Australian Embassy
Turkish Compound (off Cape Verde Street), Bole Sub City, Addis Ababa

Australian Embassy in Ethiopia

Welcome Message from the Ambassador

HE Mark Sawers

Welcome to the website of the Australian Embassy, Addis Ababa.

The Embassy has responsibility for Australia’s relations with Ethiopia, Djibouti, and the African Union (AU).

As the second most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia is an important regional leader, and Australia looks forward to developing our already warm bilateral relationship further. We also aim to build deeper relations with Djibouti, an important regional transport hub, which also supports vital anti-piracy activities in the Indian Ocean region.

The AU plays a central role in the economic and social development and peace and security of the African continent and it is an important focus of Australia’s relationship with the whole region. 

Across Ethiopia, Djibouti and the AU, Australia supports cooperation in the areas of peace and security, human resource development, food security, agriculture, and mining good governance. Australia has a strong stake in the economic development of the region and has much to offer in the areas of mining, agriculture and education.

I hope this website will assist you to understand more about Australia, its Government and its people. Australia is an inspiring and unique country with a strong economy, a diverse, multicultural society, a wealth of natural wonders, and a firm commitment to forging positive partnerships around the globe.

I appreciate your interest in Australia and hope you too can contribute to stronger relations with Australia in all fields.

Mark Sawers


Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa takes over responsibility for the Republic of South Sudan and Central African Republic

The Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa has taken over responsibility for Australia’s relationship with South Sudan and Central African Republic.

If you are in South Sudan or Central African Republic and require consular assistance, you can contact the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa on ph +251 11667 2868, email or or call our 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service 2015

On 25 April this year, Australians will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey during the First World War (1914-1918).

On this day, ANZAC Day, we remember the service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia and New Zealand have been involved.

The Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa will be conducting a traditional dawn service in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery (Gulele) on Saturday, 25 April 2015 as part of the Centenary of ANZAC.

If you wish to attend please register with the Australian Embassy on ph +251 11 667 2678, mobile +251 912 603 532, email or

Australia Awards - Call for Applications

The call for applications for the 2015-16 Australia Awards (Africa Fellowships) intake - for short course awards delivered in Africa - opened on 1 September 2014 and will close on 16 January 2015. Applications can be made online via the Australia Awards in Africa website: The Africa Fellowships (short courses) brochure can assist applicants determine their eligibility. The Africa Fellowships program targets the extractives, agriculture and trade policy sectors. 


Australian Ambassador condemns ISIS' killing of Ethiopians in Libya

(Media Statement, 22 April 2015)

Australian Ambassador Mark Sawers condemned ISIS' brutal killing of Ethiopians in Libya.

In his statement the Ambassador said, “At this time of deep mourning, I offer my profoundest condolences to the families of the victims of ISIS in Libya, and to the people and Government of Ethiopia. The brutality and cruelty of ISIS’ murder of innocent Ethiopians must be condemned in the strongest terms. We must all continue to build international cooperation to relentlessly pursue their perpetrators no matter where in the world they seek to operate." (Media Statement)

Launch of Rural Resource Centre (RRC) for Trees for Food Security Research Project in Ziway

HE Ambassador Mark Sawers with RRC training participants  Photo:  Australian Embassy

Trees for Food Security Project managed by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) was launched in Zeway Town, Oromia Regional State, in the presence of HE Mr Mark Sawers, Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia.

The Project is one of many projects supported by the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC) in Ethiopia. The Trees for Food Security project is one of many projects managed by ACIAR in Ethiopia and this Rural Resource Centre is part of the extension strategy to support farmer knowledge with the objective of adopting appropriate trees on their farms.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Sawers said "Agriculture and food security have been a major focus of Australia’s engagement with Ethiopia for many years. Australia’s experience and expertise in agriculture is particularly relevant in Ethiopia with the arid rangelands of Ethiopia similar to Australia’s northern territory. Our support to agricultural research includes programs such as the SIMLESA, managed by the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research and linked to this project." 

The RRCs are training and demonstration hubs that are managed by grassroots organizations. They create opportunities for farmers to share their experiences peer-to-peer and to receive technical guidance and services that are tailored to their livelihood needs, all under one roof. It aims to empower farmers to start their own nurseries for improved fruit trees and high value timber thus spreading the knowledge to a wider community

This RRC will become a hub for production and distribution of high quality tree planting materials, for development and dissemination of techniques and knowledge, and for training.  It will employ the youth in the community and impart skills for sustainability after the project.

Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls encourages Alumni to lead gender equality initiatives

Natasha Scott Despoja                                         Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls      Photo:  DFAT

In a special message to mark Women’s Month, Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Scott Despoja, urges alumni to engage in and lead gender equality initiatives.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women, at which 189 countries unanimously adopted a blueprint for gender equality. It was a high point of international cooperation on advancing the rights of women. While progress has been made in the last 20 years, we have not achieved what was aspired to in 1995, in any of our countries. 

We know that women’s education and leadership are two driving forces of gender equality.

The Australia Awards and its alumni program recognise the critical importance of both. In 2014, women won 47 per cent of Australia Awards in Africa. These women join the growing ranks of leaders in their countries, and will be active participants in their alumni organisations, such as the African Women in Leadership Network.

The network offers female alumni an opportunity to engage in issues that affect women, mentor potential Awards candidates, and share ideas and inspiration for advancing gender equality. It harnesses their skills, experience and energy to the benefit of women across Africa.

Participants – women and men – developed action plans to address personal and societal barriers to women’s empowerment in their countries. The energy and commitment were inspiring.

One opportunity for alumni is the Small Grants Scheme, which offers funding for development initiatives, particularly ones that demonstrate a commitment to gender equality and social inclusion.



innovationXchange - Australia’s new aid paradigm

The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, launched innovationXchange, an initiative to revolutionise the delivery and effectiveness of Australia's aid program.

The $140 million project, the next phase of the Australian Government’s new aid paradigm, will mainstream innovation throughout the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. See Media Release and to find out more, please visit

Ethiopian Graduates from Australian Government-funded Scholarship Program Welcomed Back Home

The Australian Government recognized Ethiopians who returned home from their studies under a fully-funded Australia Awards scholarship. The ceremony was held on 18 February 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

They were joined by guests, including Alumni from the Australia Awards and International Mining for Development programs - both funded by the Australian Government - members of Alumni-employing organizations, representatives from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and dignitaries from key Ministries and government institutions, including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Civil Service, Ministry of Water and Energy, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopian Sugar Corporation and Ethio Telecom.

“This Welcome Home function celebrates the achievements of these scholars in completing their postgraduate studies in Australia. They are now better positioned to contribute to national and regional development,” said H.E. Mark Sawers, Australian Ambassador to Ethiopia speaking at the event’s opening. “We also look forward to maintaining strong links with them as members of our Alumni network.”

The Australian Government has been a partner in supporting development efforts in Ethiopia and the Australia Awards scholarship program is a key mechanism of its aid program. Since 2011, over 170 scholarships have been provided to Ethiopians for Masters, PhD and professional development courses funded by the Australian Government.  (Read more:  Media Release, Australian Awards)

Dinner with Australian volunteers in Ethiopia to mark International Volunteer Day

Australian Ambassador HE Mark Sawers hosted dinner at the Residence on 12 December 2014, to thank Australian volunteers for their contribution to development in Ethiopia. 

Gayle Deighton

“It gives me great pleasure tonight to welcome you all to the Australian Residence, and to celebrate International Volunteers Day with you,” he told the volunteers.

Australia has a long and proud history of international volunteering. The Government has supported Australian volunteers working in developing countries since the 1960s, and currently does so through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program.

He acknowledged the dedication and commitment of Australian volunteers to helping improve the lives of others. He commended the Ethiopian host organisations for opening their doors to enthusiastic Australians keen to partner with them on Ethiopia’s development.

Volunteers also shared their experiences of working and living in Ethiopia.

“Relationships are the basis for being successful in the role. Spending more time building these before attempting ideas of change. ‘Planting seeds’ within the organisation is the way forward.” Gayle Deighton, Health, Children Care and Agriculture, Agohelma.  (Read more)

Australian-managed Ebola Treatment Centre begins operations in Sierra Leone

The Australian-managed Ebola Treatment Centre at Hastings Airfield, near Freetown in Sierra Leone, commenced operations on 14 December 2014.

The Centre is located near the Capital, with a high and growing rate of Ebola transmission and very high demand for treatment beds. It is currently staffed by the first cohort of Australian clinical staff, alongside trained Sierra Leonean personnel.  A second group of Australians has left for Sierra Leone on the weekend.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP, announced the opening of the Centre and additional support for its establishment, bringing the current contribution for the Centre to $25 million on Monday.  (Media Release)

Australia's total contribution to the Ebola response now stands at $45 million. 

