The establishment of an Academy of Sciences in Ethiopia first started in the 1960s by the renowned Ethiopian Scientist Aklilu Lemma who pioneered and presented the initiative to the Imperial Government. The idea was met with reluctance from the Government who were skeptical about the benefits of establishing an Academy of Sciences, but Aklilu Lemma and his colleagues were able to ease the skepticisms by arguing the merits that an Academy affords to the growing scientific community and to the public in Ethiopia. However, just as the initiative was gaining momentum, Ethiopia was engulfed in a revolution that brought to power the Derg regime and deferred the establishment an Academy of Sciences in Ethiopia.
Over four decades later, the idea to establish an Academy of Sciences was revived in 2007 by a group of Ethiopian scholars who were committed to promoting a culture of scientific inquiry and creativity in Ethiopia. The noticeable lack of platforms for collaboration and networking among the scientific community in Ethiopia coupled with the desire to see Ethiopia represented in the growing global networks of Academies further kindled the efforts. This time, the initiative was spearheaded by Professor Masresha Fetene who started e-mail discussions with several scholars within and outside Ethiopia to establish an Academy of Sciences.