Ethiopia and The French Republic Signed Financing Agreement

Oct. 20, 2022

ADDIS ABABAA financing agreement amounting to 5 million euros (Approximately 260 million ETB) was signed today, between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the French Republic at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, for the implementation of " Lalibela Protection, Restoration and Development Project".

Following the meeting in October 2018 between Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and French President Emmanuel Macron, during which was agreed the support that France could give to the conservation of the Lalibela churches, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage of Humanity, as well as the subsequent joint declaration stating : “Both States will continue their cooperation regarding conservation and valorization of heritage, museums and archives, and scholarly and vocational training for heritage-related professions.”

Considering the long history of collaboration shared between Ethiopia and France, the financing agreement signed today is the full plugging of the commitment made by the two country leaders with the aim of protecting heritages, including the rehabilitation of Lalibela. The site of Lalibela, in northeastern Ethiopia, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978 for the eleven monolithic churches carved into the rock of Lalibela in the early 13th century.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute to the heritage preservation and urban integration of the site of Lalibela, by preparing the interventions of preservation and restoration of the monolithic churches as well as the definition of interventions promoting the urban, tourist, social, and local economic development in connection with the site. The project is structured and dedicated to preservation and restoration actions for the churches of Lalibela, inclusive development of the territory of Lalibela, and strengthening the institutional capacity of the Ethiopian Cultural Heritage Authority (ECHA).

 H.E. Mrs. Semereta Sewasew, State Minister of the Ministry of Finance, and Mrs. Valerie TEHIO, Country Director of the French Development Agency in Ethiopia, signed the financing agreement on behalf of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the French Development Agency respectively.