I live in Ethiopia and according on the National Bank of Ethiopia, it is illegal to get any money out of Ethiopia without special permission from the bank.

I personally want to make some online payments, what options do I have?

  • 1
    Have you considered talking to your bank?
    – NotMe
    Sep 30, 2014 at 21:55
  • Certainly, but they said that it is illegal to make any outgoing transaction with out the permission on the national bank
    – sami
    Oct 8, 2014 at 4:45
  • 2
    Did they advise you on how to seek that permission from the National Bank? That seems like the legal option you need to pursue.
    – NotMe
    Oct 8, 2014 at 15:15
  • It is only possible if you are a business institution
    – sami
    Oct 10, 2014 at 15:45
  • Start a business, then. Or it's impossible. Pick one.
    – keshlam
    Jul 15, 2015 at 1:24

3 Answers 3


According to Paypal, they support transactions in Ethiopia:

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/country-worldwide https://developer.paypal.com/docs/classic/api/country_codes/

However those appear to be limited to transferring money out of the country. (link)

There is an article here (link) which talks about how to transfer money from paypal back to your bank in Ethiopia. It sounds like you have to set up a US bank account, withdraw the funds to that then somehow transfer the money from their to your bank.

NOTE: I have no relationship to any of the sites above, nor do I know if the information is accurate or the trustworthiness of those businesses.


paypal says it works with CBE but can't seem to link my account with them, but skrill works perfectly just go to www.skrill.com sign up and you can link your bank account with your skrill account, i've had a few transactions so it should work for you too.


If the vendor accepts cryptocurrencies, this may be your only option.

It's not clear if exporting cryptocurrency violates Ethiopian law, but at least cryptocurrencies have not yet been banned.

If you can find someone who can trade you cryptocurrency, you can send it anywhere.

Because cryptocurrencies are still extremely price volatile, I recommend you use Ripple, the fastest I can find. It can 100% confirm transactions on average within 10 seconds. This will keep your exposure to price volatility at a minimum if you send the cryptocurrency as soon as you buy it.

If you choose this route, please take precausions. Your government may retroactively ban it and pursue you. Considering the Ethiopian government's history, this is not unlikely, and banning cryptocurrencies outright is.

  • Your advise against cryptocurrency risk is a coin which is traded in volumes ~3000 times smaller than Bitcoin, already an obscure currency by real-world standards?!
    – MSalters
    Jul 31, 2014 at 19:02
  • @MSalters For full certainty, Bitcoin requires 2 hours for a complete round trip. Ripple's only 20 seconds or less. It could be a rough 2 hours coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin Total trading volume is higher than simple XRP volume ripplecharts.com/#
    – user11865
    Jul 31, 2014 at 19:23

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