The College of Business and Economics (CoBE) consists of the former Faculty of Business and Economics (established in November 1990) and School of Commerce (established in 1943).
The former Faculty of Business and Economics has its origin in the creation of the Department of Economics in 1959 under the Faculty of Art of the University College of Addis Ababa. This first move was followed by the establishment of the College of Business Administration in 1963, which consisted of two departments, namely the Department of Management and the Department of Accounting. In 1978 the College of Business Administration, the Faculty of Art and the School of Social Work were merged to form the College of Social Sciences. Twelve years later (in 1990), the University Senate decided to reorganize the College of Social Sciences, which resulted in the formation of the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). Following the formation of FBE, the faculty office moved from the main campus to the former place of the Crown Price in 1992.
The School of Commerce also has a fascinating history. The school was first established in 1943 as a Commercial School following the five years of the Italian occupation. The first training programs offered by the School were from six months to one year in duration. Over time, the programs evolved to extend to duration of four years. This laid the basis for the 8+4 program. In 1966, a 10+3 program was introduced, followed a few years later by an 11+3 program, and finally culminating in the 12+2 program introduced in 1972. At the time, students were trained in three fields: Secretarial Studies, Accounting, and Banking and Finance. The School phased out its lower-level programs over time in its quest to attain “Junior College” status. The school was brought under the Commission for Higher Education in 1979, thus becoming one of the few tertiary-level educational institutions in Ethiopia.
Then in 2010, the School of Commerce, the School of Information Sciences and the Faculty of Business and Economics were merged and named as “The College of Management, Information and Economic Sciences”. In April 2012, as a result of the revised governance system of the university, the college was restructured and named as the College of Business and Economics, consisting of four departments and one school.