Information for Participants

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) wish to extend their welcome to all participants to the forthcoming Fourth African Economic Conference, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 11-13 November 2009. The venue for the conference will be the United Nations Conference Centre Addis Ababa (UNCC-AA). It is important to take note of the following information which will further assist you in the planning and logistics of your travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Immigration Requirements
Visas are required for all visitors/delegates traveling to Ethiopia, except for nationals of Djibouti and Kenya. All participants from countries that have an Ethiopian embassy are required by the Ethiopian immigration authorities to secure their visas from the embassies before departure.

If your country of residence does not have an Ethiopian Embassy, the ECA will assist you in obtaining a visa upon arrival. You should request visa assistance from ECA well in advance, as it generally takes at least one week to process visa application locally and obtain the approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the immigration authorities. Please note that an Ethiopian visa costs $US20 per person and payment must be made in US Dollars at the time of issue. Holders of diplomatic and service passports as well as United Nations Laissez-Passer will receive visas gratis. Participants that hold African Diplomatic passports can obtain the visa upon arrival at Bole international airport. All participants are required to kindly bring their letter of invitation with them during their travel.
In order for ECA to assist with the preparation of a visa upon arrival at Bole international airport, please send us the following information before 31 October 2009 to the attention of Mr. Derrese Degefa (e-mail address: ): your full name (first & last names), nationality, passport number and arrival details.  

Health Requirements
Visitors to Ethiopia should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in the country.

Addis Ababa is located at an altitude of about 2450m. Acclimatization to this elevation is normally not a problem, but sometimes it might take a few days. Symptoms include headache, increased breathing (hyperventilation), fatigue, nausea, dizziness and sleep disturbance.

For prevention you should drink extra water (increased breathing leads to water loss), avoid additional salt and heavy meals. Alcohol could worsen sleep disturbance.

The United Nations Health Centre, situated on the ground floor of the UNCC, provides emergency medical services to participants/delegates attending meetings during working hours on a pay per cash basis. Kindly provide us with the details of any special ailments or allergies from which you may be suffering so that we can provide emergency medical attention should this be required.

In case of a medical or dental emergency, please contact the following:
Dr. Grace Fombad, OIC
United Nations Health Care Centre
Telephone: + 251 – 115 - 51 58 28 or 51 72 00 ext. 88888 or 448888
ECA Ambulance Telephone: + 251 – 115 - 51 42 02 or 51 58 28.

Airline Reservations
A number of international airlines operate to and from Addis Ababa. It is required that participants secure their return/onward air passage prior to their arrival in Addis Ababa. There are travel agencies on site at ECA to assist participants with travel-and tour-related information.
Travel agencies at ECA are reachable at the following telephone numbers:

  • Gashem Travel Tel: +251 115 44 30 51/44 30 52/46 84 85 or 251 0911 25 04 68 (mobile)

  • Ethiopian Airlines, Tel +251-11-5444310

  • Kenya Airways, Tel +251-11-5444301

Hotel Accommodation
Sponsored participants will be informed about the hotels where they have been assigned to in due course. For the non-sponsored participants, accommodation can be reserved at your request at the following hotels to benefit from the UN rate and the transport services from and to the conference venue.
List of Recommended Hotels



Type of Rooms

UN Rate






Tel:  (251-11) 5-51 84 00


US$ 160.00




US$ 190.00


Tel:  (251-11) 5-51 00 64

Executive  Rooms

US$ 240.00
US$ 260.00


email:  sales


Plus 25% TAX






Tel: (251-11) 5-52 73 33

Standard Single rooms



Fax: (251-11) 5-52 64 18

Double Occupancy







Tel: (251-11) 5-50 50 66

King Deluxe room (Standard)

US$ 85.00


Fax: (251-11) 5-54 00 90

Twin Deluxe rooms

US$ 110.00

Note that the rates (except for Hilton Hotel) include breakfast and all applicable taxes

Kindly inform us of the hotel where you will be staying by sending an email to Mr. Deresse Degefa at: by 31October 2009.
All hotels will be expecting a final rooming list from ECA by 31 October 2009 at 17:00 hrs after which ECA will be subject to a cancellation penalty for rooms reserved and not utilized.
In addition to accommodation costs, participants are responsible for all other additional costs: i.e. breakfast (where not included), telephone, Internet/fax, room service, mini-bar and laundry, additional meals (i.e. lunch and dinner) - and must pay these directly to the hotel at checkout.

Reception on Arrival
Participants will be met on arrival at Bole International Airport and will be assisted with the formalities regarding immigration and customs, etc. Date and time of arrival in Addis Ababa with the flight details should be clearly sent to the following email address: All subsequent changes should also be communicated.

Temporary Import of Laptops and Other Conference Equipment
To comply with the import customs regulations of the Government of Ethiopia, conference participants should declare laptops and conference equipment they may be carrying with them when entering the country.

Registration and Identification Badges
Collection of badges will take place starting from 10 November 2009 between 8:30 and 17:30 and on 11 November 2009 at 8:00 am  in front of UNCC Gate No 3. A full list of confirmed participants will be made available to the ECA Security and participants have to carry identification to be allowed entry into the United Nations compound. Registration will take place at the UNCC.
Kindly also carry your invitation letter and personal identification for on site accreditation. For identification and security reasons, Identification Badges should be worn by all participants at all times during the Conference and at official social functions.

