Italian Cooperation Mission to Djibouti

The Ambassador of Italy, Agostino Palese, and the Head of the AICS office in Addis Ababa, Isabella Lucaferri, recently concluded a mission to Djibouti.

Among the activities, they visited the maternal and child health unit of the Cheiko Hospital in Balbalà, one of the capital’s poorest and most populated areas. The Italian support to the Hospital of Balbalà dates back to 1985, when started the construction of a first maternal and child health center, then renovated in the following years. Today the Hospital, which has become a General Hospital, is equipped with a structure for emergencies, surgery, general medicine, and outpatient clinics.

The health center, thanks to the support of the Italian cooperation, has also been expanded through the construction and renovation of three blocks: Building A, which includes the department of pediatrics, internal medicine and cardiology recognized by the community of Djibouti for the quality of services; Building B, the department of infectious diseases and orthopedic and general surgery; and Building C consisting of pavilions under construction with Djibouti financing.

Thanks to a project supported by AICS and carried out with UNFPA aimed at improving the quality of health services offered in the Hospital, the unit has recently been equipped with modern neonatology equipment.
The initiative has allowed to improve the quality of maternal and child health services through the training of health personnel, especially those employed in the departments of pediatrics and gynecology, the provision of equipment and materials, the installation of software for the Hospital’s administrative and health management. This has made possible the enhancement of the Hospital services and strengthened the ability to respond to health emergencies.

Moreover, last December, AICS provided the Cheiko Hospital of Balbalà with personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19, masks, gloves, disinfectants.
The meeting with the Director of the Hospital has been beneficial to take stock of the results obtained so far and to understand the most urgent needs for the future.

During the mission, the head of the AICS office, also met the partners of the project “Strengthening of child protection systems in Djibouti with focus on migrant children” handed off to UNICEF aimed at increasing and strengthening child protection services.

The meeting highlighted the challenges and needs of vulnerable children living in Djibouti, who are often children on the move, migrants from Ethiopia or more remote areas of the country, and refugees. The project has a budget of 1,000,000 Euros entrusted to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
It aims to improve services for children, especially migrants, refugees, and children living on the streets.

Closing event of the HOPE project

On September 15, the closing event of the project “HOPE, promoting social cohesion in Ethiopia: Opportunities, Protection and Employment for Returnees, Minors and Potential Migrants” (11548/ETH/01) took place. The project is funded under the “Emergency Initiative to Fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation of Migrants and Support the Reintegration of Returnees.”

The project has been implemented by a consortium led by the International Committee for the Development of Peoples (CISP) composed of the following Italian civil society organizations (CSOs): CCM, CIFA, CIAI, CEFA in partnership with the local CSO Live-Addis in some of the key areas for migration flows in Ethiopia; a country of origin, destination, and transit of migrants.

The CSOs implemented activities to improve employment opportunities, promote vocational training and income-generating activities, strengthen psycho-social support for returning migrants and vulnerable groups, and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, the coordination among stakeholders involved in the migration phenomenon in Ethiopia was also promoted.

The final event of the project was attended by members of the consortium, implementing partners, local authorities, and beneficiaries, who shared positive comments on the results achieved. The meeting was rich with points of reflection about migration in Ethiopia and the high unemployment rate in the country.

Newborn Survival Project – Final results dissemination workshop

On the 16th and 17th of September, the final results dissemination workshop of the Newborn Survival Project took place.
The Newborn Survival Project: quality and innovation for an increased access to neonatal care in Ethiopia started in June 2018 and is coming to its end in September 2021.

The project’s overall objective has been to improve the quality and accessibility of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services (NICUs) in three hospitals: St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, St. Luke Catholic Hospital and College of Nursing and Midwifery in Wolisso, and Tulu Bolo General Hospital. The project then expanded to 15 kebele in 5 different woredas, actively involving the communities in awareness-raising activities on good newborn care practices.

The project aimed at reaching the following specific objectives:

• Improve clinical-organizational quality and use of the NICU services in the three selected hospitals;
• Increase the availability of quality health and technical personnel for the NICU of the three hospitals;
• Improve the availability of standard and evaluation tools for the quality of neonatal care.

