Roland Kobia (BE) is the Ambassador of the European Union to Ethiopia. Before that, he was the European Union Special Envoy for Afghanistan (2017-21). He has for 30 years been specialising in foreign policy through different geographical and thematic angles: conflict and transition countries, peace processes, formal and informal negotiations, development and humanitarian aid, political and economic transitions, political dialogues and mediation, state-building and regional security.
Earlier in his career, he was the first resident Ambassador of the European Union to Myanmar/Burma (2013-17) where he acted as the EU negotiator and signatory of the 2015 Nation-Wide Ceasefire Agreement. Before that, he served as the first full-term EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan (2009-13) with a focus on political and security issues, regional affairs and energy politics. He negotiated the Presidential EU-Azerbaijan Agreement on the ‘Southern Corridor’. Between postings abroad, he was Diplomatic Advisor in the Private Office of the EU Commissioner for Energy. Earlier on, he was the Deputy Head of Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, covering the regional politics and the Great Lakes conflict. He also served in Kenya as the Head of Regional Political Affairs, covering politics, conflicts and peace processes in 12 countries of the Horn of Africa and of the Great Lakes, negotiating and mediating peace agreements. He was posted in South Africa in the late 1980s/early 1990s during the transition out of Apartheid.
Roland Kobia holds a Master’s degree in European Politics from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Master’s degree in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier 1, as well as a Law degree from the Université catholique de Louvain. He is a visiting professor at the University of Montpellier, a regular lecturer at various universities and a frequent guest speaker at international conferences.