Our History

There is a grave need for the conservation of historical buildings in Ethiopia. The current surge of development has resulted in many historical buildings being demolished. In the capital city of Addis Ababa, an estimated one third of the listed historical buildings have been demolished. Despite an official registry of historical buildings and protection protocols, current urban planning and construction fails to conserve these irreplaceable part of Ethiopia’s heritage.

Heritage Watch has stepped forward as a group that provides oversight and fresh ideas for the preservation of urban history and culture. Not only are these places worth preserving for their social significance, they also hold untapped potential for creating economic opportunities for commerce, tourism and global cultural exchanges. The coalition of advocates across the public and private sectors are ideally positioned to promote opportunities to further invest in the future of Ethiopia, a country experiencing unprecedented growth and social change.

Established in 2018, we are a resource and extension center dedicated to helping recognize, protect and promote heritage buildings in the city of Addis Ababa, The Dire Dawa and Oromya regions. Heritage Watch establishes links to educate, advocate, strengthen and create synergy with relevant organizations. Through these actions, Heritage Watch is supporting the conservation of historical buildings, monuments and natural heritages.

For more information about HW activities and initiatives, see our current projects

Our Team

Heritage Watch is a non-profit association of diverse private citizens, residents of Ethiopia from all walks of life, with many nationalities and, professional backgrounds , varying hobbies with one common passion: we care about Addis Ababa’s heritage buildings, and cannot watch, one more building to be torn down.

Esther Antohin
Founder and Director

To try and fill a need on the scale of society is in my mind, a call of duty. After many years of being away from my natal home Ethiopia, my return brought directly in my path, this chance to do something that needed doing. . . Addis Ababa’s older buildings, many of which are irreplaceable heritage building, for my fresh eyes (I had been living abroad for over 37 years), became the eyesore that no matter what, I couldn’t get used to.

I became emboldened to get involved in trying to help save them by any means possible, when I began to notice the sweeping eradication of these buildings, which are forced to make room for the new high-rises – the hallmark of the ‘Newer, taller Addis Ababa! To be a member of Heritage Watch, a civil society Association that will try to speak for the muted history of this capital city, is a great opportunity to serve this worthy cause with unparalleled passion. Residents of Addis, who share our passion, please join us!

Solomon kifle
Visual Artist

Every time I go for walk ,I chose piazza ,and if I go for a regular photo walk again I prefer places which are bound by old buildings and atmosphere ,I am young and I love old, they say old is good, even the saying will never get old.
As a person born and raised in Addis, I have been and am still a witness for Addis being in a dramatic change, I don’t really have listed reasons why I have joined the team, but only because of the beauty and the power of the idea in it.
I am a visual artist graduated from the Alle School of fine art and design, using my skills I am dedicated to help the team in achieving all the plans. Together we can still keep what we have.