Ethiopia is a country of different sides, the country has large parts of fertile soil with substantial precipitation, on the other hand there are dry desert plains. More than 50% of the countries economy is dependent on agriculture. Ethiopia is developing its planning structure, agricultural sector and private sector. Water infrastructure is absent in many regions. A relatively new development in the country is the use of groundwater for agricultural activities and drinking water supplies. In addition, water consumers invented conjuctive use; a combined use of surface water as well as groundwater.

Ethiopia and the Netherlands have a long-term relationship on water management. Several Dutch-based firms are working on projects in Ethiopia, for example in the floraculture. Food certainty is one of the main priorities of Ethiopia. Water is crucial in realizing food certainty. Therefore the collaboration between the two countries focuses on water related activities in the horticulture.