Initiative Africa and Ministry of Peace Collaborate to Empower Youth

In partnership with the Ministry of Peace and with funding from the British Council, Initiative Africa recently concluded a transformative training program from February 1st to 5th, 2024. The program, part of the ongoing “Strengthening Ethiopia National Voluntary Youth Service Programme,” focused on enhancing the capacity of facilitators and coordinators.

Over the five-day training, participants engaged in comprehensive sessions aimed at equipping them with the latest tools and techniques to drive impactful change within their communities. Through interactive workshops and skill-building exercises, facilitators gained valuable insights into innovative approaches to equip youth development and community building.

The collaboration between Initiative Africa and the Ministry of Peace reflects a broader commitment to promoting peace, inclusivity, and sustainable development within Ethiopian society. By investing in the capacity-building of youth service facilitators and coordinators, the initiative aims to create positive change, contributing to a more peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.

Looking ahead, Initiative Africa seeks to further strengthen its partnerships to continue making meaningful strides in youth empowerment and community development in Ethiopia.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Signed Between the National Rehabilitation Commission and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association

On January 16, 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC) and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association (ECCSA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The signing was facilitated by Initiative Africa (IA) as part of its Business for Peace Project.

The Business for Peace Project , which has been implemented by IA for the past two year, seeks to integrate the private sector in the peacebuilding process of the country. This MoU represents an important step forward.

Ambassador Teshome Toga, representing the National Rehabilitation Commission, and Eng. Melaku Ezezew, representing the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, formalized the agreement during the signing ceremony.

The primary objective of this collaboration is to forge a united front in the rehabilitation and reintegration process, emphasizing the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) program. This MoU signifies a pivotal step towards fostering peace, stability, and sustainable development in the region.

To ensure the effective execution of the MoU, all participating parties have committed to establishing a dedicated technical committee. This committee will play a crucial role in supporting the seamless facilitation of the rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives outlined in the agreement.

The signing of this MoU not only reinforces the commitment to peacebuilding but also serves as a testament to the power of partnerships in addressing complex social challenges. The combined efforts of these organizations are expected to have a lasting impact on the lives of individuals affected by conflict, promoting stability and prosperity in the region.

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

The Process of Rebuilding Axum’s Airport has Begun

Recent reports have brought encouraging news, signaling the commencement of the official reconstruction process for Aksum Airport. This marks a significant milestone as the airport had previously lain in ruins due to the conflict with Tigray, which, in turn, had a detrimental impact on the country’s business sector. For quite some time, the process of restoring the airport had remained stagnant, but there is now tangible progress through the means of the Procurement of materials needed to repair Aksum Airport.

The regional maintenance process coordinator, Ato Tewolde Girmay, who is based at Ethiopian Airlines’ headquarters, has confirmed that the airline has begun the process of obtaining crucial materials for the maintenance of the airport. This significant development represents a major step forward in the efforts to restore critical infrastructure.

Initiative Africa has been an unwavering advocator for the reconstruction of the airport. In close collaboration with the Center for International Private Enterprises (CIPE), they recently organized a highly informative and engaging conference in Axum. The conference provided a platform for experts and stakeholders to explore various strategies for leveraging the airport’s revival to stimulate economic growth in the country. This collaborative effort has injected a fresh sense of urgency and purpose into the mission, and it has been instrumental in voicing the cause.

Regrettably, it is worth noting that the airport’s restoration will not be completed in time for the annual Zion Maryam holiday, which falls on the 21st of Hidar. This religious holiday holds significant importance in the Axum region and is widely celebrated, underscoring the need for continued efforts in revitalizing this essential infrastructure for the broader community.

Source: TIKVAH

A conference on Revitalizing Tourism in Axum

Happening Now!

October 2, 2023. A conference on Revitalizing Tourism in Axum is now being held at Ramhay Hotel in the Axum region. The conference is organized by Initiative Africa and CIPE in partnership with the Tigray Chamber, Axum Chamber, Tigray Tourism Bureau, and the Federal Ministry of Tourism.

The main objective of this conference is to address major issues that have been hindering the Tourism in Axum and revive its economy by strengthening a peaceful environment, restoring the heritage, and reconstruct Axum’s airport.

