We give new life to
your office paper and
carton waste


was established to…

Build a sustainable circular economy for waste paper & carton in Ethiopia
Create 20,000 job and income opportunities in recycling
Contribute to making Ethiopia a green middle income country by 2025

We help you keep your facilities and environment clean from paper & carton waste

Jointly we can create a job opportunity! For every ton of waste paper & carton out there, we can generate a sustainable monthly salary for one unemployed youth

We all contribute to making Addis Ababa cleaner and a nicer place for people to live!

Since 2015, Penda Paper has played a significant role in addressing the problem of paper/cartoon waste in Addis Ababa. We have gradually built an assortment of collection systems that allow us to collect paper from a variety of sources, ranging from offices to factories. However, it has become increasingly clear that we also need a channel that can capture the tons of paper that are being created by households, small corner shops, and business, or that are being left on the streets. The result – Worke. A new system for waste collection, consisting of 40 bikes with collection trays spread throughout the city (for exact locations see the map to the left ).

These bikes allow everyone is Addis to bring their waste paper to a location near their house. It’s all pretty simple. For each kg of paper/cartoon waste delivered, our bike attendants (one for each bike) will give you 2 birr; enough money to purchase a bus ticket or a small loaf of bread. Alternatively, the money can be donated to our Rotaract foundation charity project, which involves donating notebooks to children in need. By doing so we hope to create an initiative for people to return their waste with the pleasant side effect of creating jobs and cleaning up the streets of Addis Ababa in the process.


In a partnership with the Municipality, Penda is collecting paper and carton waste from 7,000 “micro enterprise” collectors, as well as hundreds of offices factories and institutions in Addis Ababa
After pickup by one of our trucks, the waste paper and carton is carefully sorted at our sorting station in Akaki Kality, Addis Ababa, according to international paper grades
From the sorted waste, we manufacture pulp, a quality raw material for the local paper industry. By using our product, local paper mills reduce their need to import and have access to more affordable raw materials
Through our work we have been able to save massive amounts of space at the landfill, creating usable products from what otherwise would have been considered as waste

Since 2015






Marie Nielsen

Founder, shareholder and General Manager. Before establishing Penda, Marie worked 8 years at McKinsey & Company, where she was part of the founding team of McKinsey’s branch in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ahmad Farroukh

Shareholder in Penda, prior executive in leading MEA based Telcos, including CEO of Etisalat in Saudi Arabia, Group COO of MTN, VP of the MTN West and Central Africa region, & CEO of MTN South Africa & Nigeria

Trond Riiber Knudsen

Founder of TRK Group, an Oslo-based advisory and active ownership firm, and shareholder in Penda. Earlier Trond was a Director at McKinsey & Company for 20 years and was born in Addis Ababa

Michael Halbye

Shareholder in Penda and Director at McKinsey & Company for >30 years. For 4 years, Michael served as McKinsey’s Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and advises several companies looking to invest in Africa