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Origins and early development of banking in Ethiopia


  • Arnaldo Mauri



This paper highlights development of Ethiopian banking from the beginning of XX century to1936. In fact, the history of banking in Ethiopia dates back to the turn of the century, when, in1905, the Bank of Abyssinia was established in Addis Ababa, under the reign of Menelek II. This event marked the introduction of banking in the country. National Bank of Egypt havingbeen entrusted of the project, the new institution was chartered in Cairo and its shares weresubscribed in a number of countries besides Ethiopia The Bank of Abyssinia was given a 50-years concession and was engaged in issuing notes, collecting deposits and granting loans,but its clients were mostly foreign businessmen and wealthy Ethiopians. A few years later,disappointed by the behaviour of this bank, mainly devoted to profit-making rather thanpromoting economic development, the Emperor supported the establishment of a whollyEthiopian bank, the Society Nationale d'Ethiopie pour le Developpement de l'Agriculture etdu Commerce. Haile Sellassie, after acceding to the throne in 1930, could not accept that thecountry's issuing bank was foreign-owned and, in agreement with National Bank of Egypt,decided liquidation of the Bank of Abyssinia. A new bank, the Bank of Ethiopia, underGovernment control, was established in 1931 and retained management, staff, premises andclients of the old bank. Italian occupation in 1936 brought the liquidation of the Bank.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaldo Mauri, 2003. "Origins and early development of banking in Ethiopia," Departmental Working Papers 2003-04, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2003-04

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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaldo MAURI, 2010. "Monetary developments and decolonization in Ethiopia," Departmental Working Papers 2010-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Arnaldo MAURI, 2008. "The re-establishment of the Ethiopia’s monetary and banking systems," Departmental Working Papers 2008-11, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Arnaldo Mauri, 2010. "Monetary Developments and Decolonization in Ethiopia (1941-1952)," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 1(1), pages 5-16, March.
    4. AMAN, Moustapha, 2018. "Les sphères d’influence dans les régimes monétaires : l’expérience de la Corne de l’Afrique (1860-1950)
      [Spheres of influence in monetary regimes: the experience of the Horn of Africa (1860-1950)]
      ," MPRA Paper 98815, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    History of Banking in Ethiopia; Bank of Abyssinia; Bank of Ethiopia;

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    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Banca nazionale d'Etiopia in Wikipedia Italian ne '')
    2. Storia d'Etiopia in Wikipedia Italian ne '')
    3. Egypt–Ethiopia relations in Wikipedia English ne '')
    4. Banco Nacional de Etiopía in Wikipedia Spanish ne '')
    5. National Bank of Ethiopia in Wikipedia English ne '')
    6. Utente:Dans/Storia d'Etiopia in Wikipedia Italian ne '')


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