EMNET - Empowering Women in Logistics Networks in Ethiopia


Dipl.-Wi.-Ing, MBA

Martin Harz-Vrátil

Research Associate


+49 30 314-77587

Building Hauptgebäude (H)
Room H 9106 A
Office hoursby appointment

Project content

Female Empowerment and Circular Economy

Project occasion

Ethiopia, a country with over 120 million inhabitants, has seen a sharp increase in the unemployment rates since 2019. Given this development, the logistics sector has risen as a key job creating sector in the second most populous country in Africa. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure a just transition in the logistics sector, from only economically efficient logistics structures towards ecologically meaningful and socially appropriate operations, while supporting the involvement of women in the sector. To achieve this change, logistics competences need to be further strengthened and future employees need to have access to advanced teaching and training, especially women. Thus, the project faces the challenge to empower women in logistics and make them more visible to facilitate their career development.

Furthermore, seeking economic growth and social equality is strongly linked with developing ecologically sustainable industrial practices and regulations. Logistics, as a cross-sectional discipline, can help overcome many of the current and future challenges. Especially through the implementation of circular economy logistics, organizations are enabled to develop and maintain sustainable solutions that help reduce the impact of human activities on the environment. In order to tackle this issue in the most appropriate matter, it is imperative to understand the requirements, challenges and opportunities of circular economy logistics in the region. While many of the current approaches to circular economy and logistics function in industrialized countries of global north, these are not completely applicable to Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan region. This project thus aims to contribute to filling the gap of research concerning circular economy logistics in Sub-Saharan African countries and, especially, Ethiopia.


Project approach

The project EMNET has two main goals: on one side, it aims at empowering and supporting female students at the AAU to obtain higher qualifications, enter the job market and acquire competencies to shape their own career consciously in male dominated environment. On the other side, the project expects to help closing the current research gap on the implementation of circular economy logistics in Sub-Sahara Africa, especially Ethiopia. Research on this topic is still in its infancy, especially considering the specific requirements, framework conditions, and expectations in the region.

This joint project of TUB and AAU therefore focuses on better preparing female students for upcoming requirements of the labor market and providing them with opportunities to get in touch with potential employers earlier. To achieve this, the project seeks to contribute to the following main fields of action:

  1. Design and Implementing a mentoring program for female students at the AAU with fireside chats and lectures
  2. Labor market-relevant offers with intercultural exchange and field trips
  3. Realize joint research projects on circular economy logistics in Ethiopia with co-working seminar and case studies
  4. Acquire expertise in development cooperation
  5. Establish a fruitful cooperation network between universities and companies

Achievements and Results

Kickoff Meeting EMNET Project

Project organization

Project sponsor

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) - German Academic Exchange Service - within the programme " Working together to create sustainable growth and jobs in Africa” within the special initiative “Decent Work for a Just Transition”


Project partners

University Partners:

  • Chair of Logistics, Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), Germany
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management Unit, School of Commerce, College of Business and Economics, Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia
  • College of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University (AAU), Ethiopia

Business Partners:

  • Initiative Women into Leadership e.V., Germany
  • Femtec GmbH, Germany
  • Femtec.Alumnae e.V., Germany
  • Bundesvereinigung Logistik e.V. (BVL), Germany
  • Kuehne Foundation (KS), Switzerland
  • Kubik, Ethiopia
  • Ethiopian Logistics and Supply Chain Management Professional Association (ELSA), Ethiopia
  • The Youth Print, Ethiopia
  • Kilitch Estro Biotech PLC, Ethiopia
  • Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), Uganda


Project duration

01st July 2023 –  31st December 2026