A long time climate activist, Amanuel Abera believes in greening urban transport with bicycles.

Amanuel Abera is a medical doctor with a specialization in Internal Medicine. He has been informally engaged in school environment clubs in his high school years, and remained involved in climate-related activities since his undergraduate years dating back to 2009. He trained with the Climate Reality Project in Johannesburg in 2014.

His own company, Emerald, engages in public education and research in issues related to health and environment. Bike infrastructure development and influencing policy makers are particularly high on Amanuel’s agenda. In December 2016 it organised a cycling event in Hawassa, Ethiopia, to promote cycling as a smart, environmental friendly and healthy means of transport. Hawassa used to be famous for its developed cycling culture, which unfortunately has significantly declined over the past decade. The event saw the participants form a chain of 250 bikes, with the vice mayor up front. It attracted lots of people out to the streets as the public pointed out to the vice mayor and other famous people who joined us in the chain. Amanuel and other volunteers addressed over 70,000 people and sent out key messages related to environment and health.

The City Administration and other linked government authorities provided resources to run the event, showing the commitment on the side of the decision makers. In fact, since 2016 Amanuel has been having a series of meetings with the Mayor of Hawassa to create enabling factors for cycling. Those meetings have helped get to a consensus that now is the right time to consider environment conservation as part of the city’s development agenda. The Mayor even established a committee to address these issues. Meanwhile, Amanuel and his team are working towards linking Hawassa with a Belgian city renown for cycling, to share experience in areas of green development and proper waste disposal.

Through the window of his sixth-floor consultation office in Addis Ababa, Amanuel takes pictures of the city as it undergoes wide scale renovation and development. There aren’t big industries yet but the air is getting polluted and the city is covered with fog. This is partly due to old model, low efficiency cars that can be seen everywhere in Addis. Using those pictures as evidence, Amanuel engages with officials from the Ministries of Transport and Environment to create awareness among the leadership on the impact of air pollution.

An African Climate Reality Leader from Ethiopia, Amanuel Abera is part of a dynamic group of world-changers shaping the conversation on climate in forums ranging from family dinners to international summits. Together they are building a 21st-century movement for solutions to tackle climate change and foster environmental sustainability in Africa and world-wide.