Improving the role of women in the Ethiopian coffee sector

Ethiopian coffee sector exports form one of the largest export components of that economy. In Ethiopia, 75% of coffee production is performed by women whereas only 43 per cent of the income is earned by those same women.

We improved the position of women in the Ethiopian coffee sector by building capacity among BSOs in the value chain. To achieve that, several challenges and cultural sensitivities had to be overcome.

In Ethiopia, two existing coffee associations (BSOs) dominated the sector. A third coffee association, the Ethiopian Women in Coffee Association (EWiCA), was yet to be formally recognised and registered within the highly political and male-dominated government of the time.

The goal was to support EWiCA to become a force in the Ethiopian coffee sector and strengthen its position to lobby for women growers and workers. And to elevate them to achieve greater recognition and international support.



2015 – 2019



Type of activity

  • Strategy Development


  • Lobbying.
  • Strategic workshops.
  • Training sessions.
  • Skills and service development.
  • Network strengthening.


  • EWiCA is formally recognized as a trade organisation.
  • EWiCA has become the most visible BSO for the coffee sector in Ethiopia and has linkages with senior government officials and even has the support of Ethiopia's 1st Lady.
  • EWiCA received significant support and funding from the international donors that have now become strategic network partners for the organisation and its members.
  • All 3 BSO’s developed an Export Marketing Plan.
  • EWiCA was duly accepted and recognised for their impact in Ethiopia.