Coordinates: 8°N 38°E / 8°N 38°E / 8; 38
Republic of Ethiopia
የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዴሞክራሲያዊ
yeʾĪtiyoṗṗya Fēdēralawī Dēmokirasīyawī Rīpebilīk
ወደፊት ገስግሺ፣ ውድ እናት ኢትዮጵያ
March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia
and largest city
9°1′N 38°45′E / 9.017°N 38.750°E / 9.017; 38.750
Federation member languages
traditional faiths (2.6%)
Federal dominant-party parliamentary republic
• Prime Minister
Abiy Ahmed Ali
Federal Parliamentary Assembly
• Upper house
House of Federation
• Lower house
House of Peoples' Representatives
c. 980 BC
• Kingdom of Aksum
c. 100 AD
• Ethiopian Empire
• People's Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia
• Current constitution
1,104,300 km2 (426,400 sq mi) (26th)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
• 2007 census
92.7/km2 (240.1/sq mi) (123rd)
• Per capita
• Per capita
low · 174th
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
You may need rendering support to display the Ethiopic text in this
Ethiopia (/ˌiːθiˈoʊpiə/; Amharic: ኢትዮጵያ,
ʾĪtyōṗṗyā, listen (help·info)), officially the
ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ,
yeʾĪtiyoṗṗya Fēdēralawī Dēmokirasīyawī Rīpebilīk
listen (help·info)), is a country located in the Horn of
Africa. It shares borders with
Eritrea to the north and northeast,
Somalia to the east,
Sudan and South
Sudan to the west,
Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia
is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the
second-most populous nation on the African continent. It occupies a
total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi),
and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.
Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans
has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region
from which modern humans first set out for the
Middle East and places
beyond. According to linguists, the first
Afroasiatic-speaking populations settled in the Horn region during the
Neolithic era. Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BC,
Ethiopia's governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history.
In the first centuries AD, the
Kingdom of Aksum
Kingdom of Aksum maintained a unified
civilization in the region, followed by the Ethiopian
Empire circa 1137. During the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa,
Ethiopia was one of the nations to retain its sovereignty from
long-term colonialism by a European colonial power. Many
newly-independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its
Ethiopia was also the first independent member from
Africa of the 20th-century
League of Nations
League of Nations and the United
Nations. In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under
Haile Selassie was
overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the
Soviet Union. In 1987, the
Derg established the People's Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia, but it was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian
People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been the ruling
political coalition since.
Eritrea use the ancient Ge'ez script, which is one of the
oldest alphabets still in use in the world. The Ethiopian
calendar, which is approximately seven years and three months behind
the Gregorian calendar, co-exists alongside the Borana calendar. A
majority of the population adheres to
Christianity (mainly the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and P'ent'ay), whereas around a
Islam (primarily Sunni). The country is the site of the
Migration to Abyssinia
Migration to Abyssinia and the oldest
Muslim settlement in
Negash. A substantial population of Ethiopian Jews, known as Bete
Israel, also resided in
Ethiopia until the 1980s.
a multilingual nation with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the four
largest of which are the Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans. Most
people in the country speak
Afroasiatic languages of the Cushitic or
Semitic branches. Additionally,
Omotic languages are spoken by ethnic
minority groups inhabiting the southern regions. Nilo-Saharan
languages are also spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities.
Ethiopia is the place of origin of the coffee bean. It was first
cultivated at Kefa, one of the 14 provinces in the old Ethiopian
administration. The nation is a land of natural contrasts, with its
vast fertile west, its forests, and numerous rivers, and the world's
hottest settlement of Dallol in its north. The
Ethiopian Highlands are
the largest continuous mountain ranges in Africa, and the Sof Omar
Caves contains the largest cave on the continent.
Ethiopia also has
the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. Additionally, the
country is one of the founding members of the UN, the Group of 24
(G-24), the Non-Aligned Movement, G-77 and the Organisation of African
Unity. Its capital city
Addis Ababa serves as the headquarters of the
African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Standby
Force, and many of the global NGOs focused on Africa. In the 1970s and
Ethiopia experienced civil conflicts and communist purges,
which hindered its economy. The country has since recovered and now
has the largest economy (by GDP) in East and Central
Africa. According to Global Fire Power,
Ethiopia also has
the 41st most powerful military in the world, and the third most
powerful in Africa.
2.3 During Muhammad's era
2.4 Middle Ages
2.5 Aussa Sultanate
2.6 Zemene Mesafint
Menelik II to Adwa (1889–1913)
Haile Selassie I era (1916–1974)
Derg era (1974–1991)
2.10 Federal Democratic
3.2 Human rights
4 Administrative divisions
7.1 Energy and hydropower
8.4.1 Rural and urban life
12 World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia
13 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
The Greek name Αἰθιοπία (from Αἰθίοψ, Aithiops, 'an
Ethiopian') is a compound word, derived from the two Greek words, from
αἴθω + ὤψ (aitho "I burn" + ops "face"). According to the
Perseus Digital Library, the designation properly translates as
Burnt-face in noun form and red-brown in adjectival form. The
Herodotus used the appellation to denote the parts of Africa
Sahara that were then known within the
world). However, the Greek formation may be a folk etymology for
the Ancient Egyptian term athtiu-abu, which means 'robbers of
In Greco-Roman epigraphs,
Aethiopia was a specific toponym for ancient
Nubia. At least as early as c. 850, the name
occurs in many translations of the
Old Testament in allusion to Nubia.
The ancient Hebrew texts identify
Nubia instead as Kush. However,
in the New Testament, the Greek term Aithiops does occur, referring to
a servant of Candace or Kandake, possibly an inhabitant of
Following the Hellenic and Biblical traditions, the Monumentum
Adulitanum, a third century inscription belonging to the Aksumite
Empire, indicates that Aksum's then ruler governed an area which was
flanked to the west by the territory of
Ethiopia and Sasu. The
Aksumite King Ezana would eventually conquer
Nubia the following
century, and the Aksumites thereafter appropriated the designation
"Ethiopians" for their own kingdom. In the Ge'ez version of the Ezana
inscription, Aἰθιόποι is equated with the unvocalized Ḥbštm
and Ḥbśt (Ḥabashat), and denotes for the first time the highland
inhabitants of Aksum. This new demonym would subsequently be rendered
as ’ḥbs (’Aḥbāsh) in Sabaic and as Ḥabasha in Arabic.
In the 15th-century Ge'ez Book of Aksum, the name is ascribed to a
legendary individual called Ityopp'is. He was an extra-Biblical son of
Cush, son of Ham, said to have founded the city of Axum.
In English, and generally outside of Ethiopia, the country was once
historically known as Abyssinia. This toponym was derived from the
Latinized form of the ancient Habash.
Main article: History of Ethiopia
Further information: Ethiopian historiography
Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo sapiens idaltu hominid skull
Several important finds have propelled
Ethiopia and the surrounding
region to the forefront of palaeontology. The oldest hominid
discovered to date in
Ethiopia is the 4.2 million year old
Ardipithicus ramidus (Ardi) found by
Tim D. White
Tim D. White in 1994. The
most well known hominid discovery is
(Lucy). Known locally as Dinkinesh, the specimen was found in the
Awash Valley of Ethiopia's
Afar Region in 1974 by Donald Johanson, and
is one of the most complete and best preserved adult Australopithecine
fossils ever uncovered. Lucy's taxonomic name refers to the region
where the discovery was made. The hominid is estimated to have lived
3.2 million years ago.
Ethiopia is also considered one of the earliest sites of the emergence
of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens. The oldest of these local
fossil finds, the Omo remains, were excavated in the southwestern Omo
Kibish area and have been dated to the Middle Paleolithic, around
200,000 years ago. Additionally, skeletons of
Homo sapiens idaltu
were found at a site in the
Middle Awash valley. Dated to
approximately 160,000 years ago, they may represent an extinct
subspecies of Homo sapiens, or the immediate ancestors of anatomically
Homo sapiens fossils excavated at the Jebel Irhoud
Morocco have since been dated to an earlier period, about
300,000 years ago.
According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations
arrived in the region during the ensuing
Neolithic era from the
family's proposed urheimat ("original homeland") in the Nile
Valley, or the Near East. Other scholars propose that the
Afroasiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, with its speakers
subsequently dispersing from there. Craniometric analysis of the
Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo sapiens idaltu skull found that the fossil was
morphologically distinct from crania belonging to modern
Afroasiatic-speaking groups from the
Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa and Dynastic
Egypt. The latter populations instead possessed Middle Eastern
affinities. This suggests that the Afroasiatic-speaking groups settled
in the area during a later epoch, having possibly arrived from the
Dʿmt and Kingdom of Aksum
Obelisk of Aksum
Around the 8th century BC, a kingdom known as
Dʿmt was established in
Ethiopia and Eritrea. The polity's capital was located at
Yeha, in northern Ethiopia. Most modern historians consider this
civilization to be a native Ethiopian one, although Sabaean-influenced
because of the latter's hegemony of the Red Sea.
Other scholars regard
Dʿmt as the result of a union of
Afroasiatic-speaking cultures of the Cushitic and Semitic branches;
namely, local Agaw peoples and
Sabaeans from South Arabia. However,
Ge'ez, the ancient Semitic language of Ethiopia, is thought to have
developed independently from Sabaean, one of the South Semitic
languages. As early as 2000 BC, other Semitic speakers were living in
Eritrea where Ge'ez developed. Sabaean influence
is now thought to have been minor, limited to a few localities, and
disappearing after a few decades or a century. It may have been a
trading or military colony in alliance with the Ethiopian civilization
Dʿmt or some other proto-Aksumite state.