Upon your arrival at Bole International Airport, which is located just 5 kilometers from the centre of Addis Ababa, ECA provides courtesy transport that will pick you up.
ECA buses will ferry participants back and forth from hotels to the conference venue in the mornings and at the end of the daily sessions. ECA will not provide transport during lunch breaks.
If you would like transportation in Addis Ababa outside of conference hours and to take you to the airport at the end of the Conference, you can book a taxi from the National Tourism Organization (NTO) by calling + 251- 115 - 51 18 22 or + 251-115 - 51 84 00.  In general, prices of other taxis are not fixed and are subject to negotiations.  Please seek advice from one of the conference organizers if you require a taxi other than the ones provided by NTO.

ICT and Telecommunication Services
The Cyber Cafe in the UNCC is equipped with PCs connected to the Internet via the UNECA LAN. Participants can also use WiFi for connection to the internet using their own WiFi enabled laptops. The Cyber Café also provides printing and FTP services. A participant who encounters any problem while using these services can contact the ITSS Service Desk on Extension 33123. or on mobile 0911-223034.

Moreover, participants can also use the WiFi in the Cyber Café to access their Blackberry services using their WiFi enabled Blackberry devices. Please note that users are required to consult their service providers for configuration and related issues before their departure to attend the conference as individual support for these services and equipment cannot be provided by the ITSS Service Desk.

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) maintains an office in the Rotunda of Africa Hall, where you can make international telephone calls, send faxes and telexes, and purchase of mobile phones’ SIM cards with a pre-charged airtime. However, a participant should have dual band mobile handsets (900/1800 MHZ) to use mobile services in Ethiopia. Telephone boots for local calls are available in the UNCC-AA. The Business Centre (located in UNCC) also provides the same services as the ETC except for the SIM cards.

General Information about Ethiopia
Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined and has an area of 1,112,000 square meters. Addis Ababa is situated at an altitude of 2,450 metres. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy, and the principal exports from this sector include coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and animal feed. About 90 per cent of the population earns its living from the land.
The population of Ethiopia is estimated at about 80 million, and over 50 per cent of the population is under 20 years of age. Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic State with a great variety of languages. Additional information on Ethiopia and ECA can be found on,, and .
Addis Ababa is generally a very safe city.  However, you are advised to exercise normal precautions for any big city and beware of strangers approaching you for supposedly casual conversation.

Ethiopia has two main seasons. The dry season lasts from October through May, and the rainy season starts in late June and ends in September. Temperatures depend on season and altitude. Currently, the weather is warm during the daytime and chilly in the night, so kindly carry a warm jacket/sweater for the evenings.

Electric Supply
Electric supply in Ethiopia is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles AC accessible via 13-amp, two-pin (Italian) socket.

Currency: Birr
Ethiopian currency is denominated in “birr” and “centimes”. The exchange rate fluctuates. The United Nations official exchange rate as of 14 October 2009 was about $ US1.00 = Birr 12.5490.
There is a branch of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in the ECA compound – located in the Rotunda. This Bank is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also an authorized exchange centre (Forex) at the Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and ATM machines for Visa/Mastercard users at both the Sheraton and Hilton which will give you money in birr.
Bank receipts for money changed must be kept securely as they may be asked for on departure.

Security and Safety

Personal security is an individual responsibility. Using common sense and being alert can reduce risks. The best way to remain safe is to avoid trouble at all costs, rather than having to extricate yourself later.

The United Nations Security and Safety service is always ready to serve all of its clients. In this regard, the cooperation of all participants at this meeting would help us a great deal in ensuring the safety of your valuables and your personal security.

Do the following while you are on ECA premises:

  • Display your conference badge, on demand to an authorized person and wear it visibly

  • For security reasons, do not leave bags and parcels unattended; they risk being confiscated or destroyed by the UN Security and Safety Service

  • Display on your vehicles passes issued to enable your vehicles to enter the ECA compound

  • Do not bring unauthorized persons and children into the conference centre

  • Take care of your valuables

  • Check for your documents and items before you leave conference halls and meeting rooms

  • If you lose any valuable items within the premises, inform the UN Security and Safety Service or inform the nearest Security Officer


When off ECA Premises and in your hotel:

  • Make it a habit to lock your door when entering or leaving your room

  • Before leaving, inspect your room to make sure no valuable items (money, jewelry, cameras, etc.) have been left exposed

  • Deposit valuable items at the reception desk and obtain a receipt

  • Do not open any unknown or suspicious mails and packages unless you are expecting them

  • If you observe anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, please contact the hotel reception or security service


Contacts Details
For further information about the conference, please contact

Ben Idrissa Ouedraogo
Financing Development Section
Trade, Finance and Economic Development Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel. 251-115-445-574, Fax. 251-115-513-038

Albert Mafusire
Research Economist
Research Division, EDRE
African Development Bank
BP 323 - 1002 Tunis, Belvedere
Tel: +216 7110 2521; Fax: +216 7110 3779

 Enjoy your trip and stay in Addis Ababa!