Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Overview
Ethiopia (Ge'ez
Ge'ez alphabet
Ge'ez , also called Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea but originated in an abjad used to write Ge'ez, now the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church...

: ኢትዮጵያ ), officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 to the north, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 and Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 to the east, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

 to the west, and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 to the south.
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Timeline

1438   The Council of Basel suspends Pope Eugene IV as Prelate of Ethiopia, arrives at Massawa from Goa.

1542   Portuguese under Christovão da Gama capture a Moslem-occupied hill fort in northern Ethiopia in the Battle of Baçente.

1608   Susenyos is formally crowned Emperor of Ethiopia.

1868   At Arogee in Abyssinia, British and Indian forces defeat an army of Emperor Tewodros II. While 700 Ethiopians are killed and many more injured, only two die from the British/Indian troops.

1868   At Arogee in Abyssinia, British and Indian forces defeat an army of Emperor Tewodros II. While 700 Ethiopians are killed and many more injured, only two die from the British/Indian troops.

1872   Yohannes IV is crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in Axum, the first imperial coronation in that city in over 200 years.

1889   Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, which gives Italy control over Eritrea.

1889   Menelek of Shoa obtains the allegiance of a large majority of the Ethiopian nobility, paving the way for him to be crowned emperor.

1896   Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeats an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo–Ethiopian War.

1896   Ethiopia defeats Italy in the Battle of Adwa, marking the first victory of an African nation over a colonial power.

 
Encyclopedia
Ethiopia (Ge'ez
Ge'ez alphabet
Ge'ez , also called Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea but originated in an abjad used to write Ge'ez, now the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church...

: ኢትዮጵያ ), officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 to the north, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 and Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 to the east, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

 to the west, and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 to the south. With its capital at Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, it is also the most populous landlocked nation in the world.

Ethiopia was a monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 for most of its history, and the Ethiopian dynasty
History of Ethiopia
This article covers the prehistory and history of Ethiopia.-Prehistory:Lucy, discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar region, is considered the world's second-oldest, but most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossil...

 traces its roots to the 2nd century BC. Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity's oldest traces. It may be the region from which Homo sapiens first set out for the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and points beyond. Alongside Rome, China and Persia, the Ethiopian Aksum Empire was considered one of the four great world powers of the 3rd century. During the Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914...

, Ethiopia was the only African country that retained its independence
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 and one of only four African members of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. After a brief period of Italian occupation
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. When other African nations received their independence following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, many of them adopted the colors of Ethiopia's flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

, and Addis Ababa became the location of several international organizations focused on Africa.

Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south toward its present borders, owing to several migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, particularly by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena
Ras Gobena
Ras Gobena Dacche was an ethnic Oromo member of the Shewan aristocrats of central Ethiopia in the mid-19th century...

. In 1974, the dynasty led by Haile Selassie was overthrown as civil wars intensified. Since then, Ethiopia has seen a variety of governmental systems. Ethiopia is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 (NAM), G-77
Group of 77
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but the organization has...

 and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Today, Addis Ababa is still the headquarters of the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI) and UNECA. The country has one of the most powerful militaries in Africa and Addis Ababa is the headquarter of the continental African Standby Force
African Standby Force
The African Standby Force is intended to be an international, continental African military force, with both a civilian and police component, under the direction of the African Union. It is to be deployed in times of crisis in Africa...

 (ASF). Ethiopia is one of a few African countries where an indigenous
Indigenous
Indigenous means: belonging to a certain place.Indigenous may refer to:In Ecology and Geography*Indigenous resources, resources which exist within local geography, that are not imported...

 alphabet is still used. Ethiopia also has its own time system and unique calendar, seven to eight years behind the Gregorian Calendar. It has the largest number of UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Sites in Africa.