Aksumite currency of the Aksumite king Endubis, 227–35, at the
British Museum. The inscriptions in
Ancient Greek read "ΑΧΩΜΙΤΩ
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ" ("KING OF AXUM") and "ΕΝΔΥΒΙΣ
ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ" ("KING ENDUBIS"), the
Greek language was the lingua
franca by that time so the
Axumite kings used it in coins to simplify
After the fall of
Dʿmt during the fourth century BC, the Ethiopian
plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms. In the
first century AD, the
Kingdom of Aksum
Kingdom of Aksum emerged in what is now northern
Ethiopia and Eritrea. According to the medieval Book of Aksum, the
kingdom's first capital, Mazaber, was built by Itiyopis, son of
Aksum would later at times extend its rule into
Yemen on the
other side of the Red Sea. The Persian religious figure Mani
Aksum with Rome, Persia, and China as one of the four great
powers of his era, during the 3rd century.
Around 316 AD,
Frumentius and his brother Edesius from Tyre
accompanied their uncle on a voyage to Ethiopia. When the vessel
stopped at a Red Sea port, the natives killed all the travelers except
the two brothers, who were taken to the court as slaves. They were
given positions of trust by the monarch, and they converted members of
the royal court to Christianity.
Frumentius became the first bishop of
Aksum. A coin dated to 324 shows that
Ethiopia was the second
country to officially adopt
Armenia did so in
301), although the religion may have been at first confined to court
circles; it was the first major power to do so.
As the Aksumite kingdom gradually declined, one of the earliest local
Muslim states, the Makhzumi Sultanate, was established in the Shewa
region. The polity was governed by the Makhzumi dynasty, which reigned
over the province until it was deposed around 1280 by the Walashma
During Muhammad's era
Main articles: Migration to Abyssinia, List of expeditions of
Muhammad, and Hegira
The first interaction that the Islamic Prophet
Muhammad had with
Ethiopia was during the reign of Aṣḥama ibn Abjar, who was at the
time the Emperor of
Aksum and gave refuge to several Muslims in the
Kingdom of Aksum
Kingdom of Aksum in 614 AD. According to other authors, Ashama may
have been the same person as king Armah, or his father or son.
Taddesse Tamrat records that the inhabitants of Wiqro, where the ruler
is known as Ashamat al-Negashi, claim that his tomb is located in
Muhammad's second interaction with
Ethiopia was during the Expedition
of Zaid ibn Haritha, when he sent
Amr bin Umayyah al-Damri to the King
Ethiopia (then Abyssinia).
Zagwe dynasty and Ethiopian Empire
Dawit II (Lebna Dengel),
Emperor of Ethiopia
Emperor of Ethiopia (r. 1507–1540) and a
member of the Solomonic dynasty
Zagwe dynasty ruled many parts of present-day
Ethiopia and Eritrea
between the early 12th and late 13th century. The name of the dynasty
is derived from the Cushitic-speaking Agaw of northern Ethiopia. From
1270 AD until the
Zemene Mesafint (Age of Princes), the Solomonic
dynasty governed the Ethiopian Empire.
In the early 15th century,
Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact
with European kingdoms for the first time since the Aksumite era. A
Henry IV of England
Henry IV of England to the Emperor of Abyssinia
survives. In 1428,
Yeshaq I sent two emissaries to Alfonso V of
Aragon, who sent return emissaries. They failed to complete the return
trip. The first continuous relations with a European country began
in 1508 with
Dawit II (Lebna Dengel), who had just
inherited the throne from his father.
The castle of Fasilides
This proved to be an important development, for when the Empire was
subjected to the attacks of the Adal Sultanate's general and imam,
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi (called "Grañ " "the Left-handed"),
Portugal assisted the Ethiopian emperor by sending weapons and four
hundred men, who helped his son
Gelawdewos defeat Ahmad and
re-establish his rule. This
Abyssinian–Adal war was also one of
the first proxy wars in the region, as the
Ottoman Empire and Portugal
took sides in the conflict. When Emperor
Susenyos I converted to Roman
Catholicism in 1624, years of revolt and civil unrest followed,
resulting in thousands of deaths. The Jesuit missionaries had
offended the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faith of the local
Ethiopians. In June 1632, Fasilides, Susenyos' son, declared the state
religion again to be the Ethiopian Orthodoxy. He expelled the Jesuit
missionaries and other Europeans.
Sultanate of Aussa
Sultanate of Aussa and Mudaito Dynasty
Sultanate of Aussa
Sultanate of Aussa or "Afar Sultanate" succeeded the earlier
Imamate of Aussa. The latter polity had come into existence in 1577
when Muhammed Jasa moved his capital from
Harar to Aussa (Asaita) with
the split of the
Adal Sultanate into the
Sultanate of Aussa
Sultanate of Aussa and the
Sultanate of Harar. At some point after 1672, the Sultanate of Aussa
declined and temporarily came to an end in conjunction with
Din bin Adam's recorded ascension to the throne.
The Sultanate was subsequently re-established by Kedafu around the
year 1734. It was thereafter ruled by his Mudaito Dynasty. The
primary symbol of the Sultan was a silver baton, which was considered
to have magical properties.
Main article: Zemene Mesafint
Emperor Tewodros II's rule is often placed as the beginning of modern
Ethiopia, ending the decentralized
Zemene Mesafint ("Era of the
Between 1755 and 1855,
Ethiopia experienced a period of isolation
referred to as the
Zemene Mesafint or "Age of Princes". The Emperors
became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras
Mikael Sehul of
Wolde Selassie of Tigray, and by the Yejju Oromo dynasty,
such as Ras Gugsa of Yejju, which later led to 17th-century Oromo rule
of Gondar, changing the language of the court from
Amharic to Afaan
Yohannes IV led Ethiopian troops during the battles of
Galabat, Gundet and Gura.
Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that
concluded an alliance between the two nations, but it was not until
Ethiopia was completely united and the power in the Emperor
restored, beginning with the reign of Tewodros II. Upon his ascent, he
Ethiopia and recentralizing power in the Emperor.
Ethiopia began to take part in world affairs once again.[citation
But Tewodros suffered several rebellions inside his empire. Northern
Oromo militias, Tigrayan rebellion, and the constant incursion of
Ottoman Empire and Egyptian forces near the Red Sea brought the
weakening and the final downfall of Tewodros II. He killed himself in
1868 during his last battle with the British Expedition to Abyssinia.
Tewodros II was born in
Begemder from a nobleman of Qwara,
Qwara dialect of Agaw language is spoken.
After Tewodros' death,
Tekle Giyorgis II
Tekle Giyorgis II was proclaimed Emperor. He
was defeated in the Battles of Zulawu (21 June 1871) and Adua (11 July
1871). Kassai was subsequently declared
Yohannes IV on 21 January
1872. In 1875 and 1876, Turkish/Egyptian forces, accompanied by many
European and American 'advisors', twice invaded Abyssinia but were
initially defeated: once at the Battle of Gundet losing 800 men, and
then in the second invasion, decisively defeated by Emperor Yohannes
IV at the
Battle of Gura on 7 March 1875, where the invading forces
lost at least 3000 men by death or captured. From 1885 to 1889,
Ethiopia joined the
Mahdist War allied to Britain, Turkey, and Egypt
against the Sudanese Mahdist State. On 10 March 1889,
Yohannes IV was
killed by the Sudanese Khalifah Abdullah's army whilst leading his
army in the
Battle of Gallabat
Battle of Gallabat (also called Battle of Metemma).
Menelik II to Adwa (1889–1913)
Emperor Menelik II, former Governor of Shewa
Ethiopia in its roughly current form began under the reign of Menelik
II, who was Emperor from 1889 until his death in 1913. From his base
in the central province of Shewa, Menelik set out to annex territories
to the south, east and west, areas inhabited by the Oromo, Sidama,
Gurage, Welayta, and other groups. He did this with the help of
Ras Gobana Dacche's Shewan Oromo militia, which occupied lands that
had not been held since Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi's war, as well as
other areas that had never been under Ethiopian sovereignty.
Menelik's campaign against Oromos outside his army was largely in
retaliation for centuries of Oromo expansionism and the Zemene
Mesafint, a period during which a succession of Oromo feudal rulers
dominated the highlanders. Chief among these was the Yejju
dynasty, which included
Aligaz of Yejju and his brother Ali I of
Yejju. Ali I founded the town of
Debre Tabor in the Amhara Region,
which became the dynasty's capital.
Ethiopia and other territories in
Africa in 1843
Menelik was born from King Hailemelekot of
Shewa and his mother
Ejegayehu Lema Adeyamo who was a servant in the royal household.
He had been born at Angolala in an Oromo area and had lived his first
twelve years with Shewan Oromos with whom he thus had much in
During his reign,
Menelik II made advances in road construction,
electricity and education; the development of a central taxation
system; and the foundation and building of the city of Addis
Ababa—which became capital of
Shewa Province in 1881. After he
ascended to the throne in 1889, it was renamed as Addis Ababa, the new
capital of Abyssinia. Menelik had signed the Treaty of Wichale with
Italy in May 1889 in which
Italy would recognize Ethiopia's
sovereignty so long as
Italy could control an area north of Ethiopia
(part of modern Eritrea). In return,
Italy was to provide Menelik with
weapons and support him as emperor. The Italians used the time between
the signing of the treaty and its ratification by the Italian
government to expand their territorial claims. This conflict erupted
Battle of Adwa
Battle of Adwa on 1 March 1896 in which Italy's colonial forces
were defeated by the Ethiopians.
