By 2016

more than half of the libraries

in the program will have held activities to promote girls’ reading and participation.

In 2015

over 14,000

of more than 130 titles have been procured.

By 2016


will have been distributed to community libraries in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa with more than 33 million potential students under the age of 15. Through recent efforts, access to primary education has increased and the rate of children who have completed up to grade five has risen to 69.5% (UNESCO 2015).

However, a majority of children are still not completing a second cycle of education past grade five due to high repetition and drop-out (UNESCO). For those who are attending school, a UN study found that on average, there are 72 students per teacher (UNESCO). With such high numbers of potential students in Ethiopia, there is significant pressure on the education system to provide enough teachers, adequate training, and high quality learning resources to keep students motivated and in school.


An adaptation of Reading CODE, Reading Ethiopia is a comprehensive readership initiative that aims to improve the learning outcomes of children and youth in underserved communities of Ethiopia. Together with its long-time partner CODE-Ethiopia, CODE works to establish reading rooms and libraries in rural communities across the country.

As a library based program, Reading Ethiopia establishes vibrant community libraries staffed with Reading CODE certified librarians that carry out outreach activities with schools and communities to promote a culture of reading, and to ensure access to good quality, culturally relevant reading materials. CODE is currently working with 35 community libraries and are actively promoting reading in the surrounding schools.

Beyond Access

Beyond Access tablet trainingPromoting early grade reading through technology

From March 2016 to May 2017 CODE is engaged in a special partnership with Beyond Access, CODE-Ethiopia, the National Archive and Library Agency, and Ethiopia Reads to provide young readers and their families with an opportunity to have access to technology (tablets) through community libraries.

The lack of books, in local languages, is one of the main challenges facing Ethiopia’s schools. This program is using technology to develop e-books, reading apps, and games, which provides communities access to a variety of reading tools and materials to support the development of new skills and advance learning. With access to technology, these libraries in Ethiopia are able to fill a void in education that schools alone cannot address.

Through this partnership, 25 libraries in Ethiopia will benefit from modern resources and spaces for children and communities to pursue lifelong learning.


Map of Ethiopia, Africa

Country Stats

Capital: Addis Ababa

Population: 94.1 million

Area: 1,104,300 km2

GDP (per capita): $145.1 billion

Languages: The official language is Amharic, spoken by 29% of Ethiopians. A few of the other spoken languages include Oromo, Somali, Tigrigna, Sidamo, Wolaytta, and Gurage. 

Literacy Rate:  69.5%

Literacy Rate for Women: 67.8%

Literacy Rate for Men: 71.1%

Out-of-school Rate: 13.5% of school-aged children do not attend school. 

Where We Work: Harar, Oromia, Dire Dawa, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s, Amhara and Tigray regions.

Did you Know?

Since 1999, primary school enrollment in Ethiopia has more than doubled. Children in regions where local language instruction extends through to upper primary school performed better in grade 8 subject than pupils taught only in English.

Recent News and Stories

Back to school - every parent’s wishAug 31, 2016Parents around the world share a common and unwavering truth; a wish for what is best for their children. As schools open this month, parents in Liberia, as with all of our partner countries, will hope to see their children attend school. full article...
Celebrating the Winners of the 2015-16 Burt Award for African LiteratureApr 26, 2016The past few months have been busy for CODE’s partners in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. They each awarded talented local authors of English language literary works for young adults with CODE’s Burt Award for African Literature. full article...
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