Initially, biogas use in Ethiopia, a country of over 73 million people, was under the collective cooking houses in Addis Ababa. Introduced in 1979, over 1000 plants had been constructed by 2008, with about 500 of them in use. Over 90% of all citizens rely on biomass fuel for cooking and lighting. And with 77% of agricultural families having cattle, many Ethiopians are eligible for biogas installation.
The standardized Sinidu fixed dome model is the most preferred plant in Ethiopia. As of May 2011, over 1140 plants had been constructed in 37 Woredas. Operating as the National Biogas Programme –Ethiopia, the programme is operational in four regions of Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray and SNNPRS. The programme has also trained over 1031 users on maintenance, 467 of them female.
Development of a special biogas stove that can bake Injera, a traditional flatbread national dish in Ethiopia made of teff flour, is ongoing and this has the capacity to generate an even greater interest in biogas technology.
Bio-slurry extension has about 90% of all plants with a slurry pit, with 85% having compost pits for organic manure. Use of bio-slurry has seen improved agricultural production and incomes in many regions, including from sale of excess slurry to other farmers. With 63% of all plants connected to the latrines, setting an enviable example to other programmes, sanitation and hygiene levels have continued to improve.