Banking Museum comes to Ethiopia

The state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) will create a museum and library out of the nation’s first bank building that hosted Abyssinia Bank if the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) approves its request.


The Central Statistical Agency (CSA) was using the building for three years and before that it was utilized by the Social Security and Treasury departments.
The building is 110 years old and needed renovation, but CBE is excited to take it on because there is no museum showcasing the history of banking in Ethiopia, CBE public relations spokesperson Efrem Mekurai said.
He added that they are working with the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (ARCCH) to renovate the building and obtain photos and other historical memorabilia to showcase.
The old Abyssinia bank will serve as a reference and documentation center to scholars or other researchers attempting to discover the history of finance in the nation.
ARCCH Inventory Director Efrem Amare told Capital that they are likely to approve the request from CBE.
The Bank of Abyssinia was founded in 1905 and it was affiliated with the National Bank of Egypt.
The agreement that was reached in 1905 gave the Egyptian National Bank total managing power and the following rights and concessions were agreed upon the establishment of Bank of Abyssinia.
The capital of the Bank was agreed to be Pound Sterling 500,000 and one-fifth was subscribed and the rest was to be obtained by selling shares in important cities such as London, Paris and New York.
The Bank was given full rights to issue bank notes and monitor coins which were to be legal tender and all the profits there from a ruing to the bank and freely exchangeable against gold and silver on cover by the Bank as well as to establish silver coins and abolish the Maria Theresa.