Ethiopia

Nation’s profile: Officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ethiopia is a land locked country located in the Horn of Africa with an area covering 1.14 million square kilometers.

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa. It is the only country in Africa that rejoices in defeating foreign colonial forces and maintaining its sovereignty. Apart from occupation by Mussolini's Italy from 1936-1941 it has never been colonized. Additionally, the country was one of the oldest trading nations with the Kingdom of Aksum (100–940 AD) and has the privilege of 3,000 years’ history.

Ethiopia, during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, was the founding country of the OAU, the Organization of African Unity, the first African member of the then League of Nations and the founding member of the UN. To this day its capital city Addis Ababa holds the third largest UN duty station and headquarters of the African Union.

Climate: Average temperature: 20-25º C. Mean average temperature in Addis: 16º C. Rainy season in the highlands from June-September and February-April. 

People: The population is estimated at 102,4 million (2016 est.).

Language: Ethiopia's ancient Ge'ez script is one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with over 80 languages spoken. Amharic is the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, while English is the first foreign language taught in schools.

Time zone: Ethiopia is located in the GMT + 3 time zones.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of twelve months of 30 days each and a 13th month of five or six days.  The Ethiopian day starts at 6 a.m. (dawn) instead of 12 a.m.

Working hours: Government office hours are 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30-5:30pm, Monday to Thursday. Office hours on Fridays are 8:30 am – 11:30 am and 1:30 – 5:30 pm. Both public and private businesses are open half day on Saturdays.

Economy: Ethiopia is an agrarian economy with 80% of its population earning leaving from agriculture related activities. However, recent trends show that the country is trying hard to diversify in to manufacturing, textile, service and energy.

GDP per Capita: $1,734 (2016 est.)

GDP growth rate:  8.4 % (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (2016): Agriculture 36.2 %, Industry 17%, Services 46.8%

Agriculture products: Coffee, Pulses, Qat, Cereals, Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugarcane, Vegetables, Cut flowers, Hides, Livestock

Industries: Food processing, Beverages, Textiles, Leather, Chemicals, Metals processing, Cement

Export commodities: Coffee, Qat, Gold, Leather products, Live animals, Oilseeds

Import commodities: Food, Petroleum and petroleum products, Chemicals, Machinery, Motor vehicles, Cereals, Textiles

Exports-earning: USD 2.87 billion (2015/16 est.).

Imports-expense: USD 16.72 billion (2015/16 est.).

Fiscal year: 8 July – 7 July

Inflation rate: 7.29% (2016 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: USD 2.956 billion (2016 est.)

Exchange rates – September 20th 2017: Ethiopian currency: Birr (ETB)

ETB per EUR - 28.1628

ETB per USD - 23-4680

Business etiquette: In Ethiopia tradition is of very high importance. The country’s different customs and ceremonies are present in both the social and business spheres.

  • Use of titles: Unless you are invited to do otherwise, always use the first name with the honorific title (Engineer, Doctor …) and address government officials (Ministers, State Ministers…) as “Excellency” without using their name.
  • Business cards: are given without any formal ritual and you can receive it with the right hand or with both hands.
  • Greetings: Greet colleagues with a light handshake and eye contact. Also, handshakes are a bit longer in duration in Ethiopia than they are in the western world.
  • Agenda: Do not expect to go by the agenda of the meeting as schedules are not very rigid in Ethiopia. An agenda is only a guideline for the discussion and a springboard to other related business topics. It is considered more important to complete the meeting agreeably than to meet the scheduled ending time.
  • Few tips: Arrive on time though you might end up waiting. When refreshments are offered during meetings and dress formal.

 Few Vocabulary

 

Hello

Selam (informal), Tenayistelign (formal)

How do you do?

Tenastilign

Fine, thankyou

Dehna negn

What is your name?

Simeh man naw?

My name is…

Sime … yibalal

Pleased to meet you

Siletewaweqin dess bilognal

Please

Ebakih (man); Ebakish (woman)

Thank you

Amesegenalew

Yes/No

Awo/Aye

Ok

Eshi

You are welcome

Minim aydelem

Excuse me

Yikerta

Good bye

Dehna hun (man); Dehan hugni(woman)

Good morning

Endeminaderu

Good night

Dehnaederu

How much is it?

Sint new?

What time is it?

Sint seat new?

Coffee

Buna

Tea

Shai

Water

Wuha

Beer

Bira

Driver

Shufer

Market

Gebeya

Travel

Guzo

Today

Zare

Yesterday

Tilantina

Tomorrow

Nege

When

Meche

Where

Yet

Town

Ketema

 

 

Contact

Mr. Chris Wegner

Regional Coordinator Eastern Africa

+254 20 6633 106
+254 716 160 801
Write an e-mail