About a third of the population died in the Great Ethiopian Famine
(1888 to 1892).
Haile Selassie I era (1916–1974)
Haile Selassie at his study at the palace
The early 20th century was marked by the reign of Emperor Haile
Selassie ("Ras Tafari").
Haile Selassie I was born to parents from
three of Ethiopia's Afroasiatic-speaking populations: the Oromo and
Amhara, the country's two largest ethnic groups, as well as the
Gurage. He came to power after
Iyasu V was deposed, and undertook a
nationwide modernization campaign from 1916, when he was made a Ras
and Regent (Inderase) for the Empress Regnant, Zewditu, and became the
de facto ruler of the Ethiopian Empire. Following Zewditu's death on 2
November 1930, he succeeded her as emperor.
The independence of
Ethiopia was interrupted by the Second
Italo-Ethiopian War, beginning when it was invaded by Fascist
early October 1935, and Italian occupation of the country
(1936–1941). During this time,
Haile Selassie appealed to the
League of Nations
League of Nations in 1935, delivering an address that made him a
worldwide figure, and the 1935 Time Man of the Year. As the
majority of the Ethiopian population lived in rural towns,
continued resistance and ambushes in urban centers throughout its
Haile Selassie fled into exile in London and Mussolini was
able to proclaim the Empire of
Ethiopia and the assumption of the
imperial title by the Italian king Vittorio Emanuele III, recognized
by the countries belonging to the international organization of the
League of Nations.
In 1937, the Italian massacre of
Yekatit 12 occurred. This was when
there were imprisonments and massacre of Ethiopians. This was because
of a failed attempt to assassinate the Viceroy of Italian East Africa
Rodolfo Graziani.
The 1897 Ethiopian flag with the
Lion of Judah
Following the entry of
Italy into World War II,
British Empire forces,
together with the Arbegnoch (lit. "patriots", referring to armed
resistance soldiers) restored sovereignty of
Ethiopia in the course of
the East African Campaign in 1941. An Italian guerrilla campaign
continued until 1943. This was followed by British recognition of
Ethiopia's full sovereignty, (i.e. without any special British
privileges), with the signing of the
Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement in
On 26 August 1942,
Haile Selassie issued a proclamation that removed
Ethiopia's legal basis for slavery.
Ethiopia had between two and
four million slaves in the early 20th century, out of a total
population of about eleven million.
Haile Selassie orchestrated the federation with Eritrea. He
dissolved this in 1962 and illegally annexed
Eritrea against the UN
Federation Agreement, which resisted and finally won its war of
Haile Selassie played a leading role in the formation of
Organisation of African Unity
Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.
Ethiopia turned against
Haile Selassie I owing to the
worldwide oil crisis of 1973. This oil crisis caused a sharp increase
in gasoline prices starting on 13 February 1974; food shortages;
uncertainty regarding the succession; border wars; and discontent in
the middle class created through modernization. The high gasoline
prices motivated the taxi drivers and teachers to go on strike on 18
February 1974, and students and workers in
Addis Ababa began
demonstrating against the government on 20 February 1974. The
feudal oligarchial cabinet of Akilou Habte Wolde was toppled, and a
new government was formed with
Endelkachew Makonnen serving as Prime
Derg era (1974–1991)
See also: Ethiopia–Russia relations, Ethiopian Civil War, Eritrean
War of Independence, and 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party (EPRP) clashed with the
Derg during the Qey Shibir
Haile Selassie's reign came to an end on 12 September 1974, when he
was deposed by the Derg, a Soviet-backed Marxist–Leninist military
dictatorship led by Mengistu Haile Mariam. The new Provisional
Military Administrative Council established a one-party communist
state which was called People's Democratic
March 1975.
The ensuing regime suffered several coups, uprisings, wide-scale
drought, and a huge refugee problem. In 1977, Somalia, which had been
receiving assistance and arms from the USSR, invaded
Ethiopia in the
Ogaden War, capturing part of the
Ethiopia recovered it
after it began receiving massive military aid from the USSR, Cuba,
South Yemen, East Germany, and North Korea. This included around
15,000 Cuban combat troops.
Between 1977–78, up to 500,000 were killed as a result of the Red
Terror, from forced deportations, or from the use of hunger as a
weapon under Mengistu's rule. The Red Terror was carried out in
response to what the
Derg termed as the White Terror, a chain of
violent events, assassinations, and killings carried out by what it
called "petty bourgeois reactionaries" who desired a reversal of the
1983–85 famine in Ethiopia
1983–85 famine in Ethiopia affected around eight million people,
resulting in one million dead. Insurrections against Communist rule
sprang up, particularly in the northern regions of
Eritrea and Tigray.
In 1989, the
Tigrayan People's Liberation Front
Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) merged with
other ethnically based opposition movements to form the coalition
known as the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Flag of the People's Democratic
Republic of Ethiopia
Soviet Union began to retreat from building world
communism under Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika policies,
marking a dramatic reduction in aid to
Ethiopia from Socialist Bloc
countries. This resulted in more economic hardship and the collapse of
the military in the face of determined onslaughts by guerrilla forces
in the north. The collapse of socialism in general, and in Eastern
Europe during the revolutions of 1989, coincided with the Soviet Union
stopping aid to
Ethiopia altogether in 1990. The strategic outlook for
Mengistu quickly deteriorated.
In May 1991, EPRDF forces advanced on
Addis Ababa and the Soviet Union
did not intervene to save the government side. Mengistu fled the
country and was granted asylum in Zimbabwe, where he still
In 2006, after a trial that lasted 12 years, Ethiopia's Federal High
Addis Ababa found Mengistu guilty of genocide in
absentia. Numerous other top leaders of his regime were also found
guilty of war crimes. Mengistu and others who had fled the country
were tried and sentenced in absentia. Numerous former officials
received the death sentence and tens of others spent the next 20 years
in jail, before being pardoned from life sentences.
In July 1991, EPRDF convened a National Conference to establish the
Transitional Government of Ethiopia
Transitional Government of Ethiopia composed of an 87-member Council
of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as
a transitional constitution. In June 1992, the Oromo Liberation
Front withdrew from the government; in March 1993, members of the
Southern Ethiopia Peoples' Democratic Coalition also left the
government. In 1994, a new constitution was written
that established a parliamentary republic with a bicameral legislature
and a judicial system.
See also: Eritrean independence referendum, 1993
Former Prime Minister
Meles Zenawi at the 2012 World Economic Forum
The 1st multiparty election took place in May 1995, which was won by
the EPRDF. The president of the transitional government, EPRDF
leader Meles Zenawi, became Prime Minister, and
Negasso Gidada was
In May 1998, a border dispute with
Eritrea led to the
Eritrean–Ethiopian War, which lasted until June 2000 and cost both
countries an estimated $1 million a day. This had a negative
effect on Ethiopia's economy, but strengthened the ruling
Ethiopia's 3rd multiparty election on 15 May 2005 was highly disputed,
with some opposition groups claiming fraud. Though the Carter Center
approved the pre-election conditions, it expressed its dissatisfaction
with post-election events.
European Union election observers
continuely accused the ruling party of vote rigging. The opposition
parties gained more than 200 parliamentary seats, compared with just
12 in the 2000 elections. While most of the opposition representatives
joined the parliament, some leaders of the CUD party who refused to
take up their parliamentary seats were accused of inciting the
post-election violence and were imprisoned. Amnesty International
considered them "prisoners of conscience" and they were subsequently
A coalition of opposition parties and some individuals was established
in 2009 to oust the regime of the EPRDF in legislative elections of
2010. Meles' party, which has been in power since 1991, published its
65-page manifesto in
Addis Ababa on 10 October 2009. The opposition
won most votes in Addis Ababa, but the EPRDF halted counting of votes
for several days. After it ensued, it claimed the election, amidst
charges of fraud and intimidation.
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development headquarters
Some of the eight member parties of the
Medrek (Forum for Democratic
Dialogue) include the Oromo Federalist Congress (organized by the
Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement and the Oromo People's Congress),
the Arena Tigray (organized by former members of the ruling party
Unity for Democracy and Justice
Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ, whose leader is
imprisoned), and the Coalition of Somali Democratic Forces.[citation
In mid-2011, two consecutively missed rainy seasons precipitated the
worst drought in
East Africa seen in 60 years. Full recovery from the
drought's effects did not occur until 2012, with long-term strategies
by the national government in conjunction with development agencies
believed to offer the most sustainable results.
Meles died on 20 August 2012 in Brussels, where he was being treated
for an unspecified illness. Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam
Desalegn was appointed as a new prime minister until the 2015
elections, and remained so afterwards with his party in control
of every parliamentary seat.
Protests broke out across the country on 5 August 2016 and dozens of
protesters were subsequently shot and killed by police. The protesters
demanded an end to human rights abuses, the release of political
prisoners, a fairer redistribution of the wealth generated by over a
decade of economic growth, and a return of
Wolqayt District to the
Amhara Region. The events were the most violent
crackdown against protesters in
Sub-Saharan Africa since the Ethiopian
regime killed at least 75 people during protests in the Oromia Region
in November and December 2015. Following these protests,
Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on 6 October 2016. The
state of emergency was lifted in August 2017.
