Paper Title: Undying Ambition



Ethiopia’s Enduring Quest for Access to the Sea – Historical Foundations, Geopolitical Strategies, and Regional Implications. by Gulaid Yusuf Idaan
Senior Lecturer and Researcher.


This paper delves into Ethiopia’s enduring desire for maritime access, exploring the historical,economic, geopolitical, and cultural dimensions of this aspiration. Ethiopia’s yearning for the sea has roots in its ancient history, reaching back to the dominance of the Kingdom of Axum and the subsequent loss of coastal territories to OttomanTurks.

The paper highlights key historical milestones, including the Battle of Adwa, the Scramble for Africa, and boundary disputes with colonial powers, which have shaped Ethiopia’s maritime ambitions.

The Anglo-Abyssinian Treaty of 1897 and the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1942 are examined to understand how diplomatic relations evolved between Ethiopia and the British Empire. The intricate dance between the two nations is analyzed in the context of Ethiopia’s quest for a sea outlet.


The Paper also delves into the complex negotiations and historical context surrounding the Haud-Zeila exchange, shedding light on the challenges faced by both Ethiopia and theen during determination to regain direct sea access.


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