The country is a land of natural contrasts, with waterfalls
Blue Nile Falls
The Blue Nile Falls are a waterfall on the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia. They are known as Tis Abay in Amharic, when translated, means "smoking water" They are situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana...

 and volcanic hot springs
Dallol (volcano)
Dallol is a volcanic explosion crater in the Danakil Depression, northeast of the Erta Ale Range in Ethiopia. It has been formed by the intrusion of basaltic magma in Miocene salt deposits and subsequent hydrothermal activity. Phreatic eruptions take place here, the last known one in 1926,...

. Ethiopia has some of Africa's highest mountains
Semien Mountains
The Semien Mountains lie in northern Ethiopia, north east of Gondar. They are a World Heritage Site and include the Semien Mountains National Park. The mountains consist of plateaux separated by valleys and rising to pinnacles...

 as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar
Sof Omar Caves
At long, Sof Omar Cave is the longest cave in Ethiopia; sources claim it is the longest system of caves in Africa and ranks as the 306th longest in the World. It is situated in the Bale province in southeastern Ethiopia through which the Weyib River flows. It sinks at the Ayiew Maco entrance...

. Ethiopia has one of the largest number of rivers in the world while the country's northernmost area at Dallol, Afar
Dallol, Ethiopia
Dallol was a settlement in northern Ethiopia. Located in Administrative Zone 2 of the Afar Region in the Afar Depression, it has a latitude and longitude of with an elevation of about 130 meters below sea level...

 is the hottest place year-round anywhere on Earth
Extremes on Earth
This article describes extreme locations on Earth. Entries listed in bold are Earth-wide extremes.-Extreme elevations and temperatures per continent:This article describes extreme locations on Earth. Entries listed in bold are Earth-wide extremes....

. Ethiopia is a multilingual
Languages of Ethiopia
There are 90 individual languages of Ethiopia according to Ethnologue . Most belong to the Afro-Asiatic language family , with Nilo-Saharan languages also spoken by the nation's Nilotic ethnic minorities.Charles A...

, multicultural
Culture of Ethiopia
Ethiopian culture is multi-faceted, reflecting the ethnic diversity of the country; refer the articles on the Ethnic groups of Ethiopia for details of each group.Among many traditional customs, respect is important...

 and multiethnic society of around 80 groups, with the two largest being the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 and the Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

, both of which speak Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

. The country is also famous for its Olympic gold medalists in running, rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, and as the place where the coffee bean
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 originated. Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey-producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa. The Ethiopian Aksum
Aksumite Empire
The Kingdom of Aksum or Axum, also known as the Aksumite Empire, was an important trading nation in northeastern Africa, growing from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period ca. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD...

 region was the first major empire in the world to convert to Christianity and it was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 as a state religion in the 4th century. Ethiopia has a Christian majority and a third of the population is Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Ethiopia is the site of the first hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash
Negash
Negash is a village in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, which straddles the Adigrat-Mekele road 10 kilometers north of Wukro. Located in Wukro woreda, this settlement has a longitude and latitude of ....

. Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia. The country is also the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari religious movement
Rastafari movement
The Rastafari movement or Rasta is a new religious movement that arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, which at the time was a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia , as God...

.

Ethiopia, which has Africa's second biggest hydropower potential, is the source of over 85% of the total Nile water flow and contains rich soils, but it nevertheless underwent a series of famines in the 1980s, exacerbated by adverse geopolitics
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

 and civil wars, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands. Slowly, however, the country has begun to recover, and today Ethiopia has the biggest economy by GDP in East Africa and Central Africa. as the Ethiopian economy is also one of the fastest growing in the world. It is a regional powerhouse
Regional hegemony
Regional hegemony is a concept in international relations which refers to the influence exercised over neighboring countries by an independently powerful nation, the regional hegemon...

 in the Horn
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

 and east Africa. Recently, human rights abuses have been reported in Ethiopia, however under Premier Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

 the country has become a leading economic, diplomatic and political force in Africa.

Names


The Greek name Αἰθιοπία (from , Aithiops, 'an Ethiopian') appears twice in the Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

and three times in the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

. The Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 specifically uses it for all the lands south of Egypt, including Sudan and modern Ethiopia. Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 says the country's name comes from a son of Hephaestus
Hephaestus
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes...