On February 16, 2018, the government of
Ethiopia declared a six-month
nationwide state of emergency following the resignation of Prime
Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Hailemariam is the first ruler in
modern Ethiopian history to step down; previous leaders have died in
office or been overthrown. He said he wanted to clear the way for
Main article: Politics of Ethiopia
See also: Rulers and Heads of State of Ethiopia, Foreign relations of
Ethiopia, Ethiopian National Defense Force, and 2016 Ethiopian
Ethiopian embassy in Washington, D.C.
The politics of
Ethiopia takes place in a framework of a federal
parliamentary republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of
Executive power is exercised by the government. Federal
legislative power is vested in both the government and the two
chambers of parliament. On the basis of Article 78 of the 1994
Ethiopian Constitution, the
Judiciary is completely independent of the
executive and the legislature. The current realities of this
provision are questioned in a report prepared by Freedom House.
Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali
According to the
Democracy Index published by the United Kingdom-based
Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit in late 2010,
Ethiopia is an
"authoritarian regime", ranking as the 118th-most democratic out of
Ethiopia has dropped 12 places on the list since
2006, and the latest report attributes the drop to the government's
crackdown on opposition activities, media and civil society before the
2010 parliamentary election, which the report argues has made Ethiopia
a de facto one-party state.
In July 2015, during a trip that then US President
Barack Obama took
to Ethiopia, he highlighted the role of the country in the fight
against Islamic terrorism. Obama was the first sitting United
States president to visit Ethiopia.
Main article: Government of Ethiopia
The election of Ethiopia's 547-member constituent assembly was held in
June 1994. This assembly adopted the constitution of the Federal
Ethiopia in December 1994. The elections for
Ethiopia's first popularly chosen national parliament and regional
legislatures were held in May and June 1995. Most opposition parties
chose to boycott these elections. There was a landslide victory for
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
International and non-governmental observers concluded that opposition
parties would have been able to participate had they chosen to do so.
Addis Ababa's city hall
The current government of
Ethiopia was installed in August 1995. The
first President was Negasso Gidada. The EPRDF-led government of Prime
Meles Zenawi promoted a policy of ethnic federalism,
devolving significant powers to regional, ethnically based
Ethiopia today has nine semi-autonomous administrative
regions that have the power to raise and spend their own revenues.
Under the present government, some fundamental freedoms, including
freedom of the press, are circumscribed.
Citizens have little access to media other than the state-owned
networks, and most private newspapers struggle to remain open and
suffer periodic harassment from the government. At least 18
journalists who had written articles critical of the government were
arrested following the 2005 elections on genocide and treason charges.
The government uses press laws governing libel to intimidate
journalists who are critical of its policies.
Meles' government was elected in 2000 in Ethiopia's first-ever
multiparty elections; however, the results were heavily criticized by
international observers and denounced by the opposition as fraudulent.
The EPRDF also won the 2005 election returning Meles to power.
Although the opposition vote increased in the election, both the
opposition and observers from the
European Union and elsewhere stated
that the vote did not meet international standards for fair and free
elections. Ethiopian police are said to have massacred 193
protesters, mostly in the capital Addis Ababa, in the violence
following the May 2005 elections in the Ethiopian police
Former Foreign Minister of
Tedros Adhanom with former U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry
The government initiated a crackdown in the provinces as well; in
Oromia state the authorities used concerns over insurgency and
terrorism to use torture, imprisonment, and other repressive methods
to silence critics following the election, particularly people
sympathetic to the registered opposition party Oromo National Congress
(ONC). The government has been engaged in a conflict with rebels
Ogaden region since 2007. The biggest opposition party in 2005
Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD). After various
internal divisions, most of the CUD party leaders have established the
Unity for Democracy and Justice
Unity for Democracy and Justice party led by Judge Birtukan
Mideksa. A member of the country's Oromo ethnic group, Ms. Birtukan
Mideksa is the first woman to lead a political party in Ethiopia.
In 2008, the top five opposition parties were the Unity for Democracy
and Justice led by Judge Birtukan Mideksa, United Ethiopian Democratic
Forces led by Dr. Beyene Petros, Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
led by Dr. Bulcha Demeksa,
Oromo People's Congress
Oromo People's Congress led by Dr. Merera
Gudina, and United
Ethiopian Democratic Party
Ethiopian Democratic Party – Medhin Party led by
Lidetu Ayalew. After the 2015 elections,
Ethiopia lost its single
remaining opposition MP; there are now no opposition MPs in the
Main article: Human rights in Ethiopia
Ethiopian general election, 2005. Only parties with more than 10 seats
Dark blue: SPDP
Light blue: Others
Recent human rights violations include the killing of 100 peaceful
protestors by direct government gunfire in the Oromo and Amhara
regions in 2016. The UN has called for UN observers on the ground
Ethiopia to investigate this incident, however the
EPRDF-dominated Ethiopian government has refused this call. The
protestors are protesting land grabs and lack of basic human rights
such as the freedom to elect their representatives. The TPLF-dominated
EPRDF won 100% in an election marked by fraud which has resulted in
Ethiopian civilians protesting on scale unseen in prior post-election
Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo People's Congress, said the East
African country was at a "crossroads". "People are demanding their
rights," he said. "People are fed up with what the regime has been
doing for a quarter of a century. They're protesting against land
grabs, reparations, stolen elections, the rising cost of living, many
things. "If the government continue to repress while the people are
demanding their rights in the millions that (civil war) is one of the
likely scenarios," Merera said in an interview with Reuters.
According to surveys in 2003 by the National Committee on Traditional
Practices in Ethiopia, marriage by abduction accounts for 69% of the
nation's marriages, with around 80% in the largest region, Oromiya,
and as high as 92% in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and
Peoples' Region. Homosexual acts are illegal in
Among the Omotic Karo-speaking and Hamer peoples in southern Ethiopia,
adults and children with physical abnormalities are considered to be
mingi, "ritually impure". The latter are believed to exert an evil
influence upon others; disabled infants have traditionally been
murdered without a proper burial. The Karo officially banned the
practice in July 2012.
In 2013, the
Oakland Institute released a report accusing the
Ethiopian government of forcing the relocation of "hundreds of
thousands of indigenous people from their lands" in the Gambela
Region The report describes the Ethiopian government's "plans to
move over 1.5 million people" by the end of 2013, in order to allow
foreign investors to develop the land for large scale industrial
agriculture. According to several reports by the organization,
those who refused were the subject of a variety intimidation
techniques including physical and sexual abuse, which sometimes led to
deaths. A similar 2012 report by Human Rights Watch
also describes the Ethiopian government's 2010–2011 villagization
program in Gambella, with plans to carry out similar resettlements in
other regions. The Ethiopian government has denied the
accusations of land grabbing and instead pointed to the positive
trajectory of the countries economy as evidence of the development
Main articles: Regions of Ethiopia, List of zones of Ethiopia, and
Districts of Ethiopia
A map of Ethiopia's regions and zones
Ethiopia was divided into thirteen provinces, many
derived from historical regions. The nation now has a tiered
governmental system consisting of a federal government overseeing
ethnically based regional states, zones, districts (woreda), and
Ethiopia has been divided into nine ethnically-based and
politically autonomous regional states (kililoch, singular kilil )
and two chartered cities (astedader akababiwoch, singular astedader
akababi ), the latter being
Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. The kililoch
are subdivided into sixty-eight zones, and then further into 550
woredas and several special woredas.
The constitution assigns extensive power to regional states, which can
establish their own government and democracy according to the federal
government's constitution. Each region has at its apex a regional
council where members are directly elected to represent the districts
and the council has legislative and executive power to direct internal
affairs of the regions.
Article 39 of the Ethiopian
Constitution further gives every regional
state the right to secede from Ethiopia. There is debate, however, as
to how much of the power guaranteed in the constitution is actually
given to the states. The councils implement their mandate through an
executive committee and regional sectoral bureaus. Such elaborate
structure of council, executive, and sectoral public institutions is
replicated to the next level (woreda).
Region or city (ክልል/የከተማ አስተዳድር)
Oct 1994 census
May 2007 census
Jul 2012 estimate
Addis Ababa (አዲስ አበባ)
Dire Dawa (ድሬዳዋ)
Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region
Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (ደቡብ
Special enumerated zones
Main article: Geography of Ethiopia
Ethiopia map of Köppen climate classification
At 1,126,829 square kilometres (435,071 sq mi),
Ethiopia is the world's 27th-largest country, comparable in size to
Bolivia. It lies between the
3rd parallel north
3rd parallel north and the 15th parallel
north and longitudes
33rd meridian east
33rd meridian east and 48th meridian east.
The major portion of
Ethiopia lies on the Horn of Africa, which is the
easternmost part of the African landmass. Bordering
Ethiopia are Sudan
Sudan to the west,
Eritrea to the north,
Somalia to the east and
Kenya to the south. Within
Ethiopia is a vast
highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus divided by the
Great Rift Valley, which runs generally southwest to northeast and is
surrounded by lowlands, steppes, or semi-desert. The great diversity
of terrain determines wide variations in climate, soils, natural
vegetation, and settlement patterns.
Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country, ranging from the deserts
along the eastern border to the tropical forests in the south to
Afromontane in the northern and southwestern parts. Lake
Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile. It also has a large
number of endemic species, notably the gelada, the walia ibex and the
Ethiopian wolf ("Simien fox"). The wide range of altitude has given
the country a variety of ecologically distinct areas, and this has
helped to encourage the evolution of endemic species in ecological
Geography of Ethiopia
Geography of Ethiopia § Climate
The predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide
topographic-induced variation. The
Ethiopian Highlands cover most of
the country and have a climate which is generally considerably cooler
than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the
country's major cities are located at elevations of around
2,000–2,500 m (6,562–8,202 ft) above sea level,
including historic capitals such as
Gondar and Axum.
The modern capital, Addis Ababa, is situated on the foothills of Mount
Entoto at an elevation of around 2,400 metres (7,900 ft). It
experiences a mild climate year round. With temperatures fairly
uniform year round, the seasons in
Addis Ababa are largely defined by
rainfall: a dry season from October to February, a light rainy season
from March to May, and a heavy rainy season from June to September.
The average annual rainfall is approximately 1,200 millimetres
There are on average 7 hours of sunshine per day. The dry season is
the sunniest time of the year, though even at the height of the rainy
season in July and August there are still usually several hours per
day of bright sunshine. The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa
is 16 °C (60.8 °F), with daily maximum temperatures
averaging 20–25 °C (68.0–77.0 °F) throughout the year,
and overnight lows averaging 5–10 °C (41.0–50.0 °F).
Most major cities and tourist sites in
Ethiopia lie at a similar
Addis Ababa and have a comparable climate. In less
elevated regions, particularly the lower lying Ethiopian xeric
grasslands and shrublands in the east of the country, the climate can
be significantly hotter and drier. Dallol, in the Danakil Depression
in this eastern zone, has the world's highest average annual
temperature of 34 °C (93.2 °F).
See also: Environmental issues in Ethiopia
Wildlife of Ethiopia
The Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopia has 31 endemic species of mammals. The African wild dog
prehistorically had widespread distribution in the territory. However,
with last sightings at Finicha'a, this canid is thought to be
potentially locally extinct. The
Ethiopian wolf is perhaps the most
researched of all the endangered species within Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is a global center of avian diversity. To date more than 856
bird species have been recorded in Ethiopia, twenty of which are
endemic to the country. Sixteen species are endangered or
critically endangered. A large number of these birds feed on
butterflies, like the Bicyclus anynana.
A papilionidae at Lake Tana
Historically, throughout the African continent, wildlife populations
have been rapidly declining due to logging, civil wars, pollution,
poaching, and other human factors. A 17-year-long civil war,
along with severe drought, negatively impacted Ethiopia's
environmental conditions, leading to even greater habitat
degradation. Habitat destruction is a factor that leads to
endangerment. When changes to a habitat occur rapidly, animals do not
have time to adjust. Human impact threatens many species, with greater
threats expected as a result of climate change induced by greenhouse
gases. With carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 of 6,494,000 tonnes,
Ethiopia contributes just 0.02% to the annual human-caused release of
Ethiopia has a large number of species listed as critically
endangered, endangered, and vulnerable to global extinction. The
threatened species in
Ethiopia can be broken down into three
categories (based on
IUCN ratings): critically endangered, endangered,
Critically endangered mammals
Large-eared free-tailed bat
Lesser horseshoe bat
Scott's mouse-eared bat
African wild dog
Natal free-tailed bat
Ethiopian striped mouse
Patrizi's trident leaf-nosed bat
Main article: Deforestation in Ethiopia
Mountain nyalas in Bale Mountains National Park, one of several
wildlife reserves in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the eight fundamental and independent centers of
origin for cultivated plants in the world. However, deforestation
is a major concern for
Ethiopia as studies suggest loss of forest
contributes to soil erosion, loss of nutrients in the soil, loss of
animal habitats, and reduction in biodiversity. At the beginning of
the 20th century, around 420,000 km2 (or 35%) of Ethiopia's land
was covered by trees, but recent research indicates that forest cover
is now approximately 11.9% of the area.
Ethiopia loses an estimated 1,410 km2 of natural forests each
year. Between 1990 and 2005 the country lost approximately
21,000 km2 of forests. Current government
programs to control deforestation consist of education, promoting
reforestation programs, and providing raw materials which are
alternatives to timber. In rural areas the government also provides
non-timber fuel sources and access to non-forested land to promote
agriculture without destroying forest habitat. 
Organizations such as SOS and Farm
Africa are working with the federal
government and local governments to create a system of forest
management. Working with a grant of approximately 2.3 million
Euros, the Ethiopian government recently began training people on
reducing erosion and using proper irrigation techniques that do not
contribute to deforestation. This project is assisting more than 80
Main article: Economy of Ethiopia
See also: Foreign aid to Ethiopia
Human Development Index
Human Development Index rating 1970–2010
According to the IMF,
Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing
economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004
through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent
African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World
Bank highlighted that
Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth
with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004
In 2008 and 2011, Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable
development gains were challenged by high inflation and a difficult
balance of payments situation.
Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011
because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in
early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation
was projected to be about 22%, and single digit inflation is projected
in 2012/13 with the implementation of tight monetary and fiscal
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa
In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the
lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious
structural problems. However, with a focused investment in public
infrastructure and industrial parks, Ethiopia's economy is addressing
its structural problems to become a hub for light manufacturing in
The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging
only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to
99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a
maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that
land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and
administration is considered an area where corruption is
institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are
often demanded when dealing with land-related issues. As there is
no land ownership, infrastructural projects are most often simply done
without asking the land users, which then end up being displaced and
without home or land. A lot of anger and distrust sometimes results in
public protests. In addition, agricultural productivity remains low,
and frequent droughts still beset the country, also leading to
Energy and hydropower
Energy in Ethiopia
Energy in Ethiopia and List of power stations in Ethiopia
Layout of the Grand Renaissance Dam.
Ethiopia has 14 major rivers, which flow from its highlands, including
the Nile. The country has the largest water reserves in Africa. As of
2012, hydroelectric plants represented around 88.2% of the total
installed electricity capacity. The remaining electrical power was
generated from fossil fuels (8.3%) and other renewable sources (3.6%).
The electrification rate for the total population in 2013 was 24%,
with 85% coverage in urban areas and 10% coverage in rural areas. As
of 2014, total electricity production was 9.5 billion kWh and
consumption was 6.7 billion kWh. There were 1.1 billion kWh in
electricity exports, 0 kWh in electricity imports, and 2.4 million kW
of installed generating capacity.
Ethiopia delivers roughly 81% of water volume to the
Nile through the
river basins of the Blue Nile,
Sobat River and Atbara. In 1959, Egypt
Sudan signed a bilateral treaty, the 1959
Nile Waters Agreement,
which gave both countries exclusive maritime rights over the Nile
waters. Ever since,
Egypt under international law vetoed almost all
Ethiopia that sought to utilize the local Nile
tributaries. This had the effect of discouraging external financing of
hydropower and irrigation projects in western Ethiopia, thereby
impeding water resource-based economic development projects. However,
Ethiopia is in the process of constructing a large 6,450 MW
hydroelectric dam on the
Blue Nile river. When completed, this Grand
Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is slated to be the largest hydroelectric
power station on the continent. The Gibe III hydroelectric
project already generates an estimated 1,870-MW.
Tef field near Mojo
Agriculture constitutes around 85% of the labour force. However, the
service sector represents the largest portion of the GDP. Many
other economic activities depend on agriculture, including marketing,
processing, and export of agricultural products. Production is
overwhelmingly by small-scale farmers and enterprises, and a large
part of commodity exports are provided by the small agricultural
cash-crop sector. Principal crops include coffee, legumes, oilseeds,
cereals, potatoes, sugarcane, and vegetables.
Exports are almost entirely agricultural commodities (with the
Gold exports), and coffee is the largest foreign exchange
Ethiopia is Africa's second biggest maize producer.
According to UN estimations the per capita GDP of
Ethiopia has reached
$357 as of 2011[update]. The same report indicated that the life
expectancy had improved substantially in recent years. The life
expectancy of men is reported to be 56 years and for women 60 years.
Coffee production in Ethiopia
Ethiopia in the 2009/2010 financial year totaled 1.4
billion USD. The country produces more coffee than any other
nation on the continent.
Ethiopia Export Treemap from MIT–
Harvard Economic Complexity
Ethiopia also has the 5th largest inventory of cattle. Other main
export commodities are khat, gold, leather products, and oilseeds.
Recent development of the floriculture sector means
Ethiopia is poised
to become one of the top flower and plant exporters in the world.
Cross-border trade by pastoralists is often informal and beyond state
control and regulation. In East Africa, over 95% of cross-border trade
is through unofficial channels. The unofficial trade of live cattle,
camels, sheep, and goats from
Ethiopia sold to Somalia, Djibouti, and
Kenya generates an estimated total value of between 250 and 300
million USD annually (100 times more than the official figure).
This trade helps lower food prices, increase food security, relieve
border tensions, and promote regional integration. However, the
unregulated and undocumented nature of this trade runs risks, such as
allowing disease to spread more easily across national borders.
Furthermore, the government of
Ethiopia is purportedly unhappy with
lost tax revenue and foreign exchange revenues. Recent
initiatives have sought to document and regulate this trade.
Coffee brand bags in Takoma Park, Maryland. Coffee
is one of Ethiopia's main exports.
With the private sector growing slowly, designer leather products like
bags are becoming a big export business, with Taytu becoming the first
luxury designer label in the country. Additional small-scale
export products include cereals, pulses, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes,
and hides. With the construction of various new dams and growing
hydroelectric power projects around the country,
Ethiopia also plans
to export electric power to its neighbors.
