Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Ethiopia)

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The Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism is the ministry of the Government of Ethiopia responsible for researching, preserving, developing, and promoting the culture and tourist attractions of Ethiopia and its peoples, both inside the country and internationally. In doing so the Ministry closely works together with different national and international stakeholders.[1]

Subordinate bodies include the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH), Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), National Archives and Library Agency, and Ethiopian National Theatre.[2]

The Ministry publicizes the country's resources of tourist attractions and encourages the development of tourist facilities. It also licenses and supervises establishments of tourist facilities such as hotels and tour operators, and sets the standards for them.[3]

Ethiopia is blessed with abundant natural tourist attractions, including nine World Heritage Sites,[4] but the Ministry of Culture and Tourism still struggles to attract tourists in decent numbers owing to poor investment, security, and does not have any cohesive tourism development or promotion strategy. As a result most tourists fly over Ethiopia to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa to name a few countries. Nevertheless the Ministry puts out regular press releases every year claiming 300-400,000+ tourist have visited Ethiopia every year,[5][6][7] despite Ethiopia having only about 3000 hotel rooms, and of that only 2000 are tourist class rooms.

The reality is that every transit passenger on Ethiopian Airlines who spends a night-in-transit in Addis Ababa on a connecting flight is classed as a tourist for statistics and reporting.


The Ministry is run by a Minister and two state Ministers.

Position Name From
Minister of Culture and Tourism[8] Amin Abdulkedir[9] 2010
State Minister of Culture and Tourism Tadelech Dalecho[10] 2006
State Minister of Culture and Tourism Mulugeta Seid[11] 2012 Tourism Expert on Culture and Tourism Getinet Yigzaw[12]
cultural development expert in Culture and Tourism[13]

'Tesfaye Yimer[14]

2012 [15] 2014

Recent controversies[edit]

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for developing and promoting tourism in Ethiopia. Most recently it has been embroiled in a major international scandal surrounding the Celebration of the Ethiopia Millennium in 2007.[16] Despite written promises to reimburse participants for travel and expenses, as well as paying the hosting and production costs, in order to improve Ethiopia's poor international image at their own expense,[17][18][19][19] Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas and officials from the Ministry simply refused to honor these commitments once the girls came to Ethiopia and the pageant took place,[20] citing poverty. Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas the former State Minister and person behind this event, at one point went as far as stating that Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi had promised, but later failed to pay a portion of the hosting cost to the Ministry, as well as many other reasons for not paying.

During the visit to Ethiopia, the 37 contestants were paraded around state-owned enterprises by Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas[21][22] who were all promoted as lead sponsors and were even received by the President of Ethiopia H.E. Girma Wolde-Giorgis, and also visited the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa.[19]

For two years the UK based organiser had been pressing the Ministry and various Officials of the Government of Ethiopia to pay them for the service obtained by Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas in his capacity as,[23] the Ethiopian State Minister for Culture and Tourism [23] representing the Ministry [24][25] but the Ministry and Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas simply refused to pay a single penny of the costs to the company.[26][27] since November 2007.

The winners were never paid their prizes,[24][28][29] nor were any of the technical crew ever paid. The hosting fee for Miss Tourism of the Millennium was also apparently never paid, and over US$250,000 in sponsorship money collected from local sponsors on instructions of Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas the Chairman of the fund-raising committee disappeared from the account. Several contestants were never reimbursed for their travel expenses to Ethiopia[30] as promised by Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas.

After two years of diplomatic negotiations with the Ministry and the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK Ambassador Berhanu Kebede, in December 2009 in an unprecedented and landmark legal action, the company commenced formal legal action in the Royal Courts of Justice[31] to recover the missing money and for breach of contract against the Ministry and Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas. In the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench Division, seeking a total payment of US$1,022,810.52, comprising US$488.500.00 principal debt and US$543,310.52 interest and late fees.

Since 2007 Miss Tourism of the Millennium pageant has not been hosted in Ethiopia. Instead Ethiopia and the Ministry face an international cultural boycott by all the top International pageant organisations.

In 2010 the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was one more at the center of a controversial Beauty pageant called Miss Ethiopia 2010.[32]

The Ministry officials Mohamed Dirir, and Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas were fully involved and sanctioned the pageant in their official capacities, the pageant which postponed many times saw the eventual winner promised lavish prizes of a car, and cash awards for the runners up, plus participation in international pageants.[33]

It later emerged that Murad Mohammed the director of this version of Miss Ethiopia did not have any formal legally binding contract from the sponsor to provide any car to the winner,[34][35] the pageants he also claimed to be sending the winners to did not recognize his claims as he did not hold any franchises rights to the pageants, and to date none of the girls from Miss Ethiopia 2010 have attended any of the International pageants he claimed they would, nor did they get their cash awards.[36][37][38]

State run Ethiopian Television also made a documentary about this controversial pageant titled Ethiopian beauty contest that went wrong, available and posted on YouTube,[39][40] in which unusual in a country like Ethiopia, contestants, former queens and models openly criticized the Minister Mohamed Dirir, and state Minister Mohamouda Ahmed Gaas and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for once again modeling in beauty pageants, and this time going as far as supporting a known con man, who had previously cheated so many people, and had no track record in the pageant industry, instead of focusing on promoting tourism which is their core objective and mandate.


  1. ^ "Mission". Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Structure". Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Ethiopia (2010-10-20). "ITB Berlin Virtual Market Place". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  4. ^ "Ethiopia". UNESCO. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  5. ^ url=
  6. ^ url=
  7. ^ url=
  8. ^
  9. ^ NetNewsPublisher (2010-10-05). "Ethiopian Prime minister Appoints new cabinet". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  10. ^ "Delecha Tadelech (Ethiopia)". 2006-05-03. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  11. ^ "Walta Information Center - PM Meles appoints 48 State Ministers". 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  12. ^ "Mekonnen Gebre Egziabher (Ethiopia)". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  13. ^ "Yohannes Tassew (Ethiopia)". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  14. ^ "Yohannes Tassew (Ethiopia)". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  15. ^ "Mekonnen Gebre Egziabher (Ethiopia)". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  16. ^ "Archives for: March 2009, 03 - Merkato Blog". 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  17. ^ No Author. "Miss Tourism Millennium attracts international contestants". Jimma Times. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  18. ^ "» Ethiopia’s State Ministry for Culture and Tourism Corruption Scandal - Oduu – News". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  19. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  20. ^ "Ethiopia fails to pay world pageant beauties their money". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Welcome to Ethiopian Horticulture Producers & Exporters Association". EHPEA. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  23. ^ a b "Gaas Mohamuda (Ethiopia)". 2006-04-18. Archived from the original on 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  24. ^ a b "Journal". Critical Beauty. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  25. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  26. ^ "Ethiopia: Zenawi’s Government to Finance a Million Dollar Boxing Match As Millions Starve to Death - Oduu – News". 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  27. ^ "Venezulan Woman Wins "Miss Tourism of the Millennium" beauty pageant (05 Nov 2007)". 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  28. ^ "Miss Bahamas Beauty Organization". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  29. ^ "Finland at Miss Tourism of the Millennium Pageant in Ethiopia 2007 Credit Alessandro Zanazzo Italy". Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  30. ^ "Oromo Liberation Front". Oromo Liberation Front. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  32. ^ "Miss Ethiopia 2010 beauty pageant is going to be held in different cities of Ethiopia". 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Dispute leaves Miss Ethiopia 2010 without prize". 
  35. ^ "Chinese company threatens to sue Miss Ethiopia beauty pageant organizer". 
  36. ^ "Lavish pageants and bogus prizes". 
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^

External links[edit]