Doing Business in Ethiopia: updated regarding COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19 has consequences for entrepreneurs doing business in or with Ethiopia. We provide an overview of useful information intended for everyone involved in agribusiness in Ethiopia. The agriculture team of the embassy of the Netherlands can answer further questions via ADD-LNV@minbuza.nl.

We aim to continue our regular work as much as possible.

Update March 2021

  • New directive has been issued for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • Stricter measures have been announced by the Ethiopian government effective as of Monday 29 March 2021.

  • Ethiopia began rolling out the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to health workers on Saturday in the country's capital Addis Ababa. The launch of the vaccine was attended by the World Health Organization's country representative Boureima Hama Sambo who urged "communities and community leaders to build trust" as well as "demand for the vaccine" and to "promptly" address "misinformation." Read more about this here as well as in this article from Xinhua.

  • Ethiopian Airlines says its ready to transport COVID-19 vaccines around the world: Africa’s biggest carrier has turned to cargo services to shore up revenue after the onset of the coronavirus crisis last year sent passenger numbers down sharply. A fleet of 128 Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier planes, has set up a dedicated vaccine transportation team to liaise with manufacturers. The full article can be found on the website of CGTN Africa.

  • In this article of the World Bank about COVID-19 and Food security in Ethiopia a study has been done on the effectiveness of social protection programs. The pandemic is testing global food and social protection systems at an unprecedented scale. The spread of the pandemic is disrupting food systems and undermining the food and nutrition security of households. Read the full article here.
  • In the situation reports (November 2020) of the United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA SitReps) was mentioned that Ethiopia’s humanitarian and access situation has worsened due to COVID-19. Food insecurity increased due to desert locust, and there are new forced displacements related to armed conflict, inter-communal violence, and social unrest, particularly in the Oromia region. The Government of Ethiopia and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launched a $305.7 million program to help the most vulnerable farmers and increase their resilience against the backdrop of COVID-19.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published a factsheet (July 2020) on the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture, food systems and rural livelihoods in Eastern Africa. Kindly find the factsheet here.
  • The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) published an International Action Agenda COVID-19 [in Dutch]. In the agenda the organizations propose steps to support Dutch businesses involved in international business. You can find the agenda here.  

  • The Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) published a factsheet (July 2020) on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Kindly find the factsheet here.
  • A team of researchers from Haramaya University in Ethiopia compiled a brief synthesis of expert view on the impact of COVID-19 on Ethiopian food supply chains in this document published by SAINTIS.
Ethiopia COVID Vaccines

COVID-19 in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health is the main source of information regarding COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Information is shared by the Ministry of Health via their twitter account ( @FMoHealth ) and occasionally on their website. Check their website and social media for any updates.

Further information and useful links

We would like to provide an overview of useful websites based on the type of questions we receive. This overview serves to enable Dutch businesses with general information and multiple web links to make better-informed decisions.

In case you have suggestions for useful additions to this list, kindly share them with us by sending us an email: ADD-LNV@minbuza.nl.

  • For Dutch entrepreneurs that are doing business in African countries, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency made an overview of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 in Africa in Dutch.
  • The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency published an overview of measures to help Dutch businesses that are affected by COVID-19 here.
  • The European Commission’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic includes a number of restrictions to transport, which can be found on the website of the European Commission.
  • Find out what the European Union in Ethiopia is doing in response to COVID-19 on their twitter account.
  • The Ethiopia Investment Commission has an overview of useful information for investors concerning COVID-19 in Ethiopia.

Events

Due to the COVID-19, many of the upcoming (agriculture) events have been rescheduled. As soon as new dates have been confirmed we will share them in our agenda.

COVID-19 in the Netherlands

For questions regarding travel restriction for the Netherlands, travelling abroad and visas, have a look at information from the Netherlands government here. More general information about COVID-19 in the Netherlands can be found here.

Travel advice Ethiopia

Find here the latest travel advice for Ethiopia, in Dutch. Frequently asked questions in relation to the travel advice can be found here as well.

Health

Kindly consult the websites below for the latest information on health updates and (preventive) measures.

Factsheet Conflict Sensitivity Business Practice

A guidance note based on an analysis paper, Conflict analysis of Ethiopia and assessment of the implications for foreign direct investment (October 2019) was written by International Alert with support from the Ethiopian–Netherlands Trade for Agricultural Growth (ENTAG). You can find this factsheet providing general guidance on doing business in Ethiopia and (non COVID-19 related) tips here.

Important note: Owing to changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the current situation and government measures in place are continuously evolving. Please continue to update yourself on the current state of affairs, including by verifying information with the relevant business associations or your local partner.

Together we will get through these tough times. Stay safe.

Questions for the agriculture department can be addressed directly to ADD-LNV@minbuza.nl. Questions on general trade can be direct to ADD-EA@minbuza.nl. This website links to the general contact information of the Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa.


For the latest updates follow the agriculture department on twitter via @AgriEthiopia and the Netherlands Embassy on Facebook and Twitter ( @NLinEthiopia ).

Relevant websites for more information