Ethio-Italy relations




Italy was one of the first European countries to open diplomatic relations with Ethiopia. Their level of diplomatic contact was elevated to an Embassy status in 1952 with the opening of the Ethiopian Embassy in Rome.

Bilateral Visit  

Ethio-Italian relations are characterized by the promotion of common interest and mutual trust on bilateral and regional matters. The long-standing historical relationship has been consolidated by various cooperation agreements and by a range of high-level visits.

From the Italy side:-

·        Italy Republic President H.E Osker Luwiji Skalifar in November  23-26/1997 Visited Ethiopia.

·        Italy Prime Minister Romano Pr0di  January 2007

·        Italy Republic   Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E  Firanko Firatini  January  2010 Visited Ethiopia.

·        Italy Republic  Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E  Mr. Giulio Terzi Di Sant Agata May  2013 Visited Ethiopia

·    Italy Republic   Minister of Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation Ministry H.E  Paolo Gentilino January 2014 Visited Ethiopia

·        Italy Republic President H.E. Sergio Mattarella, in March 2016,

·        Italy Republic Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, in July 2015  visited Ethiopia.

·        Italy Republic   Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Giuseppe Conte October  9 - 10 / 2018 Visited Ethiopia.

·        Italy Deputy Foreign Affairs and Economic Cooperation  Minister H.E Immanuela Delire  2018  and  June  2019 Visit Ethiopia,


From Ethiopia Side

·        The visit of the late Prime Minister H.E. Meles Zenawi in 2004 during which Ethiopia and Italy signed the historic agreement on the return of the Axum Obelisk.  

·        President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia   H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome, in 2016 Visited Italy.

·        Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E. Mr.  Hailemariam Desalegn in May 2017.

·     Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia  H.E, Dr. Tewodros Adhanom Visited Italy in February  2009.

·        Deputy Prime Minister and  Foreign Minister of  the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E Mr. Hayilemaream Desalegn in Visited Italy in March 2012,  

·        President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia   H.E Dr. Mulatu Teshome visited Italy in October 3/2016.

·     H.E.  Dr. Workineh Gebeyehu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia visited Italy in 2018 and 2019.

·      H.E Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia visited Italy in January 2019.

·     Deputy Prime Minister of  the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia H.E Mr. Demeke Mekonen visited Italy   in  October  2019.

Economic Relations

·   Ethiopia and Italy signed a bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in 1994 and Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 1997.

·     The value of Ethiopia`s export to Italy in 2017 was close to USD 61,319,180.  Ethiopia`s import from Italy in the same year was worth USD 645,175,663.2.

·   The current Ethio-Italy development cooperation agreement has been signed on 15 September 2017 for the period 2017-2019, with a budget of 125 Million Euros, out of this 40mln Euros comes in grants and 85mln Euros in soft loans. It should be noted that Italian anchor companies like Salini, Iveco, Calzedonia, Carvico, and AMICHE have been doing business here in Ethiopia for decades.

Institutional framework

·    The Ethio-Italian Cooperation Framework 2017-2019 aims at supporting a multi-sectoral approach, intended to contribute to the integrated, inclusive and sustainable development. Successful ongoing and past initiatives could be scaled-up taking into account newly emerging priorities, such as the impact of climate change and migration.

·     Italian development assistance has always taken into account the development priorities of Ethiopia.

·   Ethiopian and Italian Defense Ministers have signed  Memorandum of Understanding MoU in Addis Ababa on  April 10, 2019, to cooperate in the defense sector. Ethiopia’s Minister of Defense, Engineer Aisha Mohammed and Italian Minister of Defense, Elisabetta Trenta, signed the MoU here in Addis Ababa.

·  The government of Italy has officially declared Ethiopia as one of the five priority African countries (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and Angola)  for potential Italian investors. It also has expressed its commitment to provide financial and technical assistance to Italian companies interested in investing in Ethiopia.



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