golden yellow color block with text

IT and communications in Ethiopia

The state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is the sole internet service provider (ISP) in the country. Outside of business-related devices, internet cafes are the main source of internet access in urban areas for Ethiopians. For travelers, telephone, fax, and internet access are available in Addis Ababa in most hotels, at the Ethiopian Telecommunications Authority main office, and at private internet service centers around the city.

At customs, you may be asked about the electronic equipment you are bringing into the country, including laptops, cameras, recording equipment, etc.

Depending on a program's data processing or storage needs, please work with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) regarding the current laws and regulations in Ethiopia on telecommunications, internet service and provision, and data security.

A good starting point in determining your program's needs is to review OIT's guidelines on information security. Before traveling to Ethiopia, please also review OIT's travel tips.

Traveling with or purchasing abroad electronic devices

In order to comply with U.S. federal regulations, all Emory travelers should review the export control forms and checklists for traveling with electronic equipment, both for Emory-owned and personal devices.

If you are purchasing electronic equipment such as computers or mobile phones while in Ethiopia, you must use an in-country vendor. Please refer to our guidelines on vendor contracts.

If you utilize a vendor not listed on this website for computing or telecommunications needs, be sure to first contact Kristin West in the Office of Compliance to ensure your vendor is OFAC compliant.

Cell phones

You will need two passport photos and a copy of your passport to obtain a SIM card for local cell phone usage. You can purchase a cell phone in most marketplaces for $25. Loadable minutes for cell phones can be purchased at most retailers as well, with 100-birr cards lasting most travelers two to three weeks.

Local calls will cost pennies, and international calls are about $1 per minute.


Derek Spransy
Senior Information Security Specialist
Office of Information Technology