Information Note for Participants
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) wishes to extend its welcome to all participants in the upcoming Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 29 March – 3 April 2007. The venue of the meeting will be the United Nations Conference Centre Addis Ababa (UNCC-AA). It is important to take note of the following information which will further assist you in the planning and logistics of your travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Visas are required for all visitors/delegates traveling to Ethiopia, except for nationals of Djibouti and Kenya. Visitors from countries that have Ethiopian diplomatic missions are required by the Ethiopian Immigration Authorities to secure their visas from those missions before departure. These include holders of diplomatic and service passports as well as United Nations Laissez-Passer.
If your country does not have an Ethiopian diplomatic mission, UNECA will assist you in obtaining a visa upon arrival, provided we receive the following particulars three weeks in advance:
- Full name
- Passport details – (number, date of issue and expiry)
- Flight details (arrival and departure)
Please note that business visas can be obtained on arrival for all participants attending meetings/seminars/workshops at UNECA, Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian Immigration Authority requires that you present an official letter of invitation for securing your business visa on arrival. It is imperative to bring the letter of invitation with you and present it to the Immigration Authority at the airport, to secure your visa .
Please note that an Ethiopian visa costs between ($US 20-60) per person depending on your nationality and payment must be made in US Dollars* at the time of issue. Holders of diplomatic and service passports as well as United Nations Laissez-Passer will receive visas gratis.
Bank receipts for money changed at the airport must be kept securely as they may be asked for on departure.
* $US 1 = 8.70 Ethiopian Birr (December 2006)
Visitors to Ethiopia should be in possession of a valid health certificate for yellow fever. Vaccination against cholera is also required for any person who has visited or transited a cholera-infected area within six days prior to arrival in the country.
Please be aware of the geographical location of Addis Ababa at an altitude of about 2450m. Acclimatization to this elevation is normally not a problem, but sometimes it might take a few days. Symptoms include headache, increased breathing (hyperventilation), fatigue, nausea, dizziness and sleep disturbance.
For prevention you should drink extra water (increased breathing leads to water loss), avoid additional salt and heavy meals. Alcohol could worsen sleep disturbance.
Service will be provided on a pay per cash basis and invoices for individual reimbursement claims will be given to the participants.
The United Nations Health Centre, situated on the ground floor of the UNCC, provides emergency medical services to participants/delegates attending meetings during working hours. On your registration form kindly provide us with the details of any special ailments or allergies from which you may be suffering so that we can provide emergency medical attention should this be required.
In case of a medical or dental emergency, please contact the following:
Dr. Matthias Lademann
Chief – United Nations Health Care Centre
Telephone: + 251 – 115 - 51 58 28 or 51 72 00 ext. 88888 or 448888
ECA Ambulance Telephone: + 251 – 115 - 51 42 02 or 51 58 28.
A number of International Airlines operate to and from Addis Ababa. It is required that participants secure their return/onward air passage prior to their arrival in Addis Ababa. There are travel agencies on site at ECA to assist with re-confirmation of tickets and to provide participants with travel-and tour-related information. Travel agencies at ECA are reachable at the following telephone numbers:
• Safeway Travel Tel: +251 115 44 31 57/0911 - 20 37 07 or 251 0911 20 00 77 (mobile)
• Gashem Travel Tel: +251 115 44 30 51/44 30 52/46 84 85 or 251 0911 25 04 68 (mobile)
• Airlink Travel Tel: +251 115 44 36 09/50 39 13 or 251 0911 65 07 54 (mobile) Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways have offices in the ECA compound and they will have travel desks at UNCC during the Conference. Please have your ticket available when visiting the travel agency to re-confirm flights.
At your request, accommodation can be reserved at the following hotels on a first-come first-serve basis provided we receive your arrival and departure flight details by 20 March 2007 . All hotels will be expecting a final rooming list from ECA by 20 March 2007 at 17:00 hrs after which ECA will be subject to a cancellation penalty for rooms reserved and not utilized
In addition to accommodation costs, participants are responsible for all other additional costs: i.e. breakfast (where not included) telephone, Internet/fax, room service, mini-bar and laundry, additional meals (i.e. lunch and dinner) - and must pay these directly to the hotel at checkout. The following hotels have been reserved for participants during the conference:
List of Selected Hotels
NAME OF HOTEL
DAILY ROOM RATE USD
HOTEL DE LEOPOL
BEER GARDEN INN
Kindly send your hotel preferences to Ms. Yemesratch Tewolde on email: Ytewolde@uneca.org by 20 March 2007 .
