Open access in Ethiopia

EIFL helps launch a national open access policy and publishing platform 

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Photo of Aklilu Dessalegn (Managing Editor, The Ethiopian Journal of Business and Economics, EJOL) and Solomon Mekonnen (EJOL, AAUL and EIFL-OA country coordinator).
Open Access publishing champions: Aklilu Dessalegn and Solomon Mekonnen Tekle at the launch of EJOL in 2013.


Addis Ababa University Libraries (AAUL) has been leading open access work in Ethiopia. In 2007, AAUL launched an institutional open access repository for theses and dissertations, to increase availability and visibility of and access to research by students at Addis Ababa University (AAU).

To raise awareness about open access in Ethiopia, EIFL organized a national workshop in 2008, in  partnership with the Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) and AAU.

As a result of our joint advocacy, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia adopted a national open access policy in June 2019.


  • Hosting meetings, workshops and training for researchers and students, research administrators and policy makers, as well as university presses and society publishers, to raise awareness about open access and open research data, and to improve awareness about open access publishing and the Open Journal Systems (OJS) publishing and journal management software.
  • Installing OJS and training journal editors to use it.
  • Advised Addis Ababa University on setting up a data repository.
  • Organizing a workshop for AAU at which participants drafted an institutional open access policy, which was shared with other universities, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, as a model.
  • Drafting, discussing and implementing a national open access policy.
  • Assisting in the development of a training programme on open science, that includes open access and research data management.


June 2008 - ongoing.


  • The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia (MOSHE) adopted a national open access policy (2019): The policy mandates open access to all published articles, theses, dissertations and data resulting from publicly-funded research conducted by staff and students at universities that are run by the Ministry - that is over 47 universities located across Ethiopia. [Read the blog by Dr Solomon Mekonnen Tekle, librarian at Addis Ababa University Library, and EIFL Open Access Coordinator in Ethiopia, celebrating the adoption of the policy, and including further details.]
  • An open access publishing platform has been set up: Ethiopian Journals Online (EJOL) publishes open access journals using OJS. EJOL currently (in 2023) hosts 34 open access journals. 
  • Awareness about open access and skills in open access publishing has been improved: Over 220 journal editors and publishers, researchers and students, research administrators and policy makers attended workshops and other events on open access publishing.
  • Support for journal editors and publishers was established: EJOL helps publishers set up journals; provides training for editorial staff; guarantees journals are backed up, provides technical support and maintenance, and provides guidance on copyright management. 
  • A model open access policy was developed: The model  policy is being used by universities to develop institutional policies. 
  • Four universities adopted open access policies: Addis Ababa University, Jimma University, Arba Minch University and Hawassa University have adopted open access policies.
  • National Digital Repository of Ethiopia (NADRE) was launched:  By 2020, 12 universities had set up repositories at the national platform, arranged by EthERNet (the Ethiopian Education and Research Network).
  • Addis Ababa University launched its data repository.
  • Three training modules on open science were developed: The modules include open access publication, research data management (RDM), and RDM for librarians and research managers. The modules have been used to train early career researchers, PhD students and librarians.
Adoption of open access policies will transform the academic landscape in Ethiopia!
Solomon Mekonnen Tekle, librarian, Addis Ababa University