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The National Bank of Ethiopia, the country’s central bank, was established in 1963 by Proclamation 206 of 1963 and began operation in January 1964. This proclamation raised the Bank’s capital to 10 million Ethiopian dollars. Following the proclamation, the Bank was entrusted with the responsibility of regulating, managing, licensing and supervising the banking industry in Ethiopia. The Bank’s current governor is Teklewold Atnafu.

However, the industry was subject to a couple of proclamations, the latest in 1994, recognized Bank according to the market-based economic policy so that it could foster monetary stability, a sound financial system and such other credit and exchange conditions as are conductive to the balanced growth of the economy of the country.

Ethiopia Banks

The Central Bank of Ethiopia has licensed the following commercial to operate in the country:

Abnessa International Bank, Awash International Bank, Bank of Abyssinia, Berhan International Bank, Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Construction and Business Bank, Cooperative Bank of Oromia, Dashen Bank, Development Bank of Ethiopia, Lion International Bank, Nib International Bank, Oromia International Bank, United Bank and Wegagen Bank.


The proclamation of 1976 introduced the new Ethiopian Birr in place of the former Ethiopian Dollar that ceased to be legal tender. The Ethiopian Birr (currency sign: Br, currency code: ETB) is the second most used currency in Africa with 88 million users, after the Nigerian naira. 186 billion birr was in circulation in 2008 ($14.7 billion or €9.97 billon). The Bank of Ethiopia issues its banknotes in denominations of 1, 10, 50, and 100 birr. The currency’s sub-unit is the santim which is 1/100 of the birr. The birr per US$ rate is 13.59. Ethiopia’s inflation rate was estimated at 11% in 2009.

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