 (aka Vulcan) named Aethiops
Aethiops
The term aethiops can refer to a number of different things:*Aethiops, a son of the Greek god Hephaestus from whom, according to Pliny the Elder , Aethiopia derived its name.*Zeus Aethiops an epithet of the Greek god Zeus....

. Similarly, in the 15th century Ge'ez
Ge'ez language
Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic language that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa...

 Book of Aksum
Book of Aksum
The Book of Aksum or Mats'hafa Aksum is the name accepted since the time of James Bruce for a collection of documents from the St. Mary Cathedral of Aksum providing information on Ethiopian history. The earliest parts of the collection date to the mid-15th century during the reign of Zar'a Ya`qob...

, the name is ascribed to a legendary individual called Ityopp'is
Ityopp'is
Ityopp'is is, according to the 15th century Book of Aksum, a son of Cush, son of Ham, who founded the city of Axum....

, an extrabiblical son of Cush, son of Ham
Biblical Cush
Cush was the eldest son of Ham, brother of Mizraim , Canaan and the father of Nimrod, and Raamah, mentioned in the "Table of Nations" in the Genesis 10:6 and I Chronicles 1:8...

, said to have founded the city of Axum
Axum
Axum or Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia which was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. Population 56,500 . Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400 BC into the 10th century...

. In addition to this Cushite figure, two of the earliest Semitic kings are also said to have born the name Ityopp'is according to traditional Ethiopian kinglists. Modern European scholars beginning c. 1600 have considered the name to be derived from the Greek words aitho "I burn" + ops "face".

The name Ethiopia also occurs in many translations of the Old Testament, but the Hebrew texts have Kush
Kingdom of Kush
The native name of the Kingdom was likely kaš, recorded in Egyptian as .The name Kash is probably connected to Cush in the Hebrew Bible , son of Ham ....

, which refers foremost to Nubia / Sudan. In the (Greek) New Testament, however, the Greek term Aithiops, ‘an Ethiopian’, does occur, referring to a servant of Candace or Kentakes, possibly an inhabitant of Meroe
Meroë
Meroë Meroitic: Medewi or Bedewi; Arabic: and Meruwi) is an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah...

which was later conquered by the Kingdom of Axum. The earliest attested use of the name Ityopya in the region itself is as a name for the Kingdom of Aksum in the 4th century, in stone inscriptions of King Ezana
Ezana of Axum
Ezana of Axum , was ruler of the Axumite Kingdom located in present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, he himself employed the style "king of Saba and Salhen, Himyar and Dhu-Raydan"...

, who first Christianized the entire apparatus of the kingdom.

In English, and generally outside Ethiopia, the country was also once historically known as
Geographical renaming
Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries,...

 Abyssinia
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

, derived from Habesh, an early Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 form of the Ethiosemitic
Ethiopian Semitic languages
Ethiopian Semitic is a language group, which together with Old South Arabian forms the Western branch of the South Semitic languages. The languages are spoken in both Ethiopia and Eritrea...

 name "Ḥabaśāt" (unvocalized "ḤBŚT"). The modern form Habesha is the native name for the country's inhabitants (while the country has been called "Ityopp'ya"). In a few languages, Ethiopia is still referred to by names cognate with "Abyssinia," e.g., modern Arabic Al-Ḥabashah, meaning land of the Habasha people.

The term Habesha, strictly speaking, refers only to the Semitic-speaking groups, particularly the Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

 and Tigray-Tigrinya people
Tigray-Tigrinya people
Tigray-Tigrinya are an ethnic group who live in the southern, central and northern parts of Eritrea and the northern highlands of Ethiopia's Tigray province. They also live in Ethiopia's former provinces of Begemder and Wollo, which are today mostly part of Amhara Region, though a few regions...

 who have historically dominated the country politically, as well as the Gurage and other smaller communities like the Harari of eastern Ethiopia. However, in contemporary Ethiopia, the word Habesha is sometimes used to describe all people from Ethiopians and Eritreans. Abyssinia can strictly refer to just the northwestern Ethiopian provinces of Amhara
Amhara Region
Amhara is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as Region 3, its capital is Bahir Dar....

 and Tigray
Tigray Region
Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine ethnic regions of Ethiopia containing the homeland of the Tigray people. It was formerly known as Region 1...

