British Council 75 years in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 9, 2017: Established back in 1942 the British Council is celebrating its 75 years of service and long-lasting friendship to Ethiopia with partners, donors, customers and the general public through a series of interactive events.

The British Council is the UK’s international agency for educational and cultural relations. It works in over 100 countries: promoting a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom and the English language; encouraging cultural, scientific, technological and educational co-operation with the United Kingdom; and changing people’s lives through access to education, art, skills, qualifications, culture, and society.
Since 1942, the British Council in Ethiopia has engaged with generations of young people through a diverse range of educational and cultural programs mainly targeting the youth between the ages of 18 – 40. The organisation also works with diverse beneficiaries throughout the country and aims to engage 4 million young Ethiopians by the end of 2020.

The journey of the British Council wasn’t always easy. Most educational establishments were closed and the British Council's future role was in doubt, as the new government was slow to develop a clear educational policy. The General Wingate was turned into a teacher training college in 1977, ending one of the British Council’s longest running commitments in the country. But even though its operations were limited significantly, the British Council was still represented.
The British Council works with partners, both Ethiopian and from the UK, to showcase excellence, innovation, and creativity. It works for the benefit of individuals and institutions, for the mutual benefit of the UK and Ethiopia.

The British Council works very closely with the Ethiopian Government and has done from the beginning. The General Wingate School which was co-funded by the Ministry of Education and the Peacekeeping English Project which is being run now in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense are living examples of this strong collaboration.

The British Council is proud to have been a pioneer in so many things during these seven and half decades. To state just a few of the major undertakings that were successfully implemented during these seven and half decades

• The establishment of the General Wingate School
• The formation of the Anglo Ethiopian Society
• Management of libraries (at the beginning through the British Institute and later on by establishing its own)
• Production one of the first school television programs in collaboration with the Centre for Educational Development overseas
• The establishment of the first ICT in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and
• Establishment of the first Internet café

The British council was also involved in projects that are at the heart of Ethiopians such as restoring Debre-Damo Monastery to its former glory.

Currently, the British Council in Ethiopia is running several programmes that are highly impactful. With the Peacekeeping English project, the organisation trains future Ethiopian Peacekeepers to reach internationally accepted levels of English. Through the arts programme, the British council is working to establish new partnerships between Ethiopian, UK and East African artists & creative entrepreneurs to build the in-country capacity by creating networking opportunities and providing capacity building training. The pilot project Language for Resilience, the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Quality Education Strategic Support Programme (QESSP), East Africa Social Enterprise, the World Voice Programme, Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP), and the Horn of Africa Leadership & Learning for Action (HOLLA) projects are also the programmes that are currently being undertaken by the organisation. To illustrate the scale of the impact that we are having, In the past three years alone, through the different programmes we manage, we’ve reached more than four million people face-to-face and more than seven million through publications, broadcasting and digital channels. Our ambition is to reach many millions more over the next few years, continuing to change lives, create opportunities, build connections and engender trust through our cultural relations work. This, we believe, will lead to even stronger bonds built on a foundation of trust and mutual respect between the people of Ethiopia and the UK.

The British Council in Ethiopia would like to express its deepest gratitude to its local partners, donors, customers, sponsors & the general public for making this event happen & for their support throughout the 75 years of its journey in Ethiopia. We have been celebrating this event for the past few weeks through a 12 weeks Facebook quiz campaign (which is still running and which anyone can join and win prizes), an internal quiz campaign, a launch of the Amharic (translated) website, and a one week long Blood Donation Week. Moreover, apart from the actual reception that will be taking place on 9 November 2017, a panel discussion, an open day by the teaching and exams operations, a tree planting exercise, the East Africa Social Enterprise Conference, and a former staff reception party will be taking place in the following weeks, until the end of 2017 (and beyond for some of the events) to mark this important milestone.

For more information about the British Council please contact

Post your comment


Be the first to comment

Related Articles