CODE-Ethiopia (CE)

  • Founded:

ALADIN member CODE Ethiopia

CODE-Ethiopia (CE) is a registered, non-profit non-governmental organization, established in 1994, working in the area of library development in rural areas of Ethiopia. CE has so far established 97 community libraries and trained more than 200 community librarians in Ethiopia, all connected in a library network. They have been increasing literacy in rural Ethiopian communities by establishing community libraries that draw schools, teachers, librarians and citizens together to achieve results. Its vision is to contribute to the creation of literate environments throughout Ethiopia, among both school-children and society more broadly. In the next five years its mission is to increase the rate of literacy and to establish additional community libraries in underserved areas.

CODE-Ethiopia´s success lies in the strength of community involvement, use, and value of its community libraries. Students, especially girls, who use CODE-Ethiopia´s libraries fare better at school and adults benefit from books on education, health, better farming, business and childcare. CODE-Ethiopia´s strong relationship with the Ministry of Education ensures that its work strengthens and supports national education goals. The NGO supports the entire culture of reading and writing, from the author through the publisher through the community library and the teacher to the reader. It develops authentic reading materials that take local culture into consideration, and has published hundreds of thousands of books, more than 500 unique titles in six national languages.

CODE-Ethiopia has established 97 community libraries spread across the country, each containing some 5000 books, and together servicing more than 700 academic institutions at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. It has established additional 15 community libraries under its 2012-2016 project period.

They work with stakeholders in seven regions. Its financial and material support comes from Canadian Organization for Development through Education (CODE) with the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).

Countries served: 
Library staff total: 
Parent organisation: 
CODE Canada


Books and documents: 

about 388.000 (about 5000 in each community library)

Services and Special Activites

Information Services Provided: 

Reference services and acquisitions lists.

CODE-Ethiopia implements programs in key areas:

  1. Free distribution of donated, purchased and published books.
  2. Establishment of community libraries.
  3. Capacity development.
  4. Development of supplementary books for primary levels in local languages.
  5. Literary contest under the Burt Award for African Literature.
Publications Produced: 

CODE-Ethiopia publishes books and magazines in local languages to satisfy the needs of its readers. Local stories and articles are printed at seven educational newsletter production centers and are distributed to community libraries and adjacent schools. To share experiences and innovative activities implemented in some of the community libraries, CODE-Ethiopia furthermore publishes and distributes a semi-annual magazine called "Sutafe".

Special Activities: 

Family literacy and librarian training materials can be found on https://codelibraries.wordpress.com and https://codeethiopiadigitalbooks.wordpress.com
Every year a "Reading week" is observed in all the community libraries for using the resources and to encourage sustainable support to the libraries. This is a promotional activity that already has helped to sustain the community libraries as hubs to local development.


Currently CODE-Ethiopia has also devised a system to use lead librarians drawn fro each region to facilitate the network of community libraries in their respective regions and beyond.

Other Material

Challenges and Obstacles in Carrying out the Work: 

Currently there is not sufficient online access to materials. Once online access is established it will be easier to share documents and other materials for the common use of the members.

Contact Information

P.O. Box 9443
Addis Ababa

Tel.: 251-115-153-166
Fax.: 251-115-510-381
Contact language: Amharic, English

Contact Person

Mr. Alemu Abebe

Head Person

Mr. Yalew Zeleke

Type of parent organisation


Area of specialization

Adult education
Basic education
Community development
Family education
Life skills
Lifelong learning

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