, as well as central Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, while it was historically used as another name for Ethiopia.

Prehistory


East Africa, and more specifically the general area of Ethiopia, is widely considered the site of the emergence of early Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic
Middle Paleolithic
The Middle Paleolithic is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic and the Middle Stone Age...

 400,000 years ago.
Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo sapiens idaltu
Homo sapiens idaltu is an extinct subspecies of Homo sapiens that lived almost 160,000 years ago in Pleistocene Africa. is from the Saho-Afar word meaning "elder or first born"....

, found at site Middle Awash
Middle Awash
The Middle Awash is an archaeological site along the Awash River in Ethiopia's Afar Depression. A number of Pleistocene and late Miocene hominid remains have been found at the site, along with some of the oldest known Olduwan stone artifacts and patches of fire-baked clay, disputed evidence of the...

 in Ethiopia, lived about 160,000 years ago.

Antiquity


Around the 8th century BC, a kingdom known as Dʿmt was established in northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Its capital was around the current town of Yeha
Yeha
Yeha is a town in northern Ethiopia, located in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the Tigray Region. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an estimate for this village's 2005 population.- Archeology :...

, situated in northern Ethiopia. Most modern historians consider this civilization to be a native African one, although Sabaean-influenced because of the latter's hegemony of the Red Sea, while others view Dʿmt as the result of a mixture of Sabaeans of southern Arabia and indigenous peoples. However, Ge'ez
Ge'ez language
Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic language that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa...

, the ancient Semitic language of Ethiopia, is now thought not to have derived from Sabaean
Sabaean language
Sabaean , also known as Himyarite , was an Old South Arabian language spoken in Yemen from c. 1000 BC to the 6th century AD, by the Sabaeans; it was used as a written language by some other peoples of Ancient Yemen, including the Hashidites, Sirwahites, Humlanites, Ghaymanites, Himyarites,...

 (also South Semitic). There is evidence of a Semitic-speaking presence in Ethiopia and Eritrea at least as early as 2000 BC. Sabaean influence is now thought to have been minor, limited to a few localities, and disappearing after a few decades or a century, perhaps representing a trading or military colony in some sort of symbiosis or military alliance with the Ethiopian civilization of Dʿmt or some other proto-Aksumite state.

After the fall of Dʿmt in the 4th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms, until the rise of one of these kingdoms during the 1st century BC, the Aksumite Empire
Aksumite Empire
The Kingdom of Aksum or Axum, also known as the Aksumite Empire, was an important trading nation in northeastern Africa, growing from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period ca. 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD...

, ancestor of medieval and modern Ethiopia, which was able to reunite the area. The Aksumites established bases on the northern highlands of the Ethiopian Plateau
Ethiopian Highlands
The Ethiopian Highlands are a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, Eritrea , and northern Somalia in the Horn of Africa...

, and from there expanded southward. The Persian religious figure Mani
Mani (prophet)
Mani , of Iranian origin was the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was once widespread but is now extinct...

 listed Aksum with Rome, Persia, and China as one of the four great powers of his time.

In 316 AD
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, a Christian philosopher from Tyre, Meropius, embarked on a voyage of exploration along the coast of Africa. He was accompanied by, among others, two Syro-Greeks
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Frumentius and his brother Aedesius
Aedesius
Aedesius was a Neoplatonist philosopher and mystic born of a noble Cappadocian family.-Career:He migrated to Syria, attracted by the lectures of Iamblichus, of whom he became a follower. According to Eunapius, he differed from Iamblichus on certain points connected with theurgy and magic...

. The vessel was stranded on the coast, and the natives killed all the travelers except the two brothers, who were taken to the court and given positions of trust by the monarch. They both practiced the Christian faith in private, and soon converted the queen and several other members of the royal court.

