Safe Cycling

The absence of a cycling culture in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia can be attributed to the current infrastructure, behavior of private car drivers & taxis as well as the mountainous terrain. These complex issues were successively being addressed by the TUMI project.


Project Description

The TUMI pilot began with an approach that would have seen a tender and the direct installation of over 200 cycles within a Bike Sharing System. The TUMI Team as well as other int. partners saw the danger in that and guided the AATB (Addis Abeba Transport Bureau) to consider all aspects, especially safety, during the introduction of cycling. Therefore, AATB used the pilot to coordinate with and manage the multiple international partners, such as ITDP, NACTO and WRI to ensure that the city is ready for cycling during its introduction.   

Currently the city is planning a citywide roll-out of a holistic and coordinated cycling action. ​Thru the robust stakeholder coalition managed by the AATB, the importance of cycling in Addis has been solidified. The aspects such as design, infrastructure, police training, school level training and general sensitization of biking in Addis Abeba was to be addressed. TUMI’s direct funding supports a program to train the cycling trainers, construction of training grounds as well as supplying bikes.


Sep 2018: Kick-off meeting with AATB, WRI, ITDP, NACTO & Bloomberg Initiative, hosted by TUMI

Oct 2018: Preliminary study on pedestrian composition & cycling culture

Setup of an NMT Task Force; NMT Strategy launched by ITDP

2019: 1st Safe Cycling Workshop, NACTO-GDCI Practice, UN-Habitat Fund – PBS Feasibility study, TUMI TOT Training

Feb 2020: Jemo-Lebu Bike Corridor, launched by NACTO-GDCI

Mar 2020: TUMI Closing Event – Transfer of 60 bicycles to essential workers who needed them for safe mobility (Police, staff of city workers, etc.)

Project's Objective


The city of Addis Ababa planned a citywide roll-out of a holistic and coordinated cycling action to work toward a healthy, safe, and sustainable Addis Ababa for everyone.

Key Outputs

  • Training of Trainers Program (TOT) held, with more than 38 participants  
  • Design and support on construction of bicycle training grounds 
  • Procurement of 60 bicycles and accessories (used for TOT and interim bike lane) 
  • TUMI supported AATB by promoting to major national policy measures: lifting of import duties on bikes & introducing incentives (tax breaks, etc.) for local bike production 
  • TUMI also provided technical support to the NACTO GDCI led push to launch of a 3 km interim Bike corridor in a suburb of Addis Ababa 
  • All the work, led by the city of Addis Ababa, together with the international partners helped to support preparing streets and attitudes for the introduction of cycling 

Challenges and Learnings


AATB is an organization with a wide mandate in public transport matters for the city of Addis Ababa. They were foremost focused on the bus and mini-bus network for which AATB has the mandate within the city limits. Together with all international partners, convincing of the importance of Active Mobility took persistence and concerted efforts to demonstrate the benefits of such a change in mindset. It is clear that a pilot project is the easiest way to “prove” to the city’s decision-makers that change can work. 

The new reality of Covid-19 places even greater importance on the consideration of safe and affordable mobility, with cycling as one of the best options in the world today. 

Potentials for Scaling Up

The project has shown that the collaboration of different international partners, if well-coordinated, amplifies the expected results and outcomes. For instance, based on the work done in Addis Ababa, the TUMI partner WRI now works with the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport in creating a national „Non-Motorized Transport Strategy 2020-2029.“ 

The scaling of a similar TUMI Challenge Project should therefore focus on the deliberate stakeholder engagement of local and international actors in the respective city. 

Birhanu Woldeyohannes

TUMI Challenge Winner 2018

"We are not dealing with "Rocket Science", in many cases, it is about changing our daily mindset and behaviour by providing a reliable affordable and healthier alternative for all."

The Team

Frederic Tesfay

Project Manager

Mechanical Engineer who immediately went into project management within the field of construction; having worked two years in USA and a further five years for GIZ in Africa focused on project implementation. After developing a strong focus on monitoring and controlling, he successfully began managing projects in the field of technical education and capacity building in Asia.

Focus Areas: TUMI Data, TUMI Labs, TUMI E-Bus Mission

Supported by


Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) works around the world to design and implement high quality transport systems and policy solutions that make cities more livable, equitable, and sustainable. ITDP is a global nonprofit at the forefront of innovation, providing technical expertise to accelerate the growth of sustainable transport and urban development around the world. Through our transport projects, policy advocacy, and research publications, we work to reduce carbon emissions, enhance social inclusion, and improve the quality of life for people in cities.

ITDP Website


World Resources Institute

WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities helps create accessible, equitable, healthy and resilient urban areas for people, businesses and the environment to thrive. Together with partners, it enables more connected, compact and coordinated cities. The Center expands the transport and urban development expertise of the EMBARQ network to catalyze innovative solutions in other sectors, including water, buildings, land use and energy. It combines the research excellence of WRI with 15 years of on-the-ground impact through a network of more than 250 experts working from Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Mexico and Turkey to make cities around the world better places to live. More information

WRI Website


Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

GIZ provides services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. The diverse expertise of our federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German Government, European Union institutions, the United Nations and governments of other countries all benefiting from these services. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the main commissioning party, but GIZ also works with the private sector, fostering successful interaction between development policy and foreign trade.

GIZ Website


Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is headed by the Minister, Svenja Schulze, the Parliamentary State Secretaries, Dr. Bärbel Kofler and Niels Annen, and the State Secretary, Jochen Flasbarth. When Germany provides a developing country with a low-interest loan, when German experts advise the government of a partner country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) or when private German organisations carry out projects in developing countries, these are all approaches involving direct development cooperation between Germany and its partners. Besides engaging in such bilateral development cooperation activities, Germany is also involved in activities for the benefit of the developing countries at the international level.

BMZ Website