Ethiopia Shopping, Embassy and Communication

Ethiopia Shopping, Embassy and Communication



The official language is Amharic. The second lingua franca is English, which is taught in schools. Semitic languages ​​(approx. 50%) and Cushitic languages ​​(approx. 45%) are spoken, as well as Italian. French and Arabic serve as languages ​​of education and commerce.

Public Holidays

01/07/2022 Ethiopian Christmas Day

01/19/2022 Timkat (Epiphany Festival)

02.03.2022 Victory of Adwa

04/22/2022 Ethiopian Good Friday

04/24/2022 Ethiopian Easter Sunday

05/01/2022 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

05/01/2022 Labor Day

05/28/2022 End of the Derg regime

07/09/2022 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

09/11/2022 Ethiopian New Year (Enkutatash)

10/09/2022 Milad un Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad)


[*] (a) Ethiopia uses the Julian calendar, which has 12 months of 30 days each and a month of 5 or 6 days at the end of the year. The Ethiopian calendar is 7 years and 8 months behind our calendar.
(b) The dates given for Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift from year to year.

During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset, which causes disruptions or deviations in the normal course of business (including reduced opening hours of shops and authorities) and therefore there may be restrictions for travelers.

Many restaurants outside the hotels are closed during the day, and the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes is restricted or e.g. T. even strictly forbidden, even for non-Muslim vacationers. In hotel complexes it must be taken into account that meals and drinks during Ramadan may only be taken in the hotel restaurant or in the room.

Travelers should expect increased sensitivity in religious matters as well as in respect of Islamic traditions.

Some interruptions may also occur during Eid al-Fitr. This festival, like Eid al-Adha, is indefinite and can last from 2-10 days depending on the region.

Duty free shopping


The following items can be imported duty-free into Ethiopia (persons aged 18 and over): 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco; 2 liters of alcoholic beverages; 500ml perfume.

Import Restrictions

A special permit is required for the import of hunting weapons, possibly also for video camera equipment, especially if it is professional video camera equipment. More information is available from

Import regulations

Valuable electronic devices must be declared upon entry.

Prohibited Imports

Hunting weapons, drugs and pornographic material.

Prohibited Exports

hunting weapons and drugs.

Export Regulations

Goods can be exported duty-free up to a total value of up to 500 Br. An export permit from the National Museum is required for hides, leather, skins, antiques and objects of art-historical value (objects over 50 years old, but also more recent woodwork, bibles, crucifixes, icons). A permit may also be required for the export of stones, spices, plants and parts of plants and certain animal products (leather, feathers, etc.).

Contact addresses

Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

(Also responsible for Austria.)

Rue de Moillebeau 56, PO Box 338
Geneva 19
+41 (0)22 919 70 10.

Mon-Fri 09.00-13.00 and 14.30-17.30. Consular department: Mon-Thurs 09.00-13.00 and 14.30-17.00.

Honorary Consulate of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Althanstrasse 14
+43 (0)1 427 75 47 01.

Telephone appointment.

Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Visa application through visumPOINT in Berlin. Honorary consulates in Bremen, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart.

Boothstraße 20a
+49 (0)30 77 20 60.

Berlin Embassy

Berlin Embassy

Mon-Fri 08.30-12.30 and 13.30-17.30. Consular section: Mon, Wed, Fri 08.30-12.30 and 13.30-17.30.


Business etiquette

Business people often speak English. Knowledge of Italian or French can also be useful. A few scraps of Amharic are welcome: Tena Yistillign means “Hello”; Ow—”Yes”; Aydellen – “No” and Sintinev – “How much does it cost?”. Business cards are not common everywhere. October to May are the best months for business travel.

Opening hours

Business hours: Mon-Fri 08.30-11.00 and 13.30-17.30. Authorities usually close at 3:30 p.m. Private shops are open Mon-Sat 8am-1pm and 2pm-5.30pm.

Business contacts

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations PO Box 517, Mexico Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel. +251(0)11 551 40 05. Website: Commercial Bank of Ethiopia PO Box 255, The Gambia Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel. +251 (0)11 551 50 04, +251 (0)11 122 87 55. Website: Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations PO Box 2458, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Tel +251 (0)11 551 80 55. Website:



According to, the country code is 00251. There are payphones in all major cities and every city has a telephone center from which international calls can be made. The telephone network is old and the electricity supply is unreliable, which often leads to outages.

Mobile phone

GSM 900. Network operator is the Ethiopian Telecoms Authority (ETA), limited reception/transmission range. There are roaming agreements.


There are internet cafes in Addis Ababa and other major cities. The main internet provider is ETC, but it is often difficult to get a connection. Even in the hotels that can offer their guests Internet, there are regular disruptions and failures. Warning: On May 30, 2017, all internet connections were shut down nationwide.

Post office

The Ethiopian Postal Service and private couriers provide national and international general postal services including air carriage. Letters to Europe are on the way for about two weeks.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly for the current frequencies (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.

Ethiopia Shopping

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