Canada established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1965.
In Ethiopia, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa. The Embassy is also responsible for Canada's relations with Djibouti; representation to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), which are both headquartered in Ethiopia; and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which is headquartered in Djibouti. Ethiopia is represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa.
Ethiopia and Canada share common goals in promoting peace and security in East Africa. Canada values Ethiopia’s contribution in trying to bring stability to Somalia and the Sudan and South Sudan.
Canada values a lasting peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia and was actively engaged in mediating the Eritrea-Ethiopia border dispute, to which it sent 450 peacekeepers to the border region in 2001 as part of a UN force. Canada strongly encourages Ethiopia and Eritrea to respect and to fully implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s ruling on the placement of the border.
Ethiopia is a country of focus for Canada’s international development assistance, and Canada is the third largest bilateral country donor to Ethiopia. Canada’s bilateral development cooperation program is focused on food security, agricultural growth and sustainable economic growth. Interventions also recognize the importance of advancing democracy and human rights to ensure that Ethiopia’s development progress is inclusive and sustainable. In 2011-2012, Canada provided $207.64 million in development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia through bilateral and multilateral channels as well as through Canadian non-governmental organizations.
In response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the Horn of Africa’s worst drought in over 60 years (in 2011 and early 2012), Canada contributed $161.1 million for relief efforts in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti. This funding was channelled through experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for the provision of food, water, sanitation, medical support and shelter to communities affected by the drought, including refugees and internally displaced persons. In 2013, Canada provided an additional $11 million to support humanitarian operations in Ethiopia, including support both for Ethiopians affected by chronic drought and low level conflict in some areas and for Somali, Sudanese, and Eritrean refugees living in the country.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s Pan Africa Regional Program also supports Ethiopia, via projects with activities in or linkages to Ethiopia, including the Nile Basin Initiative, the NEPAD-Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility, the African Water Facility, the Africa Mineral Development Centre, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, and the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance. Ethiopia also benefits from the Department’s support to multilateral organizations involved in issues such as refugees, HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and maternal, newborn and child health.
Trade flows between Canada and Ethiopia are modest but with the potential for growth in the short- to medium-term and are subject to significant year-to-year changes due to the one-time order of high-value products like aircraft. In 2013, the two-way trade came to $39.2 million, with $21.3 million in Canadian exports to Ethiopia and $17.8 million of imports from Ethiopia into Canada. The year before, 2012, had seen a large boost in Canadian exports to Ethiopia, which stood at $123.6 million that year, due to the delivery of a number of Q400 aircraft from Bombardier to the Ethiopian Airlines. Bombardier has also set up a regional maintenance facility for the Q400 aircraft in Addis Ababa. Canada’s imports from Ethiopia consist mainly of agri-food products, such as coffee, team spices and oilseeds.
According to the Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia, 13 Canadian companies have signed contracts for the exploration of potash and precious and base metals, with a registered capital of $6.5 million. In January 2010, Canada concluded an Air Services Agreement with Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines flights from Addis Ababa to Toronto began in July 2012. According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Canada and Ethiopia in 2003, Ethiopian exports of textile and apparel goods have tariff-free access to the Canadian market.
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