International Volunteer Day, 5 December

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is celebrated each year on 5 December and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. IVD provides volunteer organisations and individual volunteers with the opportunity to raise the public awareness of their contributions to economic and social development at local, national and international levels.

IVD is celebrated worldwide with thousands of volunteers involved in a range of events as diverse as the volunteers themselves.

Australia has a long and proud history of international volunteering through the Australian Government's aid program.

Since the 1960s, the Australian Government has, through its aid program, supported Australians to undertake voluntary work in developing countries. International volunteering promotes cultural understanding through people-to-people linkages.

Over the years, the Australian Government has supported a variety of volunteer programs, the most recent being the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program.

The goal of the AVID program is for Australian volunteers to make an effective contribution to the development objectives of the Australian Government and its partner governments through working with people and organisations in developing countries.

The AVID program is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and implemented through three partners: Scope Global, Australian Volunteers International and Australian Red Cross.  (Read more

Thank you to Australian Volunteers on International Volunteer Day

The Australian Government acknowledges the contribution of current and returned Australian volunteers to Australia's aid program on International Volunteer Day.

In 2014 the Australian Government supported around 2000 volunteers in more than 40 countries.

The goal of the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program is to make an effective contribution to the development objectives of the Australian Government and its partner governments through volunteers working with people and organisations in developing countries.

This year, Australian volunteers worked with more than 1300 host organisations, often bringing years of professional experience to their assignments, in areas as diverse as emergency medicine to financial management.

Each volunteer assignment presents opportunities for mutual exchange of knowledge and skills to improve the way people, organisations and communities meet their development challenges.

Australian volunteers also build understanding of Australia's role and commitment, and foster people-to-people and cross-cultural links which frequently last well beyond the assignment.

To achieve these outcomes, Australian volunteers often leave family and careers behind, to bravely venture into new and sometimes challenging situations.

On International Volunteer Day the Australian Government would like to thank Australian volunteers through the AVID program for their dedication and commitment to living and working overseas to help improve the lives of others.  (Read more)

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD), 3 December

International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to increase public awareness, understanding and inclusion of people with disability and to celebrate their achievements. 

The United Nations (UN) has announced Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology as the 2014 theme for International Day of People with Disability. The theme focuses on the role of technology as a way to break down barriers for people with disability and how devices are becoming faster, cheaper and more accessible.

The Australian Government has been supporting IDPwD since 1996.

The Australian Government seeks to empower people with disability through its aid program in Africa, including in its Australia Awards.

Ensuring all individuals have a fair go at reaching their full potential is at the core of the Australian Government’s strategy to promote development in Africa through education and training. This is reflected in our support for Australia Awards recipients with disability.  (Australia Awards in Africa Media Release)

For more information, please see:

World AIDS Day - 2014 a year of HIV leadership for Australia

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about the issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. It is a day for people to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died.

“Close the Gap”, this year’s international theme for World AIDS Day, calls on the world to rise to the challenge of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. 

The aim of World AIDS Day is to encourage people to be aware of HIV; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting safe sex practices; and to ensure that people living with HIV can participate fully in the life of the community, free from stigma and discrimination.

As a community and as individuals, there is a lot we can do in relation to HIV. Working in partnership with people living with HIV, we can encourage others to understand how the virus is transmitted. We can support people to access testing and treatment, as we know that getting treatment at the early stages of infection results in better health outcomes. We can raise awareness that HIV positive people have the right to participate in a community free from stigma and discrimination.

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, will commemorate World AIDS Day on 1 December 2014 at Parliament House with community leaders, researchers, business representatives and politicians. 

Australia will continue to work for an equitable, effective, and sustainable response to HIV and AIDS.  (Media Release)

Australia Awards – fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa

With approximately 24.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV, the Australian Government’s commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent, and reducing the stigma associated with it, is underlined by its investment in Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships.

The Australia Awards are training more African health professionals to assist in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in their countries through the provision of Masters-level scholarships with a focus on public health.

Under the Australia Awards, 82 Awardees are expected to graduate from Australian institutions with health-related degrees in 2014 alone.
Last year, 48 Alumni graduated with a Masters degree in the field of Health. Of those, 11 said their main objective was to address HIV/AIDS-related concerns in their country once they returned home.