Axum Conference: Revitalizing Axum’s Tourism

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.

The Role of the Private Sector in the Upcoming National Dialogue

Initiative Africa and AACSA Organize Platform to Discuss Role of Private Sector in National Dialogue and Ethiopia Global Compact

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Initiative Africa and the Addis Ababa Chamber of Sectoral Associations (AACSA) organized a platform on August 1, 2023, to discuss the Role of the Private Sector in the upcoming National Dialogue and the Ethiopia Global Compact.

The event featured a panel discussion on the role of the private sector in the upcoming National Dialogue, led by Mrs. Asma Redi from the Ministry of Peace. Panelists included Dr. Abdeta Dribssa from the Center for Dialogue Research and Cooperation, Mr. Geressu Tufa from Initiative for Change, and Mr. Yohannes Woldegebriel from the Private Sector representing AACSA.

The discussion focused on how the private sector can contribute to the National Dialogue by sharing its expertise and resources, and by supporting the implementation of the dialogue’s recommendations.

The event also featured the launch of a digital resource center for the National Dialogue. The resource center, which was developed by Initiative Africa, provides information on the dialogue, its goals, and its process. It also includes a collection of resources on a variety of topics related to the dialogue, such as human rights, sustainable development, and good governance.

The Ethiopia Global Compact was also launched at the event. The Ethiopia Global Compact is a new initiative to promote responsible business practices in Ethiopia. The initiative is open to all businesses in Ethiopia, regardless of size or sector. By joining the Ethiopia Global Compact, 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 event was well-attended by representatives from the private sector, government, and civil society. The speakers and participants all agreed that the private sector has a critical role to play in the National Dialogue and in the development of Ethiopia.


One among the many programs Initiative Africa (IA) has been implementing under the Business for Peace Project which is supported by the Embassy of Sweden (SIDA), the Business for Peace Fellowship is designed to introduce business owners, business advisors, business aspirants, entrepreneurs and start-up owners, etc., to the various peacebuilding approaches and the analytical tools needed to understand, analyze and resolve conflicts. Offered in three cohorts, the Fellowship is deemed to be instrumental in allowing the business community to have a say in and foster local ownership of peacebuilding activities. It will also allow business owners to critically engage in peacebuilding processes with a clear understanding of the cycle of conflict and interventions designed at each state.

As part of this effort, IA organized a field trip to Mekele City, Tigray Region, Ethiopia from July 20th to 21st, 2023 for its current Business for Peace Fellows. The opening event was officially commemorated with a welcoming speech from Tigray Region Interim President H.E Mr. Getachew Reda at Axum Hotel, Mekele City under the theme “The role of the private sector in Post-Conflict Reconstruction”. This field trip facilitated the participation of the 22 (Twenty-Two) Business for Peace fellows who represent different sectors represented including banking, real estate, import-export, media houses, and representatives from Addis Ababa and Ethiopia chambers of commerce. The primary objective of the Mekele City Trip is to expose the private business sector to the current situation in Tigray and encourage their active involvement in the reconstruction process. In light of that the Economy and the Business Sector in Post Conflict Tigray were discussed by the Head of Tigray Regional State Interim-government Industry Bureau, Dr. Gebrehiwot and a reflection from the Tigray Regional State Chamber of Commerce President was presented on post-conflict reconstruction in Tigray regional state and the Role of the Private Sector.

Sharing the experience from the local civil society organization, a representative from the HAQI foundation discussed ‘Managing the trauma and psychological impact of the war’.

The Trip to Wiq`roo and IDP camps in Mekele; a first-hand experience of the effect of the war is believed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities in post-conflict Tigray. This understanding will enable them to make informed decisions regarding potential investments and initiatives aimed at supporting the region’s recovery.

Through engaging with regional leaders, witnessing the impact of the war firsthand, and gaining insights from Tigray officials, participants will be empowered to play a significant role in the region’s recovery. IA and the Tigray Chamber of Commerce will work together to ensure the successful execution of the program, leveraging their expertise and networks to facilitate meaningful engagements between the private sector and Tigray’s leaders.