Supported by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by the civil society organization (CSO) Doctors with Africa CUAMM in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), the Ethiopian Catholic Church – Social and Development Commission (ECCSDCO) and Oromia Regional Health Bureau, South West Shoa Zone Health (SWSZHD), the project also saw the involvement of technical partners namely: Ethiopian Paediatric Society – EPS responsible for the training and supervisions, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù (OPBG), Informatics without Borders (Informatici senza Frontiere – ISF) and Università degli Studi di Tor Vergata – Dipartimento Pediatrico Universitario-Ospedaliero (DPUO TV).

On the first day of the event, the project and particularly its achievements* were presented:

• Reduction in neonatal mortality in the 3 NICUs;
• More than 14,500 sick newborns were admitted in the NICU of the 3 hospitals;
• 3 NICU manuals and 1 NICU biomedical equipment manual produced;
• 53 nurses and 56 biomedical engineers trained;
• 26 health extension workers and 575 women development army trained;
• 1 digitalized information system for pathological infant developed;
• Construction of NICU building in St. Luke and rehabilitation of Tulu Bolo NICU;
• 158 community meetings and 51,652 women sensitized on newborn care;
• Continuous provision of NICSU equipment and drugs in the 3 hospitals.

On the second day of the event, visits to the Tulu Bolo and Wolisso structures were organized to see the interventions made during the three years.

The Director of AICS Office in Addis Ababa, Isabella Lucaferri, during her welcoming speech, pointed out the importance of the collaboration among the actors involved that made possible the activities progress, in addition, she added:

– “By sustaining the project AICS demonstrates once again its commitment towards the health sector, a priority area for us; along the years, the Italian development cooperation has been supporting numerous initiatives in order to contribute in bettering the Ethiopian Health Care System and making it more inclusive and accessible to all citizens.”

* Data Jun 2018-Jul 2021

Italy and Ethiopia signed the implementing agreements related to two projects concerning Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation in Ethiopia

In July, the Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia signed the implementing agreements related to two initiatives within the Ethio-Italian Cooperation Country Framework.

On the 1st of July, 2021, H.E. Arturo Luzzi, the Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia, and H.E. Yasmin Wohabrebbi, the State Minister of Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia, signed the agreement to implement the Programme “Entrepreneurship development and employment creation for women entrepreneurs – Focus on supporting women to enter or grow in the leather sector”.

With a budget of 1 Million Euros on grant, the project will be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MoUDC) through the Federal Urban Job Creation and Food Security Agency (FUJCFSA). The Programme aims to promote entrepreneurial development and employment opportunities for women in the leather sector enhancing entrepreneurial skills, strengthening market linkages, and networking opportunities.

On the 19th of July, H.E. Arturo Luzzi, the Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia, and H.E. Ahmed Shide, the Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, signed the Implementing Agreement on Building Labour Market Intermediation that supports Economic Transformation in Ethiopia.

With a grant of 4 Million Euros provided by the Government of Italy, the overall objective of the project is to improve labour market outcomes for the rural population in Ethiopia by building effective Public Employment Services. The project aims to establish pilot rural job centers in three regions of the country providing services to vulnerable job seekers.

The project is part of the Ethiopian government’s “National Job Creation Plan 2020-2025” established to respond to one of the national priorities – creating jobs for millions of young Ethiopians entering the workforce each year and reducing the national unemployment rate.
The Jobs Creation Commission (JCC) together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) will be in charge of the implementation of the project.

The agreements were also countersigned by the Head of the Italian Development Cooperation Agency’s (AICS) Office in Addis Ababa, Isabella Lucaferri.

The projects fall within one of the AICS priority areas in Ethiopia. In fact, job creation support, especially for youth and women, is one of the sectors where Italian cooperation invests the most in the Country. The Agency’s role is important throughout the different phases of the projects, providing support to the Ethiopian partners from the project design to the monitoring and evaluation.

Presentation of the Rural WASH project in Oromia

On Friday, August 13, the launching event of the Rural WASH project in Oromia took place.

The initiative aims to improve drinking water and sanitation access in 3 Woredas located in the South West Shewa Zone of the Oromia region, in Ethiopia.
The project’s main components are the construction and renovation of 20 rural aqueducts and the construction of 20 sanitation facilities in as many schools.
In addition, the project includes the training of local technicians to enable them to build small hydraulic infrastructures and the related maintenance.
Sustainability is, also in this case, one of the main objectives. For this reason, it is expected a reduction in the use of electricity from fossil fuels through the installation of photovoltaic panels and the development of new gravity schemes.

AICS has allocated 2 million euros to finance the project, directly granted to the Oromia region. The Agency has also allocated a fund of 200,000 euros to the civil society organization (CSO) COOPI that will provide technical assistance to regional technicians during the implementation of the activities.

The event, organized by the Bureau of Finance and Economic Cooperation of the Oromia Region (BOFEC), was attended by: the Oromia Water and Energy Resources Development Bureau (OWERDB), representatives of the Woredas and their WASH offices, financial offices, offices for social support and public hygiene and WASH experts from the CSO COOPI.
Local representatives enthusiastically welcomed the initiative and said they are ready to actively collaborate. The rural communities of South West Shewa enjoy particularly limited access to water resources. The AICS project “Rural WASH in Oromia” will significantly support these communities by ensuring access to drinking water and involving and training local technicians, ensuring the sustainability of the works.

Closing ceremony of the project “Improved access to sanitation and hygiene services in Addis Ababa”

On 6th December 2019 the closing ceremony of the project “Improved access to sanitation and hygiene services in Addis Ababa” was held in Addis Ababa. The project was financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented in six schools of the Sub-city Nefas Silk by the Italian NGOs Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP), Comitato Collaborazione Medica (CCM), and Centro Italiano Aiuti all’Infanzia (CIAI). The intervention of CISP, CCM and CIAI focused on the following expected outcomes:

  • CISP
    • Improving access to water. The project benefited from the collaboration of the Parents, Students and Teachers Associations – PSTA which were trained, and informed about the interdependence of health, hygiene and health, the importance of a balanced diet rich in fresh products (school gardens) and the sustainability of the activities carried out. The water- and sanitation-related activities were attended by well-trained groups of people from the PSTA, as well as by youth clubs thus contributing to raising the awareness and sense of ownership of the young people.
  • CCM
    • Improving environmental health and the personal hygiene practices of students and families, with a view to promoting sexual and reproductive health and menstrual hygiene and to broadening the knowledge and sharing information among teachers, students and community on these topics.
  • CIAI
    • Improving environmental health, personal hygiene practices of students and the nutrition condition at institutional level, in favor of students and families; as well as improving the functioning and management of school infrastructures.

Moreover, workshops on income generating activities such as the production of soaps and reusable pads were carried out and school gardens were set up within the scope of the project.

The project was run jointly with the Embassy of France in Ethiopia- Development Cooperation Office (AF-DCO) which contributed by building infrastructures such as toilets and showers and spaces used as canteens in selected schools, by involving Parents, Students and Teachers Associations – PSTA already present and active within the school administrations. The infrastructures were built by using recycled materials (tires and plastic bottles) following an innovative technique invented in France and already applied in Senegal and Morocco. Six students of vocational training colleges were involved in the realization of the infrastructures with the aim to teach state-of-the-art sustainable and innovative construction techniques to young students.

The best practices of the project will be replicated in ten schools of the Sub-city Nefas Silk-Lafto through an initiative financed by AICS and implemented by UNOPS. The initiative is currently in progress and aims to create sanitation and hygiene facilities applying sustainable construction techniques and involving six students of the vocational training colleges.

AICS Addis Ababa received an appreciation letter from the Ethiopian Ministry of Education for its support to the “Education Sector Development Program” (ESDP)

The Addis Ababa Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation has recently received an appreciation letter from the Ministry of Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for its extensive support to the “Education Sector Development Program” (ESDP).
ESDP is a multi-donor program aimed to provide access to quality and equitable education to all Ethiopian children. With a financial contribution totaling 28.5 MEUR, the Italian support focused around three main components, namely:

  • Institutional Capacity Building and Primary Education;
  • Upgrading of Secondary Schools to Junior Technical Vocational Education and Training College (TVETC);
  • Post Graduate Program of Addis Ababa and Haramaya University.

In the context of the Institutional Capacity Building and Primary Education, 45 experts from different departments of the Ethiopian Ministry of Education and of the regional Education Bureaus received Master-level trainings in Educational Policy and Planning from the College of Education of the Addis Ababa University. In addition, capacity building activities focusing on communications and procurement of office equipment were carried out in the Somali, Afar, Tigray and Oromia Regions of Ethiopia.
Thanks to the contribution from the Italian Government, four Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges (Tegbared and General Winget in Addis Ababa, Diredawa and Dessie W/ro Sehin) were supported through the realization of civil works (e.g. construction of new rooms, libraries, workshops and laboratories) and the procurement of equipment, books, laptops, as well as furniture within the scope of the TVET component of the Program. Moreover, the TVET college based in Diredawa has been renamed “Ethio-Italy TVET College”, due to the considerable support received by the Italian Government.
In the framework of the Post Graduate Program , the Italian contribution aimed to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Ethiopian Universities of Addis Ababa and Haramaya by covering its management costs, as well as by providing research grants, laboratories equipment, and teaching sessions by consortium of universities identified through international tenders. To date, the Italian Universities of Sassari, Naples “L’Orientale”, Padua, and Ferrara have worked closely with four departments of the Addis Ababa University, namely the Natural Sciences, Archeology and Heritage Management, Veterinary Medicine, Economics.
The Italian contribution was critical to achieve the results set in the ESDP plan and therefore to improving the education sector in Ethiopia.

AICS Addis Ababa at the 11th All-African Leather Fair

On 9-12 November 2019, the Addis Ababa Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation actively participated with a booth in the 11th All-African Leather Fair organized by the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA) and the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) in Addis Ababa, showcasing its work and commitment to further developing the leather sector in Ethiopia.

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) is currently funding two projects contributing to upgrade the Ethiopian leather industry with a special focus on leather footwear and handcrafted leather goods, as well as supporting the Ethiopian Government to meet the targets of creating favorable conditions for small and medium enterprises to network and strengthen market linkages with medium and large scale manufacturing industries.

  • Phase 2 of the Technical Assistance Project for the Up-Grading of the Ethiopian Leather and Leather Products Industry implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), partnering with the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI);
  • UNIDO Leather Clusters Empowerment in Addis Ababa – ULCE implemented by the Italian Civil Society Organization CVM – Comunità Volontari per il Mondo, jointly with the Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) and the Ethiopian Leather Industries Association (ELIA).

With one of the largest livestock population in Africa, Ethiopia’s leather industry is currently one of the leading manufacturing sectors in the Country and has a huge potential to create more job opportunities. In addition, Ethiopia’s hides & skins are internationally known for their natural qualities of clarity, flexibility, strength, thickness and compact texture.


Participation to the fifth Conference of African Ministries responsible for Civil Registration (CRVS – Civil Registration and Vital Statistics)

The fifth Conference of African Ministries responsible for Civil Registration (CRVS – Civil Registration and Vital Statistics) was held in Lusaka on October 14-18. The main objective of the Conference was to discuss possible ways to adopt a holistic, integrated and innovative approach for the accelerated improvement of civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS) and national identification management systems.

The conference was organised in two main sessions: (1) a three-day introductory meeting which brought together experts to exchange ideas and draw technical conclusions on the improvement of the civil registration system with the aim of identifying possible solutions and recommendations; (2) a two-day meeting of African ministries whereby the afore-mentioned recommendations were endorsed, and African governments reiterated their commitment to strengthening the CRVS and the importance of creating a working group on the link between CRVS and digital identity documents.

The participation of AICS Addis Ababa to the Conference contributed to an in-depth analysis of the theme and facilitated an exchange with other development partners with whom potential strategic partnership activities, especially on the vital event registration system in Ethiopia, were explored.



AICS Addis Ababa hosted the course “Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Cooperation Projects”

From 23rd to 27th September 2019 we hosted the course "Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Cooperation Projects" organized by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and ENEA, in collaboration with Human Foundation.

The course is one of the several workshops organized at the premises of AICS’ field offices with the aim of:

  • Setting up a platform for stakeholders working in the field of energy in the countries where the course is held;
  • Raising awareness of the most efficient technologies in the use of renewable sources and promoting their use;
  • Promoting the adoption of policies supporting the use of renewable energies; private sector investments in the production and distribution of energy; access to clean and renewable energies.

A session on the impact investing approach was held by Human Foundation with a view to promoting its adoption in the implementation of projects linked to renewable energies.

Furthermore, AICS Addis Ababa presented the project “Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihood” (DRSLP) implemented in the Afar Region. Four solar-powered mini grids will be shortly developed in the framework of the DRSLP project to supply power to the centres for the transformation and conservation of animal products value chain, thus guaranteeing income opportunities for the pastoral communities and financial viability of the solar panel plants.