Tracing the journey of the German Embassy School Addis Ababa reveals an educational institution with a storied history of resilience, excellence, and community. Originally founded in 1926 as an expert school within the Missionary House, it has grown into a thriving modern school that stays true to its roots.
The school found its current home in 1996, when then-President Roman Herzog broke ground on our campus. Prior to this, it held classes in various locations including Amist Kilo, where enrollment peaked at 800 students in its heyday. During periods of political turbulence, the school persevered by relocating to the German Embassy grounds until stability was regained.
The German Embassy School Addis Ababa traces its roots back to 1926 when German missionaries established the first school association. Classes began in 1928 at the Mission House, later becoming the Georg-Haccius Schule of the German Evangelical Lutheran Christ Church. After closing during WWII, the school association was re-founded in 1954 as an interdenominational, multinational institution. In 1955, classes resumed in temporary quarters awaiting new facilities. By 1961, enrollment grew to 150 students. The school received recognition from German education officials as a leading German school abroad.
The 1960s and 70s saw major campus expansions, with modern classroom buildings, boarding facilities, and amenities constructed to accommodate rising enrollment. Student numbers surpassed 400 by 1967. Academic offerings increased to include advanced diploma programs. Several milestones were met – the first graduating class in 1963, official German recognition in 1967, and introduction of the ‘Mittlere Reife’ program in 1968. In 1974 leadership changes in Ethiopia led to declining enrollment. By 1978, relocation to the German Embassy was required until stability returned.
During this period, external factors impacted school operations. Enrollment of Ethiopian students was prohibited on campus. Despite obstacles, the school persevered by relocating to the Embassy grounds until receiving approval to return to the original site. In 1986, an agreement secured land for a new campus. The German-Ethiopian Cultural Convention was signed in 1991, re-establishing the school’s future.
Construction of the modern campus began in 1996. In 2000, updated facilities were inaugurated, enabling academic and co-curricular expansion. IB Diploma Programme authorization came in 2003. Ethiopian student re-admission occurred in 2004. Enrollment and activities grew throughout the 2000s. The school’s 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2005. Kindergarten facilities were added to accommodate demand. In the 2010s, several milestones were achieved – PASCH partnership in 2010, “Excellent German School Abroad” recognition in 2011, and IB accreditation in 2014. Flood protection and new classrooms were completed in 2017-18. With continued strategic enhancements, the German Embassy School enters the future staying true to its roots.
Today, our school provides an engaging learning environment to over 300 students from Kindergarten to IBDP. We continually enhance our programs, facilities, and training while upholding the same spirit of academic quality, cultural exchange, and community that has defined this school for generations.