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

Ethiopian Private Sector and National Rehabilitation and Reintegration Process

Initiative Africa’s Executive Director, Kebour Ghenna, Meets with Commissioner Teshome Toga to Promote Private Sector Engagement in the upcoming National Rehabilitation and Reintegration process. Initiative Africa (IA), a local organization dedicated to promoting peace and sustainable development in Ethiopia is delighted to announce a pivotal meeting between IA’s Executive Director, Kebour Ghenna, and Commissioner Teshome Toga, who headed the newly established the National Rehabilitation Commission of Ethiopia (NRCE).

Addressing the prevailing peace challenges in Ethiopia, Commissioner Toga wholeheartedly endorsed the Business for Peace initiative, acknowledging its timeliness and calling for robust support and active engagement from all stakeholders. “The Ethiopian private sector is an important actor in the work of the commission,” said Teshome Toga, Commissioner of the NRC. “The private sector needs to actively engage in peacebuilding and post-conflict construction work without a push from the government. The Business for Peace initiative is timely and needs to be supported and engaged as peace is an important issue for Ethiopia now.”

Building on this shared vision, IA and NRCE have jointly agreed to hold a high-level discussion forum by the end of this month. This forum will focus on exploring the private sector’s role in implementing the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) and, specifically, its contribution to the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) process. The platform will bring together regional chambers, associations, and prominent business owners in Ethiopia, creating an opportunity for open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collaborative action. Kebour Ghenna, Executive Director of Initiative Africa, said that the forum is an important opportunity to bring together the private sector and government to discuss how they can work together to build peace in Ethiopia. “We believe that the private sector has a critical role to play in peacebuilding,” said Kebour. “This forum is an opportunity for us to share our ideas and to work together to develop a plan for how the private sector can be more effectively engaged in peacebuilding efforts.

NRCE has been actively engaging with various stakeholders, including the international community, to mobilize funds and garner support. Operating independently, NRCE also collaborates with the Ministry of Peace (MoP) and a council of advisors, consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Skills, and the Ministry of Defense. This collaborative approach ensures a holistic and multifaceted response to the challenges of peacebuilding and national rehabilitation.

Underpinning these efforts, the Business for Peace project stands as a cornerstone initiative focused on mobilizing the business sector for sustainable peacebuilding. Supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), this three-year project aims to harness the transformative power of private enterprises in shaping peace, stability, and prosperity in Ethiopia.

Both IA and NRCE are committed to fostering a resilient and inclusive peacebuilding landscape in Ethiopia by actively engaging the private sector. This partnership signifies a significant milestone in strengthening the role of businesses in post-conflict development, reconstruction, and sustainable peace.

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

Exploring the Contribution of Businesses to sustainable peace in Ethiopia

A case study of the Role of Business in promoting social cohesion, economic development, and political stability in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Initiative Africa (IA) jointly commissioned an extensive study aimed at exploring the vital role played by businesses in fostering sustainable peace in Ethiopia. This groundbreaking research delves into the multifaceted contributions of businesses in promoting social cohesion, driving economic development, and establishing political stability throughout the past decade.

To kick-start this crucial investigation, a half-day methodology workshop was conducted. The workshop served as a platform for engaging discussions, brainstorming sessions, and knowledge exchange to capture the diverse ways in which businesses have actively participated in peace-building efforts. This research seeks to magnify their impact and uncover hidden narratives of success, highlighting both the challenges faced and the solutions implemented by businesses across various sectors.

The pioneering study also aims to provide valuable insights into how Ethiopian businesses have cumulatively contributed to social cohesion, economic development, and political stability. By showcasing these success stories and best practices, ISS and IA endeavor to inspire other companies and stakeholders to prioritize sustainable peace-building strategies within their operations.

The findings of this comprehensive research will be unveiled during a high-profile event scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa later this year. Business leaders, policymakers, diplomats, academics, and civil society representatives will gather to discuss the implications of the research, fostering cross-sector collaboration to further advance peace-building efforts.

The team at ISS and IA express their gratitude to all the participants, sponsors, and collaborators involved in this research endeavor.

For further information and press inquiries, please contact us with this email address or call +251-11-662-2640/41