In the past, if someone asked for a ride in Ethiopia, it was usually assumed that it was because they couldn’t afford a bus fare and little sympathy was spared for them. Many Ethiopians also suspected hitchers of hidden motives such as robbery.
However, for some towns not readily served by buses or light vehicles, hitching is now quite normal, and you will be expected to pay a ‘fare’. Negotiate this in advance. The best place to look for lifts is at the hotels, bars and cafes in the centre of town.