Coffee remains its most important export product, and with new
trademark deals around the world (including recent deals with
Starbucks) the country plans to increase its revenue from coffee.
Most regard Ethiopia's large water resources and potential as its
"white oil" and its coffee resources as "black gold".
The country also has large mineral resources and oil potential in some
of the less inhabited regions. Political instability in those regions,
however, has inhibited development. Ethiopian geologists were
implicated in a major gold swindle in 2008. Four chemists and
geologists from the Ethiopian Geological Survey were arrested in
connection with a fake gold scandal, following complaints from buyers
in South Africa.
Gold bars from the National Bank of
found by police to be gilded metal, costing the state around 17
million USD, according to the Science and Development Network
In 2011, the
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project was commenced.
When completed, it will provide surplus energy in
Ethiopia which will
be available for export to neighboring countries.
Main article: Transport in Ethiopia
Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737–700 on the Bole International Airport
Ethiopia has 926 km of electrified 1,435 mm
(4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge railways,
656 km for the
Addis Ababa –
Djibouti Railway between Addis
Ababa and the Port of
Djibouti (via Awash) and 270 km for
the Awash –
Hara Gebeya Railway between
Addis Ababa and the twin
cities of Dessie/Kombolcha (also via Awash). Both railways are
either in trial service or still under construction as of August 2017.
Once commissioned and fully operational in 2018/2019, both railways
will allow passenger transport with a designated speed of
120 km/hour and freight transport with a speed of
~80 km/hour. Expected travel time from
Addis Ababa to Djibouti
City for passengers would be less than twelve hours and travel time
Addis Ababa to Dessie/
Kombolcha would be around six hours.
Beyond the first 270 km of the Awash –
Hara Gebeya Railway, a
second construction phase over 120 km foresees the extension of
this railway from Dessie/
Kombolcha to Hara Gebeya/Woldiya. It is not
clear, when this section will be built and opened. A third,
northern 216 km long railway is also under construction between
Mek'ele and Woldiya, but it is also not clear, when this railway will
be commissioned and opened. All railways are part of a future
railway network of more than 5,000 km of railways, the National
Railway Network of Ethiopia.
Light rail in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
As the first part of a ten-year Road Sector Development Program,
between 1997 and 2002 the Ethiopian government began a sustained
effort to improve its infrastructure of roads. As a result, as of
Ethiopia has a total (Federal and Regional) of
100,000 km of roads, both paved and gravel.
Ethiopia had 58 airports as of 2012[update], and 61 as of
2016. Among these, the
Bole International Airport
Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa
Aba Tenna Dejazmach Yilma International Airport
Aba Tenna Dejazmach Yilma International Airport in Dire Dawa
accommodate international flights.
Ethiopian Airlines is the country's
flag carrier, and is wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia.
From its hub at the Bole International Airport, the airline serves a
network of 102 international 20 domestic passenger, and 44 cargo,
destinations. It is also one of the fastest-growing carriers
in the industry and continent.
Main article: Demographics of Ethiopia
People of Ethiopia
People of Ethiopia and List of ethnic groups in Ethiopia
Ethnic groups in Ethiopia
Population in millions according to 2007 Census
Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million in 1983 to 87.9
million in 2014. The population was only about 9 million in the
19th century. The 2007 Population and Housing Census results show
that the population of
Ethiopia grew at an average annual rate of 2.6%
between 1994 and 2007, down from 2.8% during the period 1983–1994.
Currently, the population growth rate is among the top ten countries
in the world. The population is forecast to grow to over 210 million
by 2060, which would be an increase from 2011 estimates by a factor of
Population in Ethiopia
The country's population is highly diverse, containing over 80
different ethnic groups. According to the Ethiopian national census of
2007, the Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, at 34.4% of
the nation's population. The Amhara represent 27.0% of the country's
Tigrayans represent 6.22% and 6.08% of
the population, respectively. Other prominent ethnic groups are as
follows: Sidama 4.00%,
Gurage 2.52%, Welayta 2.27%, Afar 1.73%, Hadiya
1.72%, Gamo 1.49% and others 12.6%.
Afroasiatic-speaking communities make up the majority of the
population. Among these, Semitic speakers often collectively refer to
themselves as the Habesha people. The
Arabic form of this term
(al-Ḥabasha) is the etymological basis of "Abyssinia," the former
Ethiopia in English and other European languages.
Additionally, Nilo-Saharan-speaking ethnic minorities inhabit the
southern regions of the country, particularly in areas of the Gambela
Region which borders South Sudan. The largest ethnic groups among
these include the Nuer and Anuak.
Ethiopia hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers
numbering approximately 135,200. The majority of this population came
Somalia (approximately 64,300 persons),
Eritrea (41,700) and
Sudan (25,900). The Ethiopian government required nearly all refugees
to live in refugee camps.
Main article: Languages of Ethiopia
Languages of Ethiopia
Languages of Ethiopia as of 2007[update] Census
According to Ethnologue, there are 90 individual languages spoken in
Ethiopia. Most people in the country speak Afroasiatic languages
of the Cushitic or Semitic branches. The former includes Oromiffa,
spoken by the Oromo, and Somali, spoken by the Somalis; the latter
includes Amharic, spoken by the Amhara, and Tigrinya, spoken by the
Tigrayans. Together, these four groups make up about three-quarters of
Ethiopia's population. Other
Afroasiatic languages with a significant
number of speakers include the Cushitic Sidamo, Afar, Hadiyya and Agaw
languages, as well as the Semitic
Gurage languages, Harari, Silt'e,
and Argobba languages. Arabic, which also belongs to the
Afroasiatic family, is likewise spoken in some areas.
Omotic languages are spoken by Omotic ethnic minority
groups inhabiting the southern regions. Among these idioms are Aari,
Bench, Dime, Dizin, Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, Maale, Hamer, and Wolaytta.
Languages from the Nilo-Saharan family are also spoken by ethnic
minorities concentrated in the southwestern parts of the country.
These languages include Nuer, Anuak, Nyangatom, Majang, Suri, Me'en,
English is the most widely spoken foreign language, and is the medium
of instruction in secondary schools.
Amharic was the language of
primary school instruction, but has been replaced in many areas by
regional languages such as Oromiffa, Somali or Tigrinya. While
all languages enjoy equal state recognition in the 1995 Constitution
Amharic is recognized as the official working language of
the Federal Government. The various regions of
chartered cities are free to determine their own working
Amharic is recognised as the official working language
of Amhara Region, Benishangul-Gumuz, Southern Nations, Nationalities,
and Peoples' Region, Gambela Region,
Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa,
while Afar, Harari, Oromiffa, Somali and
Tigrinya are recognized as official working languages in their
In terms of writing systems, Ethiopia's principal orthography is the
Ge'ez script. Employed as an abugida for several of the country's
languages, it first came into usage in the 6th and 5th centuries BC as
an abjad to transcribe the Semitic Ge'ez language. Ge'ez now
serves as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. During the 1980s, the
Ethiopic character set was computerized. It is today part of the
Unicode standard as Ethiopic, Ethiopic Extended, Ethiopic Supplement
and Ethiopic Extended-A.
Other writing systems have also been used over the years by different
Ethiopian communities. The latter include Bakri Sapalo's script for
Main article: Religion in Ethiopia
Religion in Ethiopia
Religion in Ethiopia (2007)
Ethiopian Orthodoxy (43.5%)
P'ent'ay (Protestant) (18.6%)
Traditional faiths (2.6%)
Ethiopia has close historical ties with all three of the world's major
Abrahamic religions. In the 4th century, the Ethiopian empire was one
of the first in the world to officially adopt
Christianity as the
state religion. As a result of the resolutions of the Council of
Chalcedon, in 451 the miaphysites, which included the vast
majority of Christians in
Egypt and Ethiopia, were accused of
monophysitism and designated as heretics under the common name of
Christianity (see Oriental Orthodoxy). While no longer
distinguished as a state religion, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo
Church remains the majority Christian denomination. There is also a
Muslim demographic, representing around a third of the
Ethiopia is the site of the First Hegira, a
major emigration in Islamic history. A town in the Tigray Region,
Negash is the oldest
Muslim settlement in Africa. Until the 1980s, a
substantial population of
Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews) resided in
Church of Saint George, Lalibela
Church of Saint George, Lalibela is a UNESCO World
According to the 2007 National Census, Christians make up 62.8% of the
country's population (43.5% Ethiopian Orthodox, 19.3% other
denominations), Muslims 33.9%, practitioners of traditional faiths
2.6%, and other religions 0.6%. This is in agreement with the CIA
World Factbook, which states that
Christianity is the most widely
practiced religion in Ethiopia. The ratio of the Christian to
Muslim population has largely remained stable when compared to
previous censuses conducted decades ago. Sunnis form the majority
of Muslims with non-denominational Muslims being the second largest
group of Muslims, and the Shia and Ahmadiyyas are a minority. Sunnis
are largely Shafi'is or Salafis, and there are also many Sufi Muslims
there. The large
Muslim population in the northern Afar region
has resulted in a
Muslim separatist movement called the "Islamic State
of Afaria" seeking a sharia-compliant constitution.
Kingdom of Aksum
Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first polities to officially
embrace Christianity, when
Frumentius of Tyre, called Fremnatos or
Abba Selama ("Father of Peace") in Ethiopia, converted Emperor Ezana
during the fourth century. According to the New Testament,
Christianity had entered
Ethiopia even earlier, when an official in
the Ethiopian royal treasury was baptized by Philip the
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is part of Oriental Orthodoxy.
