The Ethiopian Defense Industry sector is an office under the Ministry of Defense responsible for administering several defense industries. Its objective is to provide for and support the Ethiopian National Defense Force.
The manufacturing of weaponry in Ethiopia was started in the 18th century during the era of Emperor Tewodros. Historical records show Emperor Tewodros built a huge cannon called Sebastopol in 1868, in Gondar Province at a village named Gafat, and took it to the mountain of Maqdala. Later, under the reign of Emperor Menelik, an ammunition factory was established in 1911, which started producing bullet for Wejigra and Wechefor rifles.
The basis for modern defense industry was laid with the establishment of the then Emperor Haile Selassie ammunition factory in 1953 with the cooperation of the government of Czechoslovakia. Its objective was to locally manufacture ammunition for light weapons. In 1984, it was expanded with newer technology and more capacity. 
Due to the serious attention given towards building a strong defense industry, the Derg regime set out to build various defense factories with support from the former Soviet Union and other eastern block nations. In 1986, the government issued a directive to form a Defense Industry Commission reporting to the council of ministers which would be responsible for administration, production and strategic direction. Experts from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Industry and Ethiopian Management Institute were drawn to study the establishment of the commission. In 1991, the commission (renamed Basic Materials and Engineering Industry Commission) was administering four production facilities.
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