France and Ethiopia


Franco-Ethiopian dialogue is progressing:

  • Visits to Ethiopia by the President of the French Republic: 30 January 2011 (African Union Summit); 25 May 2013 (50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity).
  • Visits to France by the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn: 18 and 19 April 2013 (working visit); 6 and 7 December 2013 (Élysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa); December 2015 (COP21).
  • Visits to Ethiopia by French ministers: Minister of Foreign Affairs (January 2013); Minister Delegate for Development (7 and 8 July 2013); Minister of Foreign Trade (20 and 21 December 2013); Minister of State for Development and Francophonie (April 2015); Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad (December 2015), Minister of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs (February 2016).
  • Visits to France by Ethiopian ministers: Minister of Transport (January 2013); Minister of Foreign Affairs (April 2013 and December 2013); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Service (May 2013); Minister of Justice (April 2014); Deputy Prime Minister (November 2014); Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (December 2015, COP21); Minister of Transport (March 2016 and January 2017).

Economic relations

Relations between France and Ethiopia have grown denser over the last five years. France enjoys a structural trade surplus (€179.7 million in 2015, a 216% increase versus 2014).

In 2015, French exports stood at €228.1 million and were concentrated in three main sectors: pharmaceuticals (48% of sales), transport equipment and agrifood products. French imports from Ethiopia are growing and stood at €48.4 million in 2015. They are mainly agricultural products totalling €46.1 million (95.3% from raw coffee).

France is among the main European investors, after the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands. The roughly 30 companies working in Ethiopia employ nearly 3,000 people.


France’s bilateral cooperation with Ethiopia is focused on higher education and the teaching of French. French cultural, educational and research institutions (French Lycée Guebremariam, Alliance Ethio-Française, French Centre for Ethiopian Studies) have been in Ethiopia for a long time, which has made France a well-known contributor to Ethiopia’s development.

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has been involved in Ethiopia since September 1993 and, from 2010, has provided sovereign loans.

To date, all the projects together amount to €407 million, mainly in the sectors of transport, water and sanitation, energy and urban development.

Updated: 6 June 2017