Ethio-Canada Relation

Diplomatic Relations between Ethiopia and Canada

Ethiopia and Canada established its diplomatic relations in 1956. Nevertheless, people to people relations were already started before this period. For example, Canadian Missionaries had been rendering voluntary services in teaching and administering the former Kotebe and Ras Teferi Secondary Schools since 1949. The Missionaries were also engaged in organizing and administering the then Addis Ababa College.

The the bilateral relationship between the two countries has been strengthened from time to time. The 50th years of anniversary of the Ethio-Canada diplomatic friendship was celebrated with a series of events throughout the year in 2015. The celebration of the anniversary has played a positive role to strengthen the bilateral as well as people to people relationships between the two countries. The special friendship and cooperation that existed between Ethiopia and Canada over half a century are based on a firm foundation of mutual interest and genuine respect.

Both countries have been working towards strengthening their relationship in trade and investment. The two countries have a common interest and commitment to deal with the increasing global challenges of terrorism and refugees. Ethiopia and Canada has exchanged several official visits. Emperor Haile Selassie visited Canada three times, on June 3-7/1954, on October 7-9/1963 and on April 26-May 4/1967. During his second and third visits, the emperor held discussions with Prime Minister L.B. Pearson on possible technical assistance to Ethiopia. On May 4/1967, the Prime Minister initiated a new technical assistance program for Ethiopia, as a means of promoting existing relations between the two countries. The late Prime Minister of the FDRE, H.E. Meles Zenawi, also visited Canada during the G8/G20 summit from June 25-27, 2010. One of the major outcomes of the G-8 Summit in Canada was the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Initiative, which is in line with Ethiopia's priority areas.

From On the Canadian side, the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien visited Ethiopia in 2002. This was the first-ever state visit of a Prime Minister of Canada. The two Prime Ministers exchanged views on ways to further strengthen the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The visit exchanges of higher officials have created good opportunities to enhance the bilateral friendly relations and explore different ways to encourage bilaterally cooperation and engagement in diverse areas ranging from trade and investment to climate change and regional security. And hence, it drew a common interest and commitment to deal with the increasing global challenges of terrorism, refugees and climate change.

Political Consultation

The political consultation agreement, which was signed by the two countries in 2010, provided for the establishment of a joint consultation mechanism regularly at the State Minister level. The consultation was aimed to evaluate the implementation of existing bilateral agreements, identify new areas of cooperation based on common interests. Since 2012, the consultation has been conducted regularly every year.  So far, Ethiopia and Canada have held seven political consultations. During these consultations, a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest were raised and discussed.        

Bilateral agreements

Ethiopia and Canada has signed bilateral agreements in various areas. Among these, in 1998 the two countries have signed two economic agreements i.e., the Canadian Food Security Cooperation and the Canadian Ethiopian Democratic Development and Good Governance cooperation. An Air Service Agreement was also signed at the initial level in January 2010. Starting June 2011 Ethiopian Airlines has been flying to Canada. This has created a good opportunity to promote economic relations, particularly investment, business, and tourism as well as people to people relations between the two countries.

Development Assistance

Canada’s development assistance program in Ethiopia began in 1967 and continues. For instance, in 2014/15, Canadian development aid to Ethiopia was over CAD 108.04 million. In 2018 the Government of Canada announced 23 million US dollars in funding for two initiatives that will help advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Ethiopia, including women’s economic empowerment. It indicates that Ethiopia has become one of the single largest recipient countries of Canadian development assistance.

Cooperation in Regional issues

Ethiopia and Canada shares common goals in promoting peace and security in East Africa. Ethiopia and Canada work together, on peacemaking and peacebuilding in Somalia and South Sudan as well as to fight terrorism and ensure peace and security in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia welcomed the contribution of Canada to the ongoing peace efforts in Somalia.

The two countries have also a common interest and commitment to deal with the increasing global challenges of terrorism and refugees.  

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