RECEPTION ON ARRIVAL
Participants will be met on arrival at Bole International Airport and will be assisted with the formalities regarding immigration and customs, etc. Date and time of arrival in Addis Ababa with the flight details should be clearly sent to the above email address. All subsequent changes should also be communicated.
TEMPORARY IMPORT OF LAPTOPS AND OTHER CONFERENCE EQUIPMENT
To comply with the import customs regulations of the Government of Ethiopia, conference participants should declare laptops and conference equipment they may be carrying with them when entering the country. In order to be able to assist with the temporary import of the above items, ECA should receive latest by 20 March 2007, a detailed specification of the items to be brought in, together with the arrival/departure details of the participant. The items will be registered for temporary import by the customs office and they must be taken out of the country after the conference.
REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION BADGES
Registration will take place every day from 27 March to 02 April 2007 (8:30am – 01:pm & 02:30 – 20:30pm) at the Delegate Registration Building, in front of UNCC Gate N o 3. A full list of confirmed participants will be made available to the ECA Security and participants have to carry identification to be allowed entry into the United Nations compound.
Kindly also carry your invitation letter and personal identification for on site accreditation. For identification and security reasons, Identification Badges should be worn by all participants at all times during the Conference and at official social functions.
You will arrive at Bole International Airport, which is located just 5 kilometres from the centre of Addis Ababa. ECA provides courtesy transport that will pick you up at the Airport.
ECA buses will ferry participants back and forth from hotels to the conference venue in the mornings and at the end of the daily sessions. ECA will not provide transport during lunch breaks.
If you would like transportation in Addis Ababa outside of conference hours and to take you to the airport at the end of the Conference, you can book a taxi from the National Tourism Organization (NTO) by calling + 251- 115 - 51 18 22 or + 251-115 - 51 84 00.
UNCC is equipped with WAN. Kindly contact the conference services information desk should you have problems accessing the Internet.
Please be advised that Blackberry Services are not available in Ethiopia.
Participants are encouraged to come to Addis Ababa with their dual band mobile handsets (900/1800 MHZ). Ethiopian Telecommunication Company (ETC) offers SIM Cards with pre-charged airtime. The total package which costs $US 50 includes $12 airtime. It takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 days to have ETC Phone connections. Participants coming from the United States of America should kindly note that they can only use triband mobile handsets i.e. (900/1800/1900 MHZ)
International Roaming Partners of ETC
* Kindly note that the roaming facilities may not work should you come with pre-paid cards from the above providers.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia is as large as France and Spain combined and has an area of 1,112,000 square metres . Addis Ababa is situated at an altitude of 2,400 metres . Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy, and the principal exports from this sector include coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and animal feed. About 90 per cent of the population earn its living from the land. There is a thriving livestock sector and exports include cattle, hides and skins.
The population of Ethiopia is estimated at 77 million, and over 50 per cent of the population is under 20 years of age. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometre is 69. Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic State with a great variety of languages. There are 83 languages with 200 dialects, and the three main languages are Amharic, Tigrigna and Oromigna. English, French, Italian and Arabic are also spoken, mainly in Addis Ababa. Additional information on Ethiopia and ECA can be found on http://www.uneca.org , http://www.telecom.net.et , http://www.ethio.com and http://tour.ethiopianonline.net .
Ethiopia has two main seasons. The dry season lasts from October through May, and the rainy season starts in late June and ends in September. Temperatures depend on season and altitude. Currently, the weather is warm during the daytime and very chilly in the night, so kindly carry a warm jacket/sweater for the evenings.
Electric supply in Ethiopia is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles AC accessible via 13-amp, two-pin (Italian) socket.
Ethiopian currency is denominated in “birr” and “centimes”. The exchange rate fluctuates. The United Nations official exchange rate as of 31 December 2006 was about $ US1.00 = Birr 8.70.
There is a branch of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in the ECA compound – located in the Rotunda. This Bank is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is also an authorized exchange centre (Forex) at the Sheraton Hotel and ATM machines for Visa/Mastercard users at both the Sheraton and Hilton which will give you money in birr.