Ethiopia and Germany have a history of longstanding diplomatic relations which can be traced back to 1905. Both countries signed a treaty of friendship in March 1905 intended to enhance bilateral relations in the diplomatic and economic fields. This was followed by the Emperor Menilik's grant of land for a German Diplomatic Mission in Addis Ababa in 1907. The embassy is still located there. The same year Ethiopia was provided Embassy premises in Berlin. The centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries was celebrated in 2005. Indeed, more than a hundred years of modern diplomatic contact cannot be considered brief, but even so people-to-people contacts between the two countries go back rather further, more than 500 years in fact to a time when a German prelate, Johannes Potkens, and an Ethiopian monk, Thomas Woldesamuel, met. The famous German scholar, Hibo Ludolf, and an Ethiopian monk, Abba Gregorious, also cooperated to produce the first grammar and dictionary of the Amharic language in the seventeenth century.
Ethio-German relations have remained excellent to this day. There have been a number of exchanges of high-level visits on various occasions. Emperor Haile Selassie made a state visit to Germany in 1954, and also visited the country in 1966 and 1967. German Federal President Luebke paid a state visit to Ethiopia in 1964. Other Ethiopian visits to Germany have included Prime Minister Meles, most recently in 2007; Foreign Minister Seyoum on three occasions, 2003, 2005 and 2009, and President Girma Woldegiorgis some years ago. Chancellor Schroeder, President Kohler, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, in 2007, have also visited Ethiopia in recent year. These visits are a clear manifestation of the mutual understanding and strong bonds of friendship that have existed between the two countries for the last century and more.
Germany has made it clear it views Ethiopia as one of the more important priority partners for economic cooperation. The 1964 economic partnership agreement laid a solid foundation for the development cooperation that currently exists between Ethiopia and Germany. In line with these commitments, the Government of Germany has made available a sum of 115 million Euros for the on-going 2008-2011 development program in Ethiopia. This involves wide ranging areas of cooperation, but the Ethiopian Government has given a special degree of priority to the Engineering Capacity Building Program (ECBP) which is funded by the German government and spearheaded by German experts. This program is now fully operative with full support from the Ethiopian Government and extensive participation of the private sector. For the future, Ethiopia looks forward to even more dynamic and active economic engagement with Germany in tune with the government's new five year Growth and Transformation Plan.
In the field of trade Germany has long remained the biggest market for Ethiopian coffee with 30% of Ethiopia’s coffee destined for German markets. Total trade reached 3.6 billion birr last year, significantly up from the level of 2.29 billion birr five years earlier. The balance remains in Germany’s favor with Ethiopian exports amounting to 1.45 billion birr last year and imports from Germany reaching 2.17 billion birr. Ethiopia has begun to diversify its export items to try and sell more non-traditional Ethiopian products. Another dynamic and promising area of cooperation is the investment sector. Currently, there are some 160 investment projects in Ethiopia of interest to German investors with a total value of close to 11 billion Birr. Of these, 33 projects are operational while the others are at various implementation and pre-implementation stages.
Ethiopia, of course, attaches great importance in its foreign policy to the Horn of Africa, and Ethiopia and Germany share common desires for the peace and security of the region. As a central and active member of the European Union, and a current non-permanent member of the Security Council, Germany's active engagement in the region, including its support for the training of Somali police officers in Ethiopia, gives a welcome and added impetus to the ongoing efforts by IGAD and other stake holders to bring about peace and security in Somalia and the Sudan.
Ethiopia and Germany have a history of longstanding diplomatic relations that could be traced back to 1905.
· Total trade volume grew to just over 5.9 billion birr in 2010; up from 2.3 billion birr five years earlier.
From Ethiopian Side:-
· H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (2002, 2004, 2007),
· H.E. President Girma W/Giorgis, (March 2008),
· H.E. Ato Seyoum Mesfin (August 2003, June 2005 and 2009)
· H.E Ambassador Berhane Gebre–Christos (2011)
From German Side:-
· German President Horst Kohler (2004),
· Chancellor Angela Merkel (2007)
· H.E. Mr. Reinhard Silberberg, Secretary of State in the German Foreign Office (2009),
· Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Mr. Dirk Niebel( January 2011),
· Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2007)
· Education and Cultural Cooperation Agreed Minute (2004)
· Political Consultation minute (2011)
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