Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

It's huge. Having a lot of friends is actually the best part of living here. Ethiopia is not a pleasant place to be in, so morale is not super high, but people get together to party and commiserate. - Dec 2023

Large, given that the AU is also based in Africa. Many African diplomatic missions, plus all others. Overall morale is okay, and improved since the ordered departure in 2021. - Aug 2023

There are people from all over! It’s a great community at the school. No one really complains but I think we all know it’s not the best place ever. Find the things you like and make it work! - Aug 2023

Huge expat community. Morale is rather low, and much of it involves drinking. Unfortunately, some people from certain countries only stick to themselves, whereas other countries and international organizations like NGOs and UN are a bit more outgoing and social. - Aug 2022

The expat community is relatively small and spread out but many NGOs and embassies are within the country. Amongst expats who invest in the community, morale is pretty high. It can be challenging to live in Ethiopia, however Ethiopians are incredibly kind to those who are kind to them. - Jul 2022

The size of the expat community is likely small to moderate, and their morale is poor. - Jun 2021

Lots of expats. I joined the British Embassy golf club and played every weekend and made some great friends there. - Feb 2021

Huge population and varying morale. Lots of people seem to dislike it here. Few love it. Many just "get on with it". - Aug 2020

Huge community. With the AU and all the other missions in Addis, you will always run into other expats are events and restaurants. - Mar 2020

Large. Overall people are unhappy as Addis is tough and will test you each and every day. If you are flexible, you can find happiness. If you are not, you will suffer. Isolation can be overwhelming. - Feb 2020

Pretty large community that is spread out through the city. It's challenging to live here. We all make the best of it but it's tough. - Feb 2019

Mid-size, due to all the NGOs and embassies. Morale seems ok, the hardships of living in a third world country creates some sort of 'we are all in this together'-feeling. We made great friends from all over the world in Addis. - Oct 2018

Very large in size. - Aug 2018

Expat community is big. Overall morale is rather low. - Jul 2018

The expat community in Addis is very big, there are a lot of embassies and NGO's. I think the overall morale is pretty low. - Jan 2018

The expat community here is huge and varied. There are over 100 diplomatic missions in Addis, plus the United Nations and the African Union, and plenty of NGO workers and students and teachers and businesspeople and more. Addis is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of town, with very few people in the middle. Even people like myself who enjoy living here need a break now and then. - Sep 2017

relative size? Large. I have heard figures of about 30,000 expats in Addis. Morale? Low (at least among Americans). - Aug 2016

Expat community is fairly large here, probably due to the fact that this is a country/economy completely dependent on international development assistance. I would say the morale is generally quite poor. - Aug 2016

Huge expat community--in addition to all the major embassies, there's a large UN presence and the African Union is headquartered here. Morale is pretty bimodal. Some people love it. Some people really dislike it. It can be a frustrating place to live day-to-day, and spouses in particular seem to often struggle to find a groove. - Feb 2016

A lot of expats around from embassies, the African Union, and all the humanitarian groups. Most are just passing through but there are a lot of long-term residents who just fall in love with the place (and quite often with a particular Ethiopian). Morale varies, some people can't take the rainy season and the grinding poverty and say this is their hardest posting. Others love it. Living here is not easy but making an effort to appreciate the country and people will greatly improve your time here. - May 2014

Medium size expat community. Plenty of NGOs, foreign missions, and faith based organizations. Morale is probably average to high for those who understood what they were bidding on. Morale is low at work (but that fluctuates with difficult and challenging personnel) and will probably get better this summer. Morale is low for folks who somehow expected they were coming to the African version of Manhattan (you'd be surprised at what people complain about). - Jan 2014

Large expat community. Generally, morale seems to be medium/low. - Nov 2013

BIG. - Jun 2012

Big. This town has tons of expats from all over. The African Union is based here, so there are tons of interesting Africans. And there are lots of Europeans and Americans here for a whole variety of reasons as well. - Aug 2010

Enormous. - Jun 2010

I'd say it's pretty large. There are plenty of Europeans, Americans, Africans, Asians, and even a few Latinos. - Mar 2008

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