Fact Sheet: The United States and Ethiopia Relationship

ADDIS ABEBA – Secretary Pompeo come to Ethiopia for a two-day official visit (February 18-19) to Ethiopia and met with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde.

During the discussions with the two officials, Pompeo reiterated U.S. support for Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people, as they implement historic political and economic reforms.

Below are some facts regarding the two country’s relationships as per the U.S. Department of States.

– The United States and Ethiopia have enjoyed more than a century of diplomatic relations dating to 1903.  Our bilateral partnership is one of our oldest on the continent, second only to Morocco.

– The United States stands with Ethiopia as it implements historic political and economic reforms and organizes free and fair elections in 2020.  To date, the United States has mobilized more than $37 million to support the National Elections Board of Ethiopia’s efforts to organize a multi-party, credible elections process, and to engage civil society and youth to address issues of national concern leading up to the elections.

– Ethiopia is among the fastest-growing economies in the world.   The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), now in its 20th year, provides duty-free access to the U.S. market. Thanks to AGOA, Ethiopia has increased its footwear exports forty-five-fold in just seven years, benefiting both the United States and Ethiopia.

– Ethiopia and the United States partnered in $1.8 billion in total (two way) trade in 2018.  Goods exports totaled $1.3 billion; goods imports totaled $445 million.  The U.S. goods trade surplus with Ethiopia was $863 million in 2018.

– The United States government allocated more than $117 million in the last two years to expand economic opportunity in Ethiopia, improve the business climate, create a level playing field for all investors, and encourage entrepreneurship and U.S. investment.


– Ethiopia hosts the largest numbers of refugees and asylum-seekers in Africa.  The United States has provided more than $494 million in humanitarian assistance efforts to support vulnerable and displaced populations in the region.

– Ethiopia is a valuable security partner, thanks to its prolific support to international peacekeeping and regional crisis-response operations, its strategic geographic location, and its central role in promoting regional stability and counterterrorism.

– The United States has provided material, logistics, and training support to Ethiopia as the world’s largest troop contributor to peacekeeping forces. Ethiopia has deployed more than 8,000 soldiers in support of United Nations missions in Sudan and South Sudan, and more than 4,000 soldiers to Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

– U.S. engagements with the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) have grown significantly since Prime Minister Abiy took office, and are largely focused on advancing security sector reform, institution building, and promoting U.S. military best practices and professionalism.


– The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided life-saving humanitarian and development assistance to vulnerable populations in Ethiopia for decades.  The Truman Administration initiated the U.S.’s development partnership with Ethiopia in 1951.

– USAID has provided $4 billion to Ethiopia over the past five years, to help accelerate economic growth, improve access to good quality health and education, strengthen community resilience to droughts and other shocks, and promote good governance.

– In 2019, the United States provided more than $797 million to support emergency humanitarian needs, food security, health, agriculture and economic growth, women’s empowerment, education and youth, democracy, governance, and conflict mitigation. Health indicators in Ethiopia, particularly those related to child health and malaria, have improved significantly in the past decade thanks to our partnership.

– The United States invests in high-potential crop and livestock value exports, nutritional activities targeting chronically food-insecure households, and pastoral lowland communities.

– The United States supports Ethiopia’s Homegrown Economic Plan, which focuses on fostering private sector investment and jobs creation for one of Africa’s youngest populations.

– As climate change, conflict, and land tenure disputes continue to threaten stability, economic growth and food security, we are working with the Government of Ethiopia and local communities to prepare and adapt to crises by investing in early warning systems.  This helps the government reduce their dependence on donors by facilitating preparedness, response, and recovery from large-scale emergencies.

Image: Pompeo, center right, walks with Abiy at the Prime Minister’s office in Addis Ababa, after a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)