Ityop’iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
short form: Ityop’iya
int’l long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
int’l short form: Ethiopia
former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa.
ISO Country Code: et
Ethiopian Standard Time = UTC +3h
Ethiopia does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.
Country Calling Code: +251
Capital: Addis Ababa (pop. 3 million)
Dire Dawa (180,000), Harar (138,000), Dessie (105,000), Nazret (100,000), Bahir Dar (95,000), Awassa (90,000)
Federal parliamentary democracy.
New constitution adopted in 1995.
Location: Horn of Africa bordered by the Sudan on the west, Somalia and Djibouti on the east, Eritrea on the north and Kenya on the south.
Area: 1.1 million km² (440 000 sq. mi.) about twice the size of Kenya, France or Texas.
Terrain: Rugged mountains, flat-topped high plateaus, deep river canyons, rolling plains and dry low lands.
Climate: Temperate in the highlands; tropical in the lowlands; dry season from October through May; wet season from June to September.
Nationality: Noun and adjective: Ethiopian(s)
Population: 84 millions (2012)
Ethnic groups (est.): comprised of seventy-eight nations of which the Amhara and the Oromo constitute the majority, Oromo 35%, Amhara 30%, Tigre 6%-8%, Somali 6%
Religions: Ethiopian Orthodox Christian 45%-50%, Muslim 40%, Protestant 5%, Animic
Languages: Amharic (official), Afan Oromo, Tigrinya, Gurage, Somali, Arabic and about 80 other local languages. English (major foreign language taught in schools)
Ethiopian alphabet: Geèz
Natural resources: Small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower.
Agriculture – products: Cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats.
Industries: Food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement.
Exports partners: Djibouti 13.4%, Germany11.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, Japan 6.8%, Italy6.4%, USA 5.1% (2003)
Imports partners: Saudi Arabia 24.1%, USA17%, China 6.4%, Italy 4.1% (2003)
Currency: Ethiopian Birr (ETB)
Oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world – at least 2,000 years. The country comprises of more than 80 ethnic groups and as many languages. Primarily their shared independent existence unites Ethiopia’s many nations. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia has never been colonised, one exception being the occupation by Italy in 1936-41.
In 1974 a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime of Mengistu Hailemariam was finally toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991.
A new constitution was adopted in 1994 which guaranteed the religious rights and the cultural and political rights of all ethnic groups. Ethiopia’s first multiparty elections were held in 1995. With a peace treaty on 12 December 2000 a 30 year old struggle with Eritrea ended.