Category: News


The Next Generation of African Peace Leaders for a Sustainable Culture of Peace Donates 105k Birr to Aid IDP Women Affected by the Conflict in the Tigray Region

In response to the observed consequences of the recent conflict in the Tigray region, 18 fellows from the second cohort of The Next Generation of African Peace Leaders for a Sustainable Culture of Peace, formerly known as the Business of Peace fellowship, contributed a total of 105,000 birr towards aiding 21 internally displaced women in the Tigray region.

The Business for Peace project, which commenced in 2019, aims to involve the private sector in the peacebuilding process actively, fostering sustainable development. The recent donation represents a tangible step toward realizing this goal, demonstrating the program’s fellows’ commitment to positively impacting the communities affected by conflict.

The distribution of funds ensued following an extensive field visit to the Tigray region, providing the fellows with a firsthand encounter with the profound repercussions of the conflict on both individuals and businesses. Sileshi Yilma, a fellow and the current senior manager of marketing and branding at Dashen Bank, reflected on the transformative impact of the field trip, stating, “It helped me immensely to understand the situation on the ground firsthand in comparison to the reports on social and mainstream media.” Ashenafi Dawit, owner and shareholder of Gojo Coffee and a fellow, highlighted the motivating factors behind their philanthropic efforts, expressing, “Our visit to the IDP center and interactions with struggling pregnant women inspired us to extend a helping hand to women in need.” The core focus of this initiative centered on providing immediate relief to women who had been forcibly displaced as a consequence of the conflict.

Representing various areas within Tigray, the 21 beneficiaries received financial assistance as part of an initiative to address the immediate needs arising from the conflict. The money was provided in addition to their income to help give them a head start. The allocation was conducted in a manner consistent with the Business for Peace program’s broader goal of integrating the private sector into peacebuilding efforts to foster sustainable development. Members of the interim cabinet government together with the women and children governmental office oversaw the selection process.

This generous donation signifies more than just financial aid for the 21 women; it stands as a compelling illustration of how business leaders can emerge as catalysts for positive change in times of crisis. Sileshi humbly expressed, “I personally don’t believe that the donation was something to brag about. It was only the first step and similar initiatives will follow in Tigray and other affected areas.” This sentiment reflects a commitment to sustained action and underscores the understanding that this contribution serves as a starting point for broader, ongoing initiatives. Ashenafi affirmed this commitment, stating, “We, the fellows, are currently planning ways to continue our assistance to the IDPs,” emphasizing the collective dedication to making a lasting impact beyond this initial act of philanthropy.

The Business for Peace program continues to exemplify its commitment to integrating the private sector into peacebuilding, making tangible strides toward sustainable development and community resilience in conflict-affected regions like Tigray.


Initiative Africa, National Rehabilitation Commission, and Ethiopia Chamber Pave the Way for Collaborative Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reconciliation Initiatives

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – On November 2, 2023, a meeting was convened in Addis Ababa, bringing together the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC) and the Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) with Initiative Africa (IA) facilitating the relationship as part of its commitment to bringing the private sector into peacebuilding. This significant gathering marked a substantial step towards fostering collaborative efforts in the realm of Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reconciliation (DDR) in Ethiopia.

This development follows a successful workshop organized by IA in collaboration with ECCSA and NRC on August 11, 2023. The primary objective of the workshop was to provide a platform for open discussion, knowledge sharing, and the establishment of cooperative networks between the private sector, government bodies, and business associations. The event underscored the critical role that the private sector can play in the development of an effective DDR program, which is pivotal to sustainable peace-building and socio-economic development in a post-conflict society.

The meeting held on November 2, 2023, built upon the momentum generated during the August workshop. Representatives from the three organizations participated in constructive dialogues, exploring avenues for enhanced collaboration and the integration of resources and expertise to further the DDR initiative in Ethiopia. This cooperative spirit has laid the groundwork for the potential signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify the partnership and objectives.


Aksum Airport reconstruction project set to boost tourism and economy in Aksum

A major initiative aimed at revitalizing tourism and economic growth in the historic city of Aksum is on the horizon. Over the past two years, Initiative Africa has diligently executed its “Business for Peace and Development” project, generously funded by the Embassy of Sweden/Sida. The primary goal of this endeavor has been to foster the active involvement of the business community in the processes of peacebuilding.

As an integral part of this ambitious initiative, an upcoming conference focused on rejuvenating Aksum’s tourism sector is slated to coincide with the Ethiopian New Year. The event, aptly named “From Axum,” is a collaborative effort orchestrated by Initiative Africa, in partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprises (CIPE), the Tigray Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, and the Axum Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association. This conference is poised to serve as a pivotal platform for tourism sector stakeholders, experts, and enthusiasts to convene, deliberate strategies, and exchange knowledge.

A critical outcome of the assessment conducted to invigorate tourism in Aksum was the urgent reconstruction and reopening of Aksum Airport. The Ministry of Tourism has endorsed this recommendation wholeheartedly. Aksum Airport, renowned as Ethiopia’s oldest and historically the second-busiest airport, stands as a vital attraction within the city. However, its operations came to a halt in 2020 due to the conflict in the Tigray region and have remained suspended ever since.

The ramifications of restoring and reopening Aksum Airport extend far beyond the realm of aviation. The local economy is poised to experience a substantial upswing, as the airport’s resurgence promises to amplify connectivity and tourist footfall in the region. Nestled within Ethiopia’s Tigray region, Aksum Airport resides in the proximity of some of the nation’s most venerable historical landmarks, including the ancient city of Aksum itself.
The leadership at Initiative Africa perceives the revival of Aksum Airport as a pivotal turning point that not only impacts Ethiopia’s aviation sector but also casts ripples of transformation across the broader tourism industry. The airport’s reopening is projected to exert a profound influence on the country’s economic trajectory and usher in a new era of expansive tourism opportunities.

As preparations for the conference and subsequent airport reconstruction gain momentum, all eyes are fixed on Aksum, where the convergence of business, tourism, and peace-building efforts holds the promise of a brighter future. The successful realization of these endeavors could mark a historic chapter in Ethiopia’s journey toward sustainable growth and development.



Initiative Africa in collaboration with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Sectoral Association (AACSA) organized a pre-launch consultation to launch the Ethiopia Global Compact Program on August 1, 2023.

The Ethiopia Global Compact is open to all businesses in Ethiopia, regardless of size or sector. By joining the initiative, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to upholding the ten principles of the Global Compact, which cover areas such as human rights, labor standards, environmental sustainability, and anti-corruption.

The pre-launch consultation featured a presentation about the Global Compact Program followed by a discussion on the ten principles of the Global Compact Program and a presentation on sustainable development was also presented. The businesses discussed the purpose of the program, and who can own and lead it in addition about 40 plus businesses registered for membership in the Ethiopia Global Compact Program.

As a way forward The participants also agreed to form a committee that will lead the process of launching the Ethiopia Global Compact Program. The committee will be responsible for developing the program’s implementation plan, as well as for outreach and engagement with businesses.

For more information, please contact us at or call +251-11-662-2640/41