Grundfos opens a training lab in Ethiopia

To support the Ethiopian goal of improved water access and to help educate the young workforce, Grundfos is partnering with PlanBørnefonden to develop skills, create jobs and build a solid foundation for the future together.

About two million young people enter the labour market in Ethiopia every year, but a quarter of them are not able to find a job, primarily due to their lack of relevant skills. This creates a mismatch between the needs of companies, for example Grundfos, and the skills and qualifications in the workforce.

That is why Grundfos has partnered with PlanBørnefonden to empower the youth through skills development, vocational training, improved job readiness and job creation, focused on the needs in the water sector.

“Through our strategic partnership with PlanBørnefonden, we aim to train young Ethiopians in water services to help build the right skills locally, thereby supporting the goals of the Ethiopian and Danish Governments to create jobs,” says Anise Sacranie, Senior Partnership Development Manager, Safe Water Grundfos.

The first step is a new Grundfos driven training-lab in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Abba, however it is not a legal entity. The training lab located in the Ethiopian Water Technology Institute (EWTI) will serve as a base to conduct solar pump trainings and teach young people about sustainable water solutions.

“We are very proud to contribute to giving young people in Ethiopia opportunities so that they do not become an unemployment statistic. Our work with driving a training-lab and delivering training modules will help young Ethiopians expand their skillsets so they can install and maintain current and future water solutions,” says Anise


Training of trainers

To educate trainers and technicians in solar solutions, demo pump units have been built and sent out from our headquarters in Bjerringbro, Denmark, providing a hands-on learning experience and supporting the efficient and sustainable use of Ethiopia’s scarce water resources.

The units are very easy to operate and install, which will allow the trainers to teach future installers how to manage and operate this type of solution going forward.

“Last week we kicked off our first training for the Danida job creation project in collaboration with PlanBørnefonden. It was a good day and I believe the participants, even though this was the basic theory, did learn a lot of new concepts to reflect upon their students. The feedback has been very positive with eagerness to proceed with more training, and I am so glad to be working with this project,” says Blen Yirga, Senior Sales Engineer, SafeWater Grundfos.  

“The great part of this project is that it is a partnership where each partner contributes with what they do best and in the end, this leads to the upscaling of competences of individuals who would have very limited opportunities to develop their skills further,” says Anise.

Anne Smith Petersen, COO at PlanBørnefonden agrees:

"It's about giving young people a good start to adult life. If you go straight into long-term unemployment as a young person, you start a spiral of poverty that is really hard to get out of. This is particularly true for young women who, because of traditions and outdated gender norms, already have limited access to the labour market. We work every day to change this at PlanBørnefonden. That is why it is vital that we can join forces with a large global company like Grundfos contributing with expertise and know-how, she says."

The job creation project has been supported with 8 million DKK by Danida and is a part of the Danish government’s ambition to educate 10,000 skilled workers in Africa. The project in Ethiopia began in January 2021 and is expected to end in June 2023.

It is expected to ensure that approximately 1,600 youths (60% women) from disadvantaged communities acquire necessary and market-responsive skills and that approximately 80% of these take up employment or start their own business within the water and textile sector.


  • SafeWater is a strategic business unit in Grundfos working with humanitarian partners around the world. The aim is to transform underserved communities through commercially viable and sustainable smart water solutions and to reach 10 million people annually with safely managed drinking water by 2025.
  • PlanBørnefonden is a Danish part of Plan International and works long term in the world’s most fragile and vulnerable areas to ensure the rights of children and young people and create equal opportunities for everyone regardless of gender. Plan International is one of the world's largest and oldest children’s rights organizations.