Ethiopia - South Africa

Ethiopia and South Africa has a longstanding relation. Ethiopia has supported South African’s struggle against the Apartheid system. Ethiopia opened its Embassy in Pretoria in 1996, whereas, South Africa opened its Embassy in Addis Ababa in 1997. Since then, both countries have been enjoying cordial bilateral relations in political, economic, and cultural fields. The unwavering commitment to the principles of Pan-Africanism and understanding of each other’s ambitions in the Continent have been the firm foundation for the two countries' bilateral cooperation. 

Several official visits at a high level have exchanged between the two countries; during the transitional period the delegation led by President Meles Zenawi participated in the inaugural ceremony of the establishment of the democratic state of the Republic of South Africa in 1994. The foreign Affairs ministers of both countries exchanged visits in several times.

In addition to that, the former President Dr. Negasso Gidada visited South Africa to witness the national election of the Republic of South Africa which was held in 1999. H.E. Sahle-Work Zewude, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia participated on the inaugural ceremony of President Cyril Ramaphosa on 25th May 2019. Recently, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia paid an official visit to Ethiopia from 11-12 January 2020.


During the higher official visits a number of bilateral dialogue mechanisms and agreements were put in place to foster cooperation in political, economic, scientific, and technical fields by which both sides expressed their willingness to expand the relations to a new height on the basis of equality and mutual benefits. The two countries have also established a Joint Ministerial Commission to follow up on the practical implementation of the cooperation agreements.

The joint ministerial commission was established between the two states in 2004. So far, three meetings at ministerial level and five meetings at senior officials’ level have been held. The 4th joint ministerial commission meeting will be held soon.

More than sixteen agreements have signed between the two countries including the Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, in the Field of Arts and Culture and MOU on Industrial and Technical Cooperation.

The two countries collaborate on a number of issues of common concern, forming a sound basis for their relations at the bilateral, regional and global levels. Both countries aspire to see a stable and secure environment in their respective regions. They are keenly aware of the importance of working together to ensure peace and stability in the continent in general. At the global level, both countries have collaborated closely on issues ranging from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the Campaign against Climate Change and the common fight against terrorism. Both countries have common stand on the importance of economic integration of Africa and are fully committed for the realization of Pan-African Vision. Combating the negative impact of climate change, human trafficking, terrorism and religious fundamentalism are areas in which the two countries shall cooperate to advance the interest of Africa at the global stage.

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