UK Foreign Secretary visits Ethiopia in whistle-stop Africa tour

8 May 2019

UK Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, visited Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya in a bid to make the case for new UK partnerships across Africa.

The Foreign Secretary visited Ethiopia on 2nd May, where he spoke at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Addis Ababa, setting out his vision to improve media freedom around the world.

“I’m delighted to be in Ethiopia, where under Prime Minister Abiy’s leadership the new government has transformed political discourse by allowing the creation of hundreds of websites, blogs, and newspapers.”

“Since the Prime Minister assumed office last year, Ethiopia has climbed the World Press Freedom Index faster than any other country, rising 40 places and showing just how much can be achieved when the political will exists.”

The Foreign Secretary called on leaders to recognise that a “media freedom is not a ‘Western’ value, still less a colonial-style imposition, but instead a force for progress from which everyone benefits.”


…UK announces £15.5 million assistance for Ethiopia’s election

In his speech, the Foreign Secretary also announced that £15.5 million in UK aid will be given to help Ethiopia run transparent, free and fair elections.

The money will build the capacity of the elections board and help make electoral operations more transparent and enhance communications and engagement by the National Election Board of Ethiopia. It will also prevent electoral violence through enhanced monitoring and early warning, improving the effectiveness of electoral dispute mechanisms.


If successful and peaceful, the elections in May 2020 will be a major step towards building a fully democratic culture in Ethiopia and will lay a platform for the continuation and deepening of Prime Minister Abiy’s political and economic reforms.

The Foreign Secretary also announced a new Chevening Africa Media Fellowship programme that will allow 60 exceptional African journalists over the next 5 years to gain experience in the newsrooms of Britain’s leading media organisations. This year, applicants from ten African countries will be eligible, including Ethiopia.

To read Mr Hunt’s speech in full, go to:


…PM Abiy meets UK Foreign Secretary

Prime Minister Abiy received Mr Hunt at his office on 2nd  May where they discussed strengthening the relationship between Ethiopia and the UK as well as support for reforms.

Prime Minister Abiy expressed Ethiopia’s gratitude to the UK government for its long-term support.

Mr. Hunt invited Prime Minister Abiy to be a keynote speaker at the Defend Media Freedom conference in London in July this year.

Earlier the Foreign Secretary also met the newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Gedu Andargachew, to discuss ways to deepen ties between the two countries.

Minister Gedu applauded the growing ties and historical relations between the UK and Ethiopia, thanking the UK government’s commitment to supporting Ethiopia during a time of transformation on the political and economic fronts.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt commended Ethiopia’s significant contributions to the maintenance of peace and security in the region, while also expressing his country’s commitment to work more closely with Ethiopia in this domain.


…. Ethiopian Airlines crash victims remembered in tree-planting ceremony at the British Embassy

While in Ethiopia, Jeremy Hunt planted a tree at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa in memory of the victims of the tragic Ethiopian Airlines crash in March when 149 passengers and 8 crew members perished.

Mr. Hunt said: “We were devastated that nine British nationals lost their lives in the ET302 crash, but actually when you talk to the staff here, nearly everyone had a friend or family member that was involved in that.

“So, we were really wanting to commemorate the people of over 30 countries who lost their lives when that tragedy happened.

“We also wanted to thank staff here, because there is an awful lot of very challenging work that has to be done in terms of contact with relatives, and we also had two DVI (disaster victim identification) experts from Kent, who have spent the last few weeks doing the incredibly difficult job of sifting through body remains for DNA samples, so I wanted to thank them personally for that work.”


…UK commits to advancing cooperation with Ethiopia

Earlier in April, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Hirut Zemene conferred with Mr. Julian Reilly, UK Special Envoy for the Red Sea and Horn of Africa.

Both sides accentuated the importance of elevating the already-existing strong relations to new heights.

Mrs. Hirut appreciated the Ethio-UK collaboration for the peace and stability of the Red Sea and Horn of Africa region, taking note of the historical commitment from both sides for the peace, security and prosperity of the region.

Mrs. Hirut emphasized Ethiopia’s commitment to bolstering the implementation of South Sudan’s revitalized peace deal under the IGAD framework as well as its support to Somalia.

Mrs. Hirut also underpinned the importance of strengthening the institutions in Somalia for durable peace.

Mr. Julian Reilly commended Ethiopia’s continued commitment to regional peace and security including in South Sudan and Somalia.

The Special Envoy expressed the UK’s commitment to advancing cooperation with Ethiopia both bilaterally and under the IGAD framework in a bid to ensure development and peace and security in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa region.

Latest News

Browse all
We are delighted to announce that Ethiopia will take part in this year’s World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, scheduled to take place from Monday 4th November – Wednesday 6th November at ExCeL London.
17 Oct 2019
Ethiopia at World Travel Market, London
The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to express our pride in the selection of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. This recognition is a timeless testimony to the MEDEMER ideals of unity, cooperation, and mutual coexistence that the Prime Minister has consistently been championing.
11 Oct 2019
Statement from the Prime Minister’s Office following the announcement of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.
11 Oct 2019
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
The Government of Ethiopia affirms its position to advance the trilateral technical dialogue concerning the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and will reinforce its efforts to realize the development of its water resource to meet the present and future needs of its people that deserve development and an adequate standard of living.
5 Oct 2019
Statement from the Government of Ethiopia following Khartoum round of trilateral talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
A high-level delegation, led by President Sahle-Work Zewde, took part in this year's UN General Assembly in New York. President Sahle-Work delivered her maiden speech, since being elected President of Ethiopia in October last year.
30 Sep 2019
Ethiopia at the UN General Assembly
The annual meeting of ambassadors, heads of missions and senior officials offered an opportunity to take stock of the annual performance of the ministry. The previous year focussed on promoting peace and security and advancing economic integration in the Horn of Africa region.
30 Sep 2019
New Year, New Hopes and Renewed commitments
Alex Lewis and the Wild Wheelchairs team paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Fesseha ahead of their trip to Ethiopia, which will see Alex, a quadruple amputee, embark on a monumental challenge – ascending Ras Dashen, Ethiopia’s highest mountain.
27 Sep 2019
Alex Lewis and the Wild Wheelchairs team set off on their Ethiopian adventure
The Great Ethiopian Run has won the “Best International Road Race” award of The Challenge Awards. Dubbed ‘the Oscars of the endurance industry’, Challenge Awards is organised by one of the world’s biggest online entry platforms Let's Do This in partnership with Runner's World, the biggest specialist running magazine.
26 Sep 2019
Great Ethiopian Run wins “Best International Running Event”
Two blue plaques in honour of Emperor Haile Selassie’s life in Bath and visits to Weston-Super-Mare were unveiled on 22nd September by the Emperor’s grandson, Prince Michael Mekonnen. Other dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Bath, Councillor Gerry Curran, were also in attendance.
25 Sep 2019
Blue plaques for Emperor Haile Selassie unveiled in Somerset
The Ethiopian Pulses, Oilseeds and Spices Processors-Exporters Association, in collaboration with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Trade and Industry, is hosting the 9th International Conference on Pulses and Oilseeds at Sheraton Addis Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on November 29 and 30, 2019. For further information, visit the conference website.
16 Sep 2019
International Conference on Pulses and Oilseeds in Ethiopia
On 12th September, Ethiopians from across the country and abroad ushered in the New Year – 2012 in the Ethiopian calendar. On the occassion, Ambassador Fesseha outlined the previous year's activities and projections for the next year.
11 Sep 2019
Ethiopian New Year Message from the Ambassador