The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, a constitutional democracy since 1995, is highly committed to the enhancement of tourist activities and transformation of tourism into a viable economic sector.
Following the enactment of a new constitution in 1994, Ethiopia is now a democratic republic comprising nine regional states and two city administrations. Federalisation has led to great devolution of power to regional governments, thereby paving the way to overcome geographic and socio-economic barriers to inclusive growth and structural transformation. Ethiopia has held national elections every five years since May 1995, with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) being returned to power for the fifth time in 2015.
The country’s two city administrations are Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, while the nine other federal regions are Afar (capital Semera), Amhara (Bahir Dar), Benishangul-Gumuz (Assosa), Gambella (Gambella), Harari (Harar), Oromia (administered from Addis Ababa), Somali (Jijiga), Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (Hawassa) and Tigray (Mekele).
Under the federal arrangement, the following institutions are responsible for the overall development of tourism in the country:
- The Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MoCT) is the body responsible body for activities relating to culture, tourism and the environment at a federal level.
- The Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, deals with the overall development of tourism and provides the necessary support and guidance. Council members include government ministers, presidents of the federal states, heads of public tourism offices, and representatives of the private sector.
- The Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO) is semi-autonomous institution operating under the MoCT with the responsibilities of marketing the country’s tourism products and destination development.
- All the Regional States and City Administrations have established their own tourism and culture offices and have decentralized the powers of these offices to Zone, Woreda and Kebelle (the smallest administrative arrangement) levels.
- This institutional arrangement reflects the government’s commitment to enhancing tourist development countrywide and to closely follow up on central activities in the respective regions and cities.