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GIZ has been working in Ethiopia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 1964. With about 90 international and 550 national staff, one of GIZ’s largest in-country teams worldwide can be found in this country. In addition, 18 development workers are working in various programmes, and 9 CIM experts are deployed in institutions and programmes in Ethiopia.  

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 95 million people. Despite average economic growth of 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 2014), Ethiopia ranks 173rd in the list of 187 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. The private sector remains underdeveloped.

In response to these challenges, the Ethiopian Government has adopted an ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan (2010-2015), its aim being to achieve the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations and double Ethiopia’s GDP. Combating poverty and promoting economic growth are key elements of government policy.

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

  • Labour-market-oriented education and Training
  • Sustainable land Management.

In addition, a further priority area for conserving biodiversity was agreed at the Ethiopian-German government negotiations in 2014; this is now in the planning stage.

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 two 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.


Further information

GIZ Ethiopia: Your Partner in the Long Run

2014 marks 50 years of development cooperation between Ethiopia and Germany. What does this cooperation look like nowadays? This short film provides an insight into current activities of GIZ in the horn of Africa country.

GIZ Ethiopia – Your Partner in the Long Run (YouTube)

Projects and Programmes

GIZ AU Office

Project evaluations