To Make A Micro-Finance Map Of The City of Addis Ababa.

By Renske Duns, GMA Manager & Data Collector.

Our activities in Ethiopia are mainly focused on the mapping of financial institutions. This will create an image of the uneven distribution to financial access among the population, to help inform Leaders at every level.

Our team under leadership of Rupert Douglas-Bate consisted of Semhar Adeway, Fabio Facoetti and myself Renske Duns. We also worked closely with Ethiopian students who helped us collect data, including Esset, Binyamin and Zinawi. And we were kindly advised & assisted by the University of Addis Ababa, Geography Department.

Core Team


Our great contributor as person and GIS man, Fabio Facoetti, passed away in April 2013 in Addis Ababa. His spirit stays alive forever, also here on the websites of and We love you Fabio.

Our first and successfully project in Addis Ababa has been the mapping of Micro-Finance Institutions. Data collection is the basis and most important step towards the creation of a map. Since (accurate) data is lacking among most sectors in Ethiopia good data collection is of big necessity.

Together with Semhar Musael, I collected data about the amount and distribution of each Micro Finance Institution (MFI) in Addis Ababa. Every MFI was carefully located through GPS coordinates, by using GPS systems and the data carefully collated and stored.

MFI’s, approximately 20-40, are spread throughout the city and often not clearly situated or signed. Therefore, every day a maximum of two institutions could be visited as walking or public transport cost time and effort.

In advance when possible appointments were made with the MFI’s so they would know about our visit and goal of the project. However, arriving at the MFI, a challenge was to meet the right person and secondly to get the correct data. Often data was not available or not existing on the right administrative level. We needed data on the newest administrative level, called Woreda, in which Addis Ababa is separated. We made some strong relationships with these MFI’s which will be helpful for when MapGap maps all of Ethiopia with a vibrant young Ethiopian team. We also related well to the Association of Ethiopian Micro Finance Institutes.

By repeating visits to MFI’s, investment and effort in phone calls and meeting, we managed to collect a fair amount of data to create different maps. Ethiopia is an interesting context and we believe we captured almost all the data we were looking for. There were set-backs along the way and we “lost time” on three occasions, but our team pressed on to the end and succeeded to make the maps.




In summary, data collection is VITAL for mapping. Good data IN equals Good maps OUT. I believe that although Global MapAid is a young NGO, we are good at data collection & mapping and we have learned a lot about Ethiopian conditions.

Maps Made by Global MapAid as Part of MapGap Project

Larger copies of the maps are at the home page of together with an explanation.