Information for Participants

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) wish to extend their welcome to all participants to the forthcoming Second African Economic Conference, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 15-17 November 2007. 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. Visitors from countries that have Ethiopian diplomatic missions are required by the Ethiopian Immigration Authorities to secure their visas from those missions before departure.

If however, you encounter difficulties in getting a visa, UNECA will assist you in obtaining a visa upon arrival at Bole international airport. Please note that, as per directive issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, on 08 April 2002, business visas can be obtained on arrival for all participants attending meetings/seminars/workshops at UNECA, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Immigration Authority requires that you present an official letter of invitation or acceptance letter of your paper for presentation along with the directive on waiver and issuance of business visa on arrival, which can be sent to you upon request. If you need assistance please contact Mr. Derrese Degefa at the following e-mail address:

Please note that an Ethiopian visa costs between ($US 20-60) per person depending on your nationality 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.

Bank receipts for money changed at the airport must be kept securely as they may be asked for on departure.

* $US 1 = 9.04 Ethiopian Birr (October 22, 2007)

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.

Please be aware of the geographical location of Addis Ababa 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.

Service will be provided on a pay per cash basis and invoices for individual reimbursement claims will be given to the participants.

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 your registration form 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. Matthias Lademann
Chief – 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 with re-confirmation of tickets and to provide participants with travel-and tour-related information. Reconfirmation must be done two days before departure . 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

Please have your ticket available when visiting the travel agency to re-confirm flights.

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.

List of Selected Hotels


Name of Hotel

Daily room rate in USD












































Kindly send your hotel preferences to Mr. Deresse Degefa at email: by 10 November, 2007 .

All hotels will be expecting a final rooming list from ECA by November 10, 2007 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

Registration will take place at 8:30 am on 15 November 2007 at the UN Conference Centre, 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.

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.


You will arrive at Bole International Airport, which is located just 5 kilometres from the centre of Addis Ababa. ECA provides courtesy transport that will pick you up at the Airport.

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.

ICT Services

UNCC is equipped with WIFI. Kindly contact the conference services information desk should you have problems accessing the Internet. Please be advised that Blackberry Services are not available in Ethiopia.

General Information About Ethiopia

Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined and has an area of 1,112,000 square metres . 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 earn its living from the land.

The population of Ethiopia is estimated at 77 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 .


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 22 October 2007 was about $ US1.00 = Birr 9.04.

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 Hotel and ATM machines for Visa/Mastercard users at both the Sheraton and Hilton which will give you money in birr.