recycling firms lacked an efficient way of collecting their key inputs—waste paper and plastic—making it difficult for them to scale their operations and leaving waste uncollected or piling up at landfills.

In response, LIWAY has worked with the Addis Ababa Cleaning Management Agency and disadvantaged women and youth to start 117 waste-collection micro-enterprises, which gather solid waste from across the city and sell it to the larger recycling firms. To date, these micro-enterprises have removed more than 7,000 tons of paper from city streets, helping the entrepreneurs make $400,000 in sales to the recycling firms in 2021 alone. The micro-enterprises have also created new jobs and improved incomes for more than 2,200 people, a number TechnoServe hopes to double every year for the next two years.

“We are honored to receive this recognition for the work we are carrying out under LIWAY,” said Griswold. “As outlined in TechnoServe’s Regenerate 30 initiative, we believe that the best solutions improve the environment while improving the livelihoods of people living in poverty. We are thrilled to work with Sida and our other partners to scale this program.”

About TechnoServe

Founded in 1968, TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty for good. A non-profit organization working in 30 countries, we work with people to build a better future through regenerative farms, businesses, and markets that increase incomes. Our vision is a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.

More information at: Twitter: @TechnoServe | Facebook: @TechnoServe | LinkedIn: @TechnoServe