- Historical linkages between India and Ethiopia go back about 2,000 years of recorded history. Soon after achieving independence, a goodwill mission led by Sardar Sant Singh was sent to Ethiopia. Diplomatic relations at legation level were established in 1948. Full diplomatic relations were established in 1950 with Sardar Sant Singh as the first Ambassador.
- An agreement to establish a Joint Commission was signed during the visit of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, then EAM to Ethiopia in July 2007. The first meeting of the Joint Commission was held in New Delhi in December 2010. A Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations was signed during the visit of the then EAM to Ethiopia in July 2007. The first round of Consultations was held in New Delhi in March 2010 and the second meeting was held in Addis Ababa in January 2012. Last Foreign Office Consultations were held in Addis Ababa on 6th February 2017. Dr. Neena Malhotra, Joint Secretary (E&SA) led the Indian delegation.
- Second Joint Commission Meeting between Ethiopia and India was held on May 9, 2018 in New Delhi. The Ethiopian delegation was led by Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, and the Indian delegation by the Minister of External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj. During the JCM, both sides discussed various bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. The discussions focused on building closer cooperation in areas of defence cooperation, Lines of Credit, human resource development, capacity building, trade and investment, cultural exchanges and enhancing people to people contact. The two sides also exchanged views on issues of mutual interest at regional and multilateral levels including cooperation at the United Nations and other international organizations. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Foreign Service Training Institute of Ethiopia was signed between the two countries after the conclusion of JCM. The JCM was preceded by a meeting of Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) on 8th May, 2018.
- Under the India-Africa Forum Summit initiative, Indian Council of World Affairs in association with Embassy of India, Addis Ababa, had organized 3rd ICWA Conference on “India’s Engagement with North Africa and Horn of Africa: Issues, Initiatives and Prospects” on 29-30 March 2019 at Hotel Hyatt in Addis Ababa.
- High level visits from both sides have taken place since 1956 when Emperor Haile Selassie visited India. In October, 2015, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn attended the 3rd India- Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi and also had bilateral meeting with Prime Minister. From our side, President S. Radhakrishnan visited Ethiopia in 1965 and President VV Giri in 1972. The IAFS-II saw the first ever state visit of the Prime Minister of India to Ethiopia. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated the IAFS-II in Addis Ababa on 24-25 May 2011, which was attended by HoSs/HoGs of 17 countries.
- At the invitation of the President of Ethiopia Dr. Mulatu Teshome, President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, made a State Visit to Ethiopia from 4-6 October, 2017. Two agreements were signed between the two sides: (i) Trade Agreement between the Government of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of India; and (ii) Agreement between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Government of the Republic of India on Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media.
- Assistance through concessional Lines of Credit of USD 147 Million for 400 KV power transmission Line to industrial park project in Mek’ele project in Ethiopia was also announced. Three other announcements were also made during the visit:
- Hundred Thousand NCERT books of Science and Maths
- 1000 Metric Tonnes of Rice, and (iii) Medicines worth Two (02) Million USD
- Subsequently, another Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 133.70 million for construction of second power interconnection line between Ethiopia and Djibouti has also been announced.
- Bilateral agreements : Following bilateral agreements have been signed by the two countries: Air Services Agreement (1967); 4 MoUs were signed subsequently, in 1972, 1993, 2004 and 2008, Agreement on Technical, Economic and Scientific Cooperation (1969), Cultural Agreement (1983), Trade Agreement (1997), Agreement on Cooperation in Micro Dams and Small Scale Irrigation Schemes (2002), Agreement on Establishment of Joint Ministerial Commission (2007), Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (2007), Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology (2007), Educational Exchange Programme (2007), Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations (2007), Double Taxation avoidance treaty (2011), MOU between NSIC, India and FEMSEDA (2011), MOU between ICAR and Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research in December 2011, Trade Agreement (5th October, 2017) and Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media (5th October, 2017).
- Bilateral Trade & Investment: India-Ethiopia trade was US$ 1.271 billion in 2017-18 (Indian exports US$ 1.224 billion and Ethiopia’s exports US$ 47.45 million). There is no Ethiopian Investment in India. Indian companies maintained their reputation as being in the top three foreign investors in Ethiopia with newer Indian multinationals marking their presence in Ethiopia. There are more than 584 Indian companies in Ethiopia with licensed investment of over US$ 4 billion of which about US$ 2 billion is estimated to be on the ground.Lines of Credit: Ethiopia has been sanctioned Lines of Credit worth more than US$1 billion for sectors such as rural electrification, sugar industry and railways. Three sugar projects at Finchaa, Wonji Sha and Tendaho have been implemented under these Lines of Credit.
Cooperation in Capacity Building
- The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme was started in Ethiopia in 1969. So far Embassy of India, Addis Ababa has sent about 2732 Ethiopian students under ITEC. Under the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers scholarships, so far the Embassy has sent about 502 Ethiopian students.
Cooperation in Science and Technology
- An agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology was signed in 2007. In pursuance of this, a Programme of Cooperation was signed in December 2010. As per request of Ethiopian side, Govt of India has agreed to strengthen four Centres of Excellence (COEs) being set up at the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University (AASTU) and Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU) through a partnership model with leading Indian academic and R&D institutions. The Centres of Excellence identified under this programme cover areas of biotechnology and food bio-processing, sustainable energy, water resources and irrigation engineering and geospatial information systems.
- During IAFS-III, PM had announced doubling of the scholarships/fellowships for Africa. It was proposed to offer 1000 C.V. Raman Scientific Fellowships over the period of 5 years. Since beginning of this fellowship in 2010, 53 candidates from Ethiopia have been sent so far. Further, to replicate the success of Indian plant tissue culture in African countries, total of 270 slots [over the period of 5 years] have been allocated to impart Plant Tissue Culture Training through Department of Bio-technology, Ministry of Science & Technology. Separately, under IAFS-III various trainings have been provided under different categories. So far, 136 candidates from Ethiopia have been sent to India.
- As part of the India-Ethiopia bilateral partnership in the area of science & technology, the two countries have agreed to establish the “India-Ethiopia Centre for Innovation, Technology Transfer and Commercialization”. This announcement was made during the 6th DST-FICCI Global R&D Summit 2019 held in Hyderabad on 21-22 February 2019 where Ethiopian Minister of Innovation & Technology Dr Getahun Mekuria was the Guest of Honour.
- The Embassy has been actively promoting Indian culture in Ethiopia. Mission has been celebrating the International Day of Yoga every year which witnesses a good turnout. Exchange of cultural dance and music troupes are also taking place between the two countries.
- Celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi : On 2 October 2018, Mission launched the two-year celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Video of bhajan “Vaishav Jan Toh’ sung by famous Ethiopian singer Betty G., who has won three awards in three categories (Best Female Artist in Eastern Africa, Album of the Year & Revelation of the Year) in AFRIMA-2018, was also released on the occasion. Mission is actively organising other events and activities as part of these
- It is estimated that the size of Indian Diaspora is between 5000-6000.