The Australia Awards also help to reduce the stigma associated with HIV by providing all applicants with HIV-related information, regardless of their status.

The Australia Awards contribution to equal opportunity for all recipients was clearly demonstrated by an increase in the number of applicants who voluntarily disclosed their HIV status over the past year.

The Australian Government does not discriminate against potential Awardees who have HIV. We encourage all applicants, as well as recipients of the Awards, to confidentially disclose their HIV status in order to allow the Awards team to develop a support plan for their life in Australia. It is important to us that our HIV positive Awardees undertake their studies without fear of discrimination.

The Australia Awards team in Africa provide a range of specialist support and advice for HIV positive Award recipients, including counselling, and information regarding access to health insurance, medication and support groups while in Australia. (Media Release)

 Australia Awardee – addressing HIV knowledge in Ethiopia

Dr Noah, CPC Research Lab - Sydney University                             Photo Credit:  Australia Awards - Africa

Discriminatory health care services will miss the most at-risk populations and fail to control the HIV pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Ethiopian doctor, and Australia Award Scholar, Dr Noah.

Speaking on World AIDS Day, recipient of an Australia Awards double degree Scholarship to study HIV, STI & Sexual Health at the University of Sydney, Dr Noah said he planned to use his Award to address the poorly planned sexual and reproductive health services in Ethiopia on his return.

“My work to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic will cover a number of facets, including clinical care to people with STIs and HIV, research, teaching, and contribution to public health policy making and program delivery,” he said.

“Working specifically in the public health sector, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health services, nearly half of my work could be focused on HIV/AIDS, and I hope to be actively involved in making better health policies and conducting both scientific and public health research to direct those policies in order to ensure at-risk people are taken care of.”

Dr Noah said knowledge about HIV transmission, critical to bring about behavioral change and reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, remains low in Ethiopia.

“That is why I believe more work is necessary to improve the overall comprehensive knowledge about HIV transmission through health promotion, especially targeting women, people with physical and intellectual disabilities, and residents of rural areas.”

Importantly, Dr Noah is using his time on Award in Australia to make key contacts in the sector who he will be able to call upon for advice when he returns home. He said working as a volunteer at the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne earlier this year provided a huge opportunity to meet and network with HIV/AIDS experts from around the globe.

With approximately 24.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV, the Australian Government’s commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent, and reducing the stigma associated with it, is underlined by its investment in Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships.

Australia Awards is training more African health professionals to assist in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in their countries through the provision of Masters-level scholarships with a focus on public health.

Click here for more information on how Australia Awards assists in the fight against HIV in Africa.

White Ribbon Day, 25 November - Helping to Stop Men’s Violence Against Women

The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest global male-led movement to stop violence against women. It engages and enables men and boys to lead this social change. In Australia, White Ribbon is an organisation that works to prevent violence by changing attitudes and behaviours.

White Ribbon Australia, now in its 11th year, continues to focus attention on men’s violence against women and uncover these secrets. White Ribbon recognises the positive role men play in preventing violence against women and drives male leadership and engagement in violence prevention. This is based on the understanding that most men are not violent.

“Men are the backbone of the White Ribbon campaign. Men get involved because they are deeply concerned about the rates of violence against women and want to drive social change.” said Libby Davies, CEO.

The White Ribbon campaign runs year-long, culminating on White Ribbon Day, 25 November. Throughout the year and particularly in November, White Ribbon events are being held across Australia to raise awareness of and educate about men’s violence against women. The events raise critical funds for the prevention work White Ribbon does in schools, workplaces and across the community.
(Read More

New measures in the fight against Ebola

The Australian Government announced new measures in the fight against Ebola, including the end-to-end management of a 100-bed Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone.  In addition to the treatment facility, Australia will provide $2 million to RedR Australia to fund the deployment of technical experts to non-frontline roles in the United Nations Ebola response.

These new measures will increase Australia's contribution to the international Ebola response to around $42 million.

The Prime Minister and Health Minster of Australia issued a joint press release on 5 November 2014 on the new measures in the fight against Ebola. (Joint Press Release)

Farewells and Welcomes

The Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa said a fond farewell to HE Ms Lisa Filipetto at the end of her term as Ambassador of Australia to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union Commission.

