On the occasion of a German special delegation visiting Ethiopia on behalf of German Emperor Wilhelm II, the Ethio-German Trade and Friendship Treaty was signed on 7 March 1905. This agreement laid the foundation for permanent diplomatic Relations.
In 1906, Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II assigned, based on reciprocity, a terrain by the Kabana river in today’s Yeka district to the German Emperor to be used free of charge and for an unlimited period of time for Embassy purposes. In the same year the construction of the building for the German Imperial Legation began and was finished in 1907.
Today, the compound hosts several administrative and residential buildings and the Ambassador’s residency. From the original buildings, dating back to the beginning of last century, only the porter’s house at the Embassy’s main gate is in its original state. The new residency dates back to the year 1932. Most of the other buildings were erected during the 1950s and 1960s when the Embassy moved back into the compound after World War II.
The German Embassy compound, together with several other Embassy compounds, constitutes a “green lung” in Addis Ababa and serves as a refuge for a number of endemic plants which are hardly found anywhere else in the capital and its surroundings.