The Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures was established very recently in a new organizational setup on 30th April 2010. It was first founded during the reign of Emperor Hailesellasie I, in 1968.  On its establishment in 1968, the research organization was christened as the Academy of Ethiopian Languages Merha-Lissan, set for operation under the auspices of the then Ministry of Education and Fine Arts. In 1972, this first name was altered to the Academy of Amharic Language Merha-Lissan. Then, in 1975 the name was changed by the Provisional Military Government to the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and ordered to transfer to the newly set up Ministry of Culture and Sports Affairs in the same year. The organization was again ordered to move to Addis Ababa University in the middle of 1997 carrying a new name Ethiopian Languages Research Institute; however, the university accepted the organization with a low status as Ethiopian Languages Research Center. During the reform, the university renamed and upgraded the centre to the status of institute with the name Ethiopian Languages Research Institute in December 2009.  Finally in 2010 the university again renamed it as the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures.

Within the administrative structure of the Addis Ababa University, the Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures is under the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.



Academy of Ethiopian Languages and Cultures cherishes the following core principles:

1) Academic freedom: the academy upholds academic freedom as its core value whereby all its staffs exercise the right to free expression of ideas and scholarship.

2) Excellence: the academy promotes excellence as a guiding principle in research, community service, and scholarship, and commits itself to the attainment of the highest standards in academic performance.

3) Integrity and honesty: the academy fosters honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct in all its activities.

4) Pursuit of knowledge: the academy promotes continuous research and knowledge sharing.

5) Justice and fairness: the academy adheres to the principles of justice and fairness.

6) Diversity: the academy honors commonalities and differences in culture, ideas, religion, language, ethnic identity, upholds the principle of gender equality and acknowledges the role of every member of the community.

7) Evidence and scientific reasoning: the academy relies on evidence and adheres to scientific reasoning.

8) Intolerance to corruption: the academy promotes ethical conduct and fights corruption at individual, collective, and institutional levels and inculcates anti-corruption thinking and actions among the members of the Academy.

9) Transparency and accountability: the academy upholds transparency and accountability in all its activities and at all levels.

10) Entrepreneurial spirit: the academy upholds and inculcates the spirit of entrepreneurship.


1) Language Studies Center

2) Lexicography, Terminology and Translation Center

3) Philology Center

4) Social and Cultural Studies Center