Science cafés - Bringing back science and innovation around Ethiopia

July 6, 2022

UNDP Ethiopia and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology kicked off a series of exhibitions on Science and Innovation at the Adama Science Cafe this past Friday. The three-day event from 1 July – 3 July is a first of a series planned to inspire students and youth to get involved in science and innovation across the country.   

Through the Innovation for Development project, UNDP-Ethiopia and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, with support from KOICA, supported Science Cafés and youth centres. The cafes and centres are expected to leverage innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth, showcasing local innovations, meetings with mentors and role models and knowledge exchange through training and seminars.   

A three-day event in Adam was kicked off by the exhibition from high school and colleague students as well as seasoned inventors with innovative and experimental products. The students showcased their products that ranged from online learning systems to home alarm systems, and solar-powered ID systems.   

In addition to the exhibition, a two-day training focused on providing youth with digital literacy and also targeted science café managers across the country on how to engage the private sector and mobilize resources to create an engaging space for young people.


There were aspiring students like 12th grader Nafiyad Mekonen showcasing a car he built. Seeing the lack of vehicles in the small town he lives near Adma, he has been building bicycles, Bajaj’s and now a car that he rents out to the people in the city. The young students and even the older people were able to see his passion and how he has used his interest in science to build a car for himself and serve his community.   

The event also served as a platform to get visibility for entrepreneurs to connect with government officials from the city that can help them address some of the challenges they are having. The young participants were able to connect to the recently launched bureau, a special talent institute, and continue their exploration of science and innovation.   

Over 500 people took part over the three days, with schools visiting the centres as well as families and young students. Following the success of this event, there are two more planned in Bahir Dar and Hawassa to continue engaging and inspiring youth in science and innovation.