It is by far the largest Christian denomination, although a number of
P'ent'ay (Protestant) churches have recently gained ground. Since
1930, a relatively small Ethiopian
Catholic Church has existed in full
communion with Rome, with adherents making up less than 1% of the
A mosque in Bahir Dar
Ethiopia dates back to the founding of the religion in 622
when a group of Muslims were counseled by
Muhammad to escape
persecution in Mecca. The disciples subsequently migrated to Abyssinia
via modern-day Eritrea, which was at the time ruled by Ashama
ibn-Abjar, a pious Christian emperor. Also, the largest single
ethnic group of non-Arab Sahabah was that of the Ethiopians.[citation
A small ancient group of Jews, the Beta Israel, live in northwestern
Ethiopia, though most immigrated to
Israel in the last decades of the
20th century as part of the Israeli government's relocation missions:
Operation Moses and Operation Solomon.
According to the 2007 Population and Housing Census, around 1,957,944
Ethiopia are adherents of traditional religions. An
additional 471,861 residents practice other creeds. While followers
of all religions can be found in each region, they tend to be
concentrated in certain parts of the country. Christians predominantly
live in the northern Amhara and Tigray regions, and are largely
members of the non-Chalcedonian Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
Those belonging to
P'ent'ay are centered in the Southern Nations,
Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNP) and Oromia. Muslims in
Ethiopia predominantly adhere to Sunni
Islam and generally inhabit
eastern and northeastern areas; particularly the Somali, Afar, Dire
Dawa and Harari regions. Practitioners of traditional religions mainly
reside in the nation's far southwestern and western rural borderlands,
in the SNNP,
Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambela regions.
Human rights groups have regularly accused the government of arresting
activists, journalists and bloggers to stamp out dissent among some
religious communities. Lengthy prison terms were handed to 17 Muslim
activists on 3 August 2015 ranging from seven to 22 years. They were
charged with trying to create an Islamic state in the majority
Christian country. All the defendants denied the charges and claimed
that they were merely protesting in defence of their
Main article: List of cities and towns in Ethiopia
View of the capital
Addis Ababa from the Sheraton Hotel
Population growth, migration, and urbanization are all straining both
governments' and ecosystems' capacity to provide people with basic
services. Urbanization has steadily been increasing in Ethiopia,
with two periods of significantly rapid growth. First, in 1936–1941
during the Italian occupation of Mussolini's fascist regime, and from
1967 to 1975 when the populations of urban centers tripled.
Italy annexed Ethiopia, building infrastructure to connect
major cities, and a dam providing power and water. This along
with the influx of Italians and laborers was the major cause of rapid
growth during this period. The second period of growth was from 1967
to 1975 when rural populations migrated to urban centers seeking work
and better living conditions.
This pattern slowed due to the 1975 Land Reform program instituted by
the government, which provided incentives for people to stay in rural
areas. As people moved from rural areas to the cities, there were
fewer people to grow food for the population. The Land Reform Act was
meant to increase agriculture since food production was not keeping up
with population growth over the period of 1970–1983. This program
proliferated the formation of peasant associations, large villages
based on agriculture. The act did lead to an increase in food
production, although there is debate over the cause; it may be related
to weather conditions more than the reform act. Urban populations
have continued to grow with an 8.1% increase from 1975 to 2000.
Largest cities or towns in Ethiopia
CSA (Urban population projection values of 2016)
Rural and urban life
Migration to urban areas is usually motivated by the hope of better
lives. In peasant associations daily life is a struggle to survive.
About 16% of the population in
Ethiopia are living on less than 1
dollar per day (2008). Only 65% of rural households in Ethiopia
consume the World Health Organization's minimum standard of food per
day (2,200 kilocalories), with 42% of children under 5 years old being
Most poor families (75%) share their sleeping quarters with livestock,
and 40% of children sleep on the floor, where nighttime temperatures
average 5 degrees Celsius in the cold season. The average family
size is six or seven, living in a 30-square-meter mud and thatch hut,
with less than two hectares of land to cultivate.
Rural area in the Simien Mountains National Park
The peasant associations face a cycle of poverty. Since the
landholdings are so small, farmers cannot allow the land to lie
fallow, which reduces soil fertility. This land degradation
reduces the production of fodder for livestock, which causes low milk
yields. Since the community burns livestock manure as fuel,
rather than plowing the nutrients back into the land, the crop
production is reduced. The low productivity of agriculture leads
to inadequate incomes for farmers, hunger, malnutrition and disease.
These unhealthy farmers have difficulty working the land and the
productivity drops further.
Although conditions are drastically better in cities, all of Ethiopia
suffers from poverty and poor sanitation. However, poverty in Ethiopia
fell from 44% to 29.6% during 2000–2011, according to the World
Bank. In the capital city of Addis Ababa, 55% of the population
used to live in slums. Now, however, a construction boom in both
the private and public sector has led to a dramatic improvement in
living standards in major cities, particularly in Addis Ababa.
Notably, government-built condominium housing complexes have sprung up
throughout the city, benefiting close to 600,000 individuals.
Sanitation is the most pressing need in the city, with most of the
population lacking access to waste treatment facilities. This
contributes to the spread of illness through unhealthy water.
Addis Ababa at night
Despite the living conditions in the cities, the people of Addis Ababa
are much better off than people living in the peasant associations
owing to their educational opportunities. Unlike rural children, 69%
of urban children are enrolled in primary school, and 35% of those are
eligible to attend secondary school.[clarification needed] Addis
Ababa has its own university as well as many other secondary schools.
The literacy rate is 82%.
Many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are working to solve this
problem; however, most are far apart, uncoordinated, and working in
Sub-Saharan Africa NGO Consortium is attempting to
Main article: Health in Ethiopia
The World Health Organization's 2006 World Health Report gives a
figure of 1,936 physicians (for 2003), which comes to about 2.6
per 100,000. Globalization is said to affect the country, with many
educated professionals leaving
Ethiopia for better economic
opportunities in the West.
Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital
Ethiopia's main health problems are said to be communicable
(contagious) diseases worsened by poor sanitation and malnutrition.
Over 44 million people (more than half the population) do not have
access to clean water. These problems are exacerbated by the
shortage of trained doctors and nurses and health facilities.
The state of public health is considerably better in the cities. Birth
rates, infant mortality rates, and death rates are lower in cities
than in rural areas due to better access to education, medicines, and
hospitals. Life expectancy is better in cities compared to rural
areas, but there have been significant improvements witnessed
throughout the country in recent years, the average Ethiopian living
to be 62.2 years old, according to a UNDP report. Despite
sanitation being a problem, use of improved water sources is also on
the rise; 81% in cities compared to 11% in rural areas. As in
other parts of Africa, there has been a steady migration of people
towards the cities in hopes of better living conditions.
There are 119 hospitals (12 in
Addis Ababa alone) and 412 health
centers in Ethiopia. Infant mortality rates are relatively high,
as 41 infants die per 1,000 live births.
Ethiopia has been able
to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds (one of the Millennium
Development Goals) since 1990  Although this is a dramatic
decrease, birth-related complications such as obstetric fistula affect
many of the nation's women.
Community health care workers
The HIV AIDS prevalence rate in
Ethiopia stood at 1.1% in 2014, a
dramatic decrease from 4.5% 15 years ago  The most affected are
poor communities and women, due to lack of health education,
empowerment, awareness and lack of social well-being. The government
Ethiopia and many private organizations like World Health
Organization (WHO), and the United Nations, are launching campaigns
and are working aggressively to improve Ethiopia's health conditions
and promote health awareness on AIDS and other communicable diseases
Ethiopia has a relatively high infant and maternal mortality rate.
Ethiopia did not meet the MDG target of reducing maternal
mortality rate by two thirds in 2015, there are improvements
nonetheless. For instance, the contraception prevalence rate increased
from 8.1% in 2000 to 41.8% in 2014, and Antenatal care service
coverage increase from 29% to an astounding 98.1% in the same period.
Currently, the maternal mortality rate stands at 420 per 100,000 live
births. Only a minority of Ethiopians are born in hospitals,
while most are born in rural households. Those who are expected to
give birth at home have elderly women serve as midwives who assist
with the delivery (Kater, 2000). The "WHO estimates that a majority of
maternal fatalities and disabilities could be prevented if deliveries
were to take place at well-equipped health centers, with adequately
trained staff" (Dorman et al., 2009, p. 622).
An Ethiopian girl about to receive her measles vaccination
The low availability of health-care professionals with modern medical
training, together with lack of funds for medical services, leads to
the preponderance of less-reliable traditional healers that use
home-based therapies to heal common ailments.
One common cultural practice, irrespective of religion or economic
status, is female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female
genital cutting (FGC), a procedure that involves partial or total
removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the
female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice has
been made illegal in
Ethiopia in 2004. FGM is a pre-marital
custom mainly endemic to Northeast
Africa and parts of the Near East
that has its ultimate origins in Ancient Egypt. Encouraged
by women in the community, it is primarily intended to deter
promiscuity and to offer protection from assault.
