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La préservation et la protection des églises de Lalibela, ainsi que le projet d’exposition auront pour finalité la mise en valeur du lieu et la relance de l’attractivité de l’Ethiopie
AFD is supporting the coordination of the feasibility study led by the SCAC and financing the CNRS in the project to carry out emergency restoration work on certain churches and create a digital exhibition.

In 2019, Ethiopia, on the initiative of Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed, asked the French authorities for their support in the management of Ethiopian national heritage, and especially on the site of the churches in Lalibela.

The conservation and protection of churches in Lalibela and the associated exhibition project, will ultimately enhance the value of the site and boost Ethiopia's attractiveness as a cultural tourism destination on the African continent.


This project concerns the eleven monolithic churches in Lalibela in north-eastern Ethiopia, currently the main pilgrimage site in Ethiopia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first stage of the project is the performance of a feasibility study to define the most appropriate architectural solution for the conservation of the churches. The second phase of the project incorporates conservation and exhibition activities:

  • Performance of emergency restoration on certain churches and the establishment of training work sites, with the aim of building national and local capacities for heritage conservation, management and promotion
  • The creation of a traveling digital exhibition on rock-hewn churches. The exhibition aims to highlight the rich historical, religious and aesthetic assets of the site, notably by explaining its historical development.

Planned for 2021, the exhibition will first be presented in the Lalibela cultural center and then moved to Addis Ababa before finally becoming a traveling exhibition.

  • Safeguarding Ethiopia's historical and cultural heritage
  • Defining a sustainable solution for the protection, conservation, restoration and enhancement of a heritage site
  • Supporting cultural development as a vehicle for growth and job creation, particularly in the cultural tourism sector
Project start date
4 years
Duration of funding
Financing tool
4 890 000
Financing amount
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDREPA)