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The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Ethiopia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1964. Currently 693 national and 125 international employees, seven integrated specialists and 13 development workers are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018).

Three times the size of Germany, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa with a population of around 102 million people. Despite average economic growth of more than 10 per cent since 2005, an estimated 30 per cent of Ethiopians still live below the poverty line (World Bank). In UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI 2016), Ethiopia ranks 174th in the list of 188 countries (category: low human development). For decades, the rural population in the Ethiopian highlands has been affected by increasing food insecurity stemming from high population growth, deforestation and unsuitable agricultural production methods.

In response to these challenges, the Ethiopian Government has adopted an ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (2015-2020), its aim being to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations and double Ethiopia’s GDP. Combating poverty and promoting economic growth and education are key elements of government policy.

In line with the Ethiopian Government’s objectives, German development cooperation with Ethiopia currently focuses on three priority Areas:

  • Labour-market-oriented education and Training
  • Sustainable land Management, agriculture and food supply
  • Biodiversity

Other fields of activity for GIZ in Ethiopia are urban governance and decentralisation, quality infrastructure, renewable energies and conflict management together with the Civil Peace Service (CPS). GIZ is also involved in development partnerships with the private sector.

GIZ’s main commissioning party for activities in Ethiopia is BMZ. However, we also implement projects and programmes on behalf of other German ministries, for instance at present for the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. International donors, such as the European Union, Canada, Ireland, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are making financial contributions to current programmes.

GIZ’s portfolio at the African Union, which is headquartered in the capital Addis Ababa, plays an important role in our work in Ethiopia. On behalf of BMZ and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) as lead commissioning parties, GIZ is implementing various projects and programmes with the AU, focusing on agriculture, education, peace and security, regional economic integration and good governance.

Various international clients and the Ethiopian Government have commissioned the business area International Services to undertake projects in Ethiopia. One example is the development of infrastructure for Ethiopian universities on behalf of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education.


Projects and Programmes

Rural development

Sustainable infrastructure

Security, reconstruction and peace

Social development

Governance and democracy

Environment and climate change

Economic development and employment

Project evaluations

GIZ AU Office

GIZ-Magazin akzente

Rich harvest in Ethiopia


Eskinder Mamo about education support in Ethiopia

GIZ-Magazin akzente

The stuff of the future


Fassil Tadesse on the textile industry in Ethiopia

Our References

A building for peace and security

Faces and Stories

Ethiopia: Ato Gebremichael Gidey Berhe, village chief

Ato Gebremichael Gidey Berhe and his community have successfully cultivated the farmland around his village, after it was affected by droughts and famine.