The Diplomatic Bazaar started over 30 years ago in the corridor of the Hilton Hotel.
At that time it was a small event, where only a few embassies and organizations sold country specific goods. Even 30 years ago it was a fund raising event, and all proceeds went to small scale projects benefitting the most vulnerable in Addis. At that time projects were in and around Addis Ababa because it was not safe to travel throughout the country. Over the years the bazaar and its number of participants has grown significantly, and the location has changed several times, from the Hilton to embassy residences to the Millennium Hall to UNECA. This year it is held at Sheraton for the first time. Last year we had roughly 9000 visitors in 1 day.

The bazaar is a fund raising event where embassies and diplomatic organizations can sell goods. You will find mostly country specific goods and food, from Ghanaian fabrics to French wine, from Norwegian salmon to South African biltong. All participants sign a contract that they hand over 100% of their profit to DSGE. Also companies that sell things like water, ice cream or even the circus at the kid’s corner do so as a donation or give the proceeds to DSGE. All proceeds go to support the most vulnerable in Ethiopia.

This year’s bazaar
This year the bazaar will be held at the Sheraton on December 7th. Doors open at 8:30 for people with a VIP ticket and at 10:00 for people with a general ticket. Tickets cost 500 birr for VIP and 200 birr for general entry. There will be live entertainment and a kid’s corner. Children under 12 enter free of charge. Doors close at 15:00. This year visitors receive a canvas bag at the entrance for shopping. We go green this year and plastic bags are prohibited.

Project Matrix
The money raised is governed by Project Matix, a sub-group of the DSGE. Any Ethiopian registered NGO can hand in a proposal for funding by emailing projectmatrix.chair@gmail.com. Then Project Matrix investigates if the proposal is from a sound organization, if the NGO is licensed, if the project is sustainable and if it will benefit the most vulnerable in Ethiopia such as destitute single parents, children, handicapped and elderly. Last year over 60 organizations participated in the bazaar and raised 4,5 million etb. That money has been spent in 2019 on 22 projects from all over Ethiopia. All NGO’s sponsored are given a table at this year’s Diplomatic Bazaar to tell the public about their cause and they are the only ones at the bazaar that can sell things and keep the profit, though they have to sign a contract that the money earned will go towards their NGO.