main street of small town in Ethiopia

Budgeting for Ethiopia

Legal counsel

Emory has a relationship with local legal counsel in Ethiopia to assist with project start-up and regulation compliance. The cost of local legal advice and services varies according to project need and must be coordinated through the Office of General Counsel. Please discuss planned activities with the OGC when developing your program budget to ensure local legal counsel costs are accurately captured.

Accounting services

To remain compliant with local regulations, you will need to engage either certified local staff or a third-party accounting service.

Employment and payroll

An employer is expected to cover certain social security expenses for Ethiopian employees, such as sickness, maternity, old age, disability, survivors, and work injury benefits. A fringe benefit rate of at least 30% should be added to local employee salaries to cover social security regulations. There are numerous paid local public and business holidays that monthly salaried employees usually receive that you should plan for when creating work and payroll schedules. Refer to our human resources in Ethiopia guide for additional information such as legally mandated leave.

Travel fluctuations

Flight and hotel rates can fluctuate dramatically within the life of a project. Plan for 10–15% increases each budget year for major travel costs like airfare and lodging.

Currency fluctuations

Depending on the funding organization, but at least for the purposes of Emory, your program budget will be in US dollars. Plan for local currency costs where applicable, especially for in-country expenditures. Review local currency fluctuations regularly and adjust budgetary projections accordingly to avoid surprises.

Import and export duties

If program activities call for sending goods to Ethiopia, be aware that duties or customs fees may apply. Working with one of Emory's vetted customs vendors in Ethiopia ensures the smoothest importation possible, as well as advance cost estimates. More on import and export >>


Business insurance and rates will vary according to program activities. Consult with Kevin Wysner in the Office of Quality and Risk regarding business insurance needs in Ethiopia, which may include general liability, vehicles, worker's comp, medical malpractice, property, and other insurance.

Other taxes

Tax liabilities in Ethiopia can vary according to program activities. Consult with Stephen Frangis in Emory's tax office to ensure applicable taxes are captured in a program's budget.

Unexpected costs

Unexpected costs can be caused by numerous factors beyond a program's control, such as natural disasters, labor strikes, and fuel shortages causing the cost of goods and services to increase dramatically. Plan for such unexpected costs with a contingency budget and review environmental and political factors regularly to ensure budget projections account for recent events.


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