The country has a high prevalence of FGM, but prevalence is lower
among young girls. Ethiopia's 2005 Demographic and Health Survey
(EDHS) noted that the national prevalence rate is 74% among women ages
15–49. The practice is almost universal in the regions of Dire
Dawa, Somali, and Afar. In the Oromo and Harari regions, more than 80%
of girls and women undergo the procedure. FGC is least prevalent in
the regions of Tigray and Gambela, where 29% and 27% of girls and
women, respectively, are affected. According to a 2010 study
performed by the Population Reference Bureau,
Ethiopia has a
prevalence rate of 81% among women ages 35 to 39 and 62% among women
ages 15–19. A 2014 UNICEF report found that only 24% of girls
under 14 had undergone FGM.
Male circumcision is also practiced in the country, and about 76% of
Ethiopia's male population is reportedly circumcised.
The Government of the Federal
Ethiopia is signatory to
various international conventions and treaties that protect the rights
of women and children. Its constitution provides for the fundamental
rights and freedoms for women. There is an attempt being made to raise
the social and economic status of women through eliminating all legal
and customary practices, which hinder women's equal participation in
society and undermine their social status.
Main article: Education in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa University.
Education in Ethiopia
Education in Ethiopia was dominated by the Tewahedo Church for many
centuries until secular education was adopted in the early 1900s. The
current system follows school expansion schemes which are very similar
to the system in the rural areas during the 1980s, with an addition of
deeper regionalization, providing rural education in students' own
languages starting at the elementary level, and with more budget
finances allocated to the education sector. The sequence of general
Ethiopia is six years of primary school, four years of
lower secondary school and two years of higher secondary school.
Access to education in
Ethiopia has improved significantly.
Approximately 3 million people were in primary school in 1994/95, and
by 2008/09, primary enrolment had risen to 15.5 million – an
increase of over 500%. In 2013/14, the country had witnessed
significant boost in gross enrolment across all regions. The
national GER was 104.8% for boys, 97.8% for girls and 101.3% across
The literacy rate has increased in recent years: according to the 1994
census, the literacy rate in
Ethiopia was 23.4%. In 2007 it was
estimated to be 39% (male 49.1% and female 28.9%). A report by
UNDP in 2011 showed that the literacy rate in
Ethiopia was 46.7%. The
same report also indicated that the female literacy rate has increased
from 27 to 39 percent from 2004 to 2011, and the male literacy rate
has increased from 49 to 59 percent over the same period for persons
10 years and older. By 2015, the literacy rate had further
increased, to 49.1% (57.2% male and 41.1% female).
Main article: Culture of Ethiopia
Hager Fikir Theatre
Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa, founded in 1935
Main article: Naming conventions in
Ethiopia and Eritrea
Ethiopians have a different naming system to the family name-based
Western system. Children add the given names of their father and
paternal grandfather consecutively to their own given name. For
compatibility purposes, as is done in passports, the grandfather's
given name is taken as a family surname, and a person's given name and
his/her father's given name form the first name.
Everyone is addressed by his/her given name. In official situations,
the prefixes Ato (አቶ) is used for men; Weyzero (ወይዘሮ) for
married women; and Weyzerīt (ወይዘሪት) for unmarried women.
Ethiopian calendar and Oromo calendar
Model commemorating the Obelisk of Aksum's return to Ethiopia, which
shows the date of its departure and return according to the Ethiopian
Ethiopia has several local calendars. The most widely known is the
Ethiopian calendar, also known as the Ge'ez calendar. It is based on
the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar, which in turn derives from
the Egyptian calendar. Like the Coptic calendar, the Ethiopian
calendar has twelve months of exactly 30 days each plus five or six
epagomenal days, which comprise a thirteenth month. The Ethiopian
months begin on the same days as those of the Coptic calendar, but
their names are in Ge'ez.
Like the Julian calendar, the sixth epagomenal day—which in essence
is a leap day—is added every four years without exception on 29
August of the Julian calendar, six months before the Julian leap day.
Thus, the first day of the Ethiopian year, 1 Mäskäräm, for years
between 1901 and 2099 (inclusive), is usually 11 September
(Gregorian), but falls on 12 September in years before the Gregorian
leap year. Also, a seven- to eight-year gap between the Ethiopian and
Gregorian calendars results from an alternate calculation in
determining the date of the
Annunciation of Jesus.
Another prominent calendrical system was developed around 300 BC by
the Oromo. A lunar-stellar calendar, this
Oromo calendar relies on
astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven
particular stars or constellations. Oromo months (stars/lunar phases)
are Bittottessa (Iangulum), Camsa (Pleiades), Bufa (Aldebarran),
Waxabajjii (Belletrix), Obora Gudda (Central Orion-Saiph), Obora Dikka
(Sirius), Birra (full moon), Cikawa (gibbous moon), Sadasaa (quarter
moon), Abrasa (large crescent), Ammaji (medium crescent), and
Gurrandala (small crescent).
Time in Ethiopia is counted differently from in many Western
countries. The Ethiopian day is reckoned as beginning at 6 AM as
opposed to 12 AM, concurrently with sunrise throughout the year. To
convert between the Ethiopian clock and Western clocks, one must add
(or subtract) 6 hours to the Western time. For example, 2 AM local
Addis Ababa time is called "8 at night" in Ethiopia, while 8 PM is
called "2 in the evening".
Main article: Ethiopian cuisine
See also: List of Ethiopian dishes and foods
Typical Ethiopian cuisine:
Injera (pancake-like bread) and several
kinds of wat (stew)
Ethiopian cuisine consists of various types of thick
meat stews, known as wat in Ethiopian culture, and vegetable side
dishes served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread made of teff
flour. This is not eaten with utensils, but instead one uses the
injera to scoop up the entrées and side dishes. Almost universally in
Ethiopia, it is common to eat from the same dish in the center of the
table with a group of people. It is also a common custom to feed
others in your group with your own hands—a tradition referred to as
Ethiopian cuisine employs no pork or
shellfish of any kind, as they are forbidden in the Islamic, Jewish,
and Ethiopian Orthodox faiths.
Chechebsa, marqa, chukko, michirra and dhanga are the most popular
dishes from the Oromo. Kitfo, which originated among the Gurage, is
one of the country's most popular delicacies. In addition, Doro wot is
another popular food, originated from the
Amhara people of
northwestern Ethiopia. Tihlo (ጥሕሎ)—which is a
type of dumpling—is prepared from roasted barley flour. It
originated in the Tigray Region, and is now very popular in Amhara and
spreading further south.
Communications in Ethiopia
Communications in Ethiopia and Media in Ethiopia
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation headquarters in Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), formerly known as ETV, is
the government-owned national channel. Other television stations in
the country include Kana TV.
The most widely circulated newspapers in
Ethiopia are Addis Fortune,
Capital Ethiopia, Ethiopian Reporter, Addis Zemen
(Amharic) and Ethiopian Herald.
The sole internet service provider is the national telecommunications
firm Ethio Telecom. A large portion of users in the country access the
internet through mobile devices. As of July 2016, there are
around 4.29 million people who have internet access at their home as
compared to a quarter of a million users a decade before that.
The Ethiopian government has at times intentionally shut down internet
service in the country or restricted access to certain social media
sites during periods of political unrest. In August 2016, following
protest and demonstration in the Oromia Region, all access to the
internet was shut down for a period of two days. In June 2017,
the government shut down access to the internet for mobile users
during a period that coincided with the administration of the
countries university entrance examination. Although the reason for the
restriction was not confirm by the government, the move was
similar to a measure taken during the same period in 2016, after a
leak of test questions.
Main article: Music of Ethiopia
Mahmoud Ahmed, an Ethiopian singer of
Gurage ancestry (2005)
The music of
Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of the country's
80 ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Ethiopian music
uses a distinct modal system that is pentatonic, with
characteristically long intervals between some notes. As with many
other aspects of Ethiopian culture and tradition, tastes in music and
lyrics are strongly linked with those in neighboring Eritrea, Somalia,
Djibouti, and Sudan. Traditional singing in Ethiopia
presents diverse styles of polyphony (heterophony, drone, imitation,
and counterpoint). Traditionally, lyricism in Ethiopian song writing
is strongly associated with views of patriotism or national pride,
romance, friendship, and a most unique type of memoire known as
Main article: Sport in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa Stadium in Addis Ababa
The main sports in
Ethiopia are track and field (particularly long
distance running) and football (soccer). Ethiopian athletes have won
many Olympic gold medals in track and field, most of them in long
Haile Gebrselassie is a world-renowned long
distance runner with several world records under his belt. Kenenisa
Tirunesh Dibaba are also dominant runners, particularly in
the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in which they hold the world records.
Other notable Ethiopian athletes are Abebe Bikila, Mamo Wolde, Miruts
Yifter, Derartu Tulu, Meseret Defar, Almaz Ayana, Birhane Adere, Tiki
Gelana, Genzebe Dibaba, Tariku Bekele, and Gelete Burka. As of
2012[update] going into 2013, the current national Ethiopian football
team (Walayia Antelopes) has made itself history by qualifying for the
2012 African Cup of Nations (CAF) and more recently by reaching the
last 10 African football teams in the last stage of qualification for
the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Noted players include captain
Adane Girma and
top scorer Saladin Said.
Ethiopia has Sub-Saharan Africa's longest basketball tradition as it
established a national basketball team in 1949.
World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia
World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia
Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town
Lower Valley of the Awash
Lower Valley of the Omo
Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela
Simien National Park
Archaeology of Ethiopia
Child marriage in Ethiopia
Ethiopian National Defense Force
History of Ethiopia
Index of Ethiopia-related articles
Italian East Africa
Military history of Ethiopia
Outline of Ethiopia
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