Norway has a long history in Ethiopia through politics, development aid and missionary work that goes back to World War II when strong ties were formed between Emperor Haile Selassie and the Norwegian royal family. In 1995 Norway signed an agreement for bilateral cooperation with Ethiopia and the embassy in Addis Ababa is currently Norway’s largest foreign station in Africa.

Ethiopia is one of 12 focus countries for Norwegian development cooperation worldwide and a pilot country for Norway's global education assistance. Norway and Ethiopia have multiple common interests ranging from peace and security, climate change and migration management, to sustainable development, gender equality, education and, increasingly, private sector promotion and development. In 2017 the first direct flight between Oslo and Addis Ababa took place as the first African airline every to land in Norway, further strengething the Ethio-Norwegian relationship.