African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 191


A note on Abebe Reta’s role in the Ethio-Swedish contacts

Abraha Weldu
  • Abraha Weldu
  • Department of History and Cultural Studies Mekelle, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 07 February 2016
  •  Accepted: 17 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 May 2017


Persons who are in one way or another had been involved in the Ethio-Swedish contacts, have not been well studied. The research behind the present study has purposes. First and foremost, it intends to trace personal files and memories with information significant to understand the Ethio-Swedish contacts, which could not be gotten from official archives. Secondly, to gain authentic sources which could not be obtain from other written literatures, and which could be used as an alternative for the interpretation of the changes of foreign relations that otherwise could not be understood by a scholar of a later generation. The situation, therefore, led the researcher to trace information from letters, correspondence, diaries, government reports, and archives of Abebe Reta, Haile Silassie’s personal representative in his relations with Sweden in 1940s. Abebe Reta, who took his education from Swedish Evangelical Mission, played an important role in re-establishing relations with Sweden in the post-1941. In 1944, Abebe made efforts to find out qualified Swedish experts in the field of health, military and education to work in Ethiopia. The attempt to res-establish the contact with Sweden was, however, made secret in order not to challenge the Ethio-British relations. In sum, the enquiry to find Swedish co-operation was a commission accredited to Abebe by the Emperor. Thus, this research project brings to light how Abebe appeared to manage Ethiopia’s foreign affairs in the critical hours.


Key words: Ethio-Swedish contacts, Abebe Reta, Haile Selassie, Sweden.