Skateboards build communities in Ethiopia

Ethiopia Skate is an initiative that uses skateboarding to help youth make connections in Addis Ababa.

50 years after the explosion of skateboard culture in Los Angeles, Addis Ababa’s skate culture is just beginning. Ethiopia Skate, an initiative that was set up with the intention of using skateboarding to create community and bring together young people from all different backgrounds.

Young Ethiopian Abenezer Temesgen started skating in 2011 and by 2013 he had taught 25 kids how to ride a board as well, using only seven boards between then. He says that skateboarding builds confidence, encourages individual creativity and builds strong communities. The young people involved with the initiative have access to the skateboard equipment and facilities for free. Since it began, Ethiopia Skate has distributed over 100 boards to young skaters in Addis Ababa and nearby cities. 

As well as building strong local communities, Ethiopia Skate has been bringing over skateboarders from overseas and linking them up with Ethiopian kids.