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Cultural diplomacy

Diplomazia Culturale

Culture is an essential part of Italy’s identity around the world, representing a tangible and intangible asset which can be drawn upon to face contemporary challenges. The Italian language represents an important part of this, acting as both a legacy of the past and a bridge to the future, as does scientific research, a sector in which Italy boasts excellent achievements on a global scale.

Cultural promotion therefore plays a key role in foreign policy, representing one of the main tools for promoting Italy abroad.

Cultural relations between Italy and Ethiopia are regulated by the Cultural agreement signed in Rome on April 8th 1997 and ratified on October 27th 1999.

This bilateral agreement came in force in order to strength the bonds of friendship between the two Countries and to improve mutual understanding and knowledge by developing cultural relations.
The agreement foreseen the assignment of scholarships and participation to film festivals, translation and publication of literary or scientific works, cooperation in archeological sectors, museums, restoration of cultural heritage and repress the illicit traffic in works of art.
The promotion of the Italian culture is prevalently executed by the Italian Cultural Institute of Addis Ababa.

There is an Italian State School in Ethiopia that includes a first-grade Comprehensive Institute and a second-grade Technical Institute. Over 800 students attend the Italian School.

The Italian language is also regularly lectured at Addis Ababa University, within the Department of Modern European Languages, which is staffed by a lecturer appointed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.


Italy-Ethiopia: Cultural Cooperation Executive Programme signed

On the occasion of his official visit to Addis Ababa on 14-15 January 2015, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni signed with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom the “Second Executive Programme of Cultural Cooperation between the Italian Republic and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the years 2015-2019”. It is an agreement that seals the importance of cultural cooperation between Italy and Ethiopia, in an area where Italy is already actively engaged, thanks in particular to the intense activity of the Italian Institute of Culture in Addis Ababa, the archaeological missions, a number of universities and other Italian institutions.

Below are the texts signed by the two Ministers, in Italian language.

Accordo culturale Etiopia ITA.pdf