The Embassy welcomed HE Mr Mark Sawers, as Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with concurrent responsibility for Australia’s relations with the African Union and non-resident accreditation to Djibouti. More 

Ambassador to Ethiopia 

Mark Sawers

Media Release:   Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP17, 17 September 2014

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Mark Sawers as Australia’s next Ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, with concurrent responsibility for Australia’s relations with the African Union and non-resident accreditation to Djibouti.

Mr Sawers is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Until recently, he was the Director of the East Asia Summit and Regional Forums Section in Canberra. He has previously served overseas as High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam, as DFAT Adviser to the Commander of the International Stabilisation Force in Timor Leste and as First Secretary, later Counsellor in our mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

Mr Sawers holds a Bachelor of Arts from Melbourne University, and Masters degrees in Public Administration, International Law and Strategic and Defence Studies.

Australia enjoys warm bilateral relations with Ethiopia, the second most populous country in Africa and one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The relationship is strengthened by Australia’s Ethiopian-born community which has grown steadily to about 8,500. Ethiopia opened an Embassy in Canberra in December 2013.

Ethiopia is the seat of the African Union, the premier organisation promoting regional continental, integration and peace and security in Africa. Mr Sawers will work to advance Australia’s cooperation with the African Union on global issues, including peace and security, trade and investment and development cooperation. The African Union is playing an increasingly important role in international affairs, including in Somalia and South Sudan. Australia has actively engaged in addressing security challenges such as these through its membership of the UN Security Council in 2013-14.

Australia is expected to provide $186.9 million in Australian Official Development Assistance to sub-Saharan Africa in 2014-15, focused on promoting economic growth, trade and job creation, in particular through investments in the extractives and agriculture sectors. Australia will provide around 500 Australia Awards scholarships to Africa in 2014.

Mr Sawers is expected to take up his appointment in October. I thank outgoing Ambassador Lisa Filipetto for her work in strengthening Australia’s relations with Ethiopia and the African Union since 2010.

New Chancery for Australian Embassy, Addis Ababa 

Ambassador Filipetto and guest of honour Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos lead the ribbon cutting, flanked by Project Director Russell Looker and Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps Ambassador Andrew Hama Mtetwa (Zimbabwe). Photo Credit:  Asmelash Photography 

The Australian Embassy, Addis Ababa, moved into new premises on 1 July 2014, following a 20-month project to transform an existing four-storey villa into our permanent Chancery in Ethiopia.

The Embassy held a soft opening on 15 July for Ambassadors and staff of neighbouring Embassies. The guest of honour was Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos.

The Chancery opening is a milestone in Australia’s relations with Ethiopia and the African Union.

Australia first established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia in 1965 and the African Union in 2008, accredited from Nairobi. An Embassy was opened in Addis Ababa in 1984 but withdrew in 1987, with accreditation returning to Nairobi.

In September 2010, the current Embassy commenced operations from temporary premises in the Hilton Hotel. Staff were recruited and trained. The Embassy did its work as a UNSC non-permanent member, a development partner and more recently G20 President from a series of suites in the Hotel.

The relationship took another step forward in December 2013 when Ethiopia opened an Embassy in Australia.

Work on the permanent Chancery began in November 2012. Between 60 and 70 workers were present on the site daily. Worker safety was made a priority and there were no reportable injuries. The project saw significant skills transfer as local workers rose to the challenge of using imported building materials not normally found in Ethiopia.

Project Director Russell Looker did an outstanding job in delivering the project to a very high standard in a difficult operating environment. The new Chancery serves as a showcase of Australian design and construction and provides an excellent working environment for the Embassy’s 26 staff.  

We have moved!

The Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa has moved to its new office located at Bole Sub City, Woreda 03 (Turkish Compound, off Cape Verde Street) on 1 July 2014.

The Embassy can be reached on Telephone +251 116 672 678, Fax +251 116 672 868 and e-mail

2014 Western Australian Senate election

An election for six new Senators for Western Australia will be held on Saturday 5 April 2014.

You can check if you are enrolled to vote in Western Australia, enrol or update your enrolment details at The deadline to enrol is 8pm AWST Friday 7 March 2014.

In person voting will not be available at the Embassy in Addis Ababa for this election. You can apply online for a postal vote to be sent to you from Australia at

For more information, visit the AEC website at or contact the AEC via email ( or telephone (+61 2 6273 8606).

2014 Griffith by-election - Smartraveller Bulletin

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Australia Awards in Africa (AAA) is an initiative funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australian Aid.


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