Middle Ages



The Zagwe dynasty
Zagwe dynasty
The Zagwe dynasty was an historical kingdom in present-day Ethiopia. It ruled large parts of the territory from approximately 1137 to 1270, when the last Zagwe King Za-Ilmaknun was killed in battle by the forces of Yekuno Amlak...

 ruled many parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea from approximately 1137 to 1270. The name of the dynasty is derived from the Cushitic
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

-speaking Agaw of northern Ethiopia. From 1270 AD onwards for many centuries, the Solomonic dynasty
Solomonic dynasty
The Solomonic dynasty is the Imperial House of Abyssinia. Its members claim lineal descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the latter of whom tradition asserts gave birth to the first King Menelik I after her Biblically described visit to Solomon in Jerusalem .-Overview:The dynasty, a...

 ruled the Ethiopian Empire
Ethiopian Empire
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, covered a geographical area that the present-day northern half of Ethiopia and Eritrea covers, and included in its peripheries Zeila, Djibouti, Yemen and Western Saudi Arabia...

.

In the early 15th century, Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times. A letter from King Henry IV of England
Henry IV of England
Henry IV was King of England and Lord of Ireland . He was the ninth King of England of the House of Plantagenet and also asserted his grandfather's claim to the title King of France. He was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, hence his other name, Henry Bolingbroke...

 to the Emperor of Abyssinia survives. In 1428, the Emperor Yeshaq
Yeshaq I of Ethiopia
Yeshaq I or Isaac was of Ethiopia. A member of the Solomonic dynasty, he was the second son of Dawit I.-History:Yeshaq's reign was marked by a revolt of the Beta Israel...

 sent two emissaries to Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso the Magnanimous KG was the King of Aragon , Valencia , Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica , and Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416 and King of Naples from 1442 until his death...

, who sent return emissaries who failed to complete the return trip. The first continuous relations with a European country began in 1508 with Portugal under Emperor Lebna Dengel
Dawit II of Ethiopia
Dawit II , enthroned as Emperor Anbasa Segad , better known by his birth name Lebna Dengel was of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty...

, who had just inherited the throne from his father.

This proved to be an important development, for when the Empire was subjected to the attacks of the Adal
Adal Sultanate
The Adal Sultanate or the Kingdom of Adal was a medieval multi-ethnic Muslim state located in the Horn of Africa.-Overview:...

 General and Imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi
Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi
Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi "the Conqueror" was an Imam and General of Adal who invaded Ethiopia and defeated several Ethiopian emperors, wreaking much damage on that kingdom...

 (called "Grañ", or "the Left-handed"), Portugal assisted the Ethiopian emperor by sending weapons and four hundred men, who helped his son Gelawdewos
Gelawdewos of Ethiopia
Gelawdewos was Emperor Gelawdewos (Ge'ez ገላውዴዎስ galāwdēwōs, modern gelāwdēwōs, "Claudius"; 1521/1522 - March 23, 1559) was Emperor Gelawdewos (Ge'ez ገላውዴዎስ galāwdēwōs, modern gelāwdēwōs, "Claudius"; 1521/1522 - March 23, 1559) was Emperor (throne name Asnaf Sagad I (Ge'ez አጽናፍ ሰገድ aṣnāf sagad,...

 defeat Ahmad and re-establish his rule. This Ethiopian–Adal War was also one of the first proxy wars in the region as the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 took sides in the conflict. However, when Emperor Susenyos
Susenyos of Ethiopia
Susenyos was of Ethiopia...

 converted to Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 in 1624, years of revolt and civil unrest followed resulting in thousands of deaths. The Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 missionaries had offended the Orthodox faith of the local Ethiopians, and on 25 June 1632 Susenyos's son, Emperor Fasilides
Fasilides of Ethiopia
Fasilides was of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty...

, declared the state religion to again be Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

, and expelled the Jesuit missionaries and other Europeans.

Zemene Mesafint



All of this contributed to Ethiopia's isolation from 1755 to 1855, a period called the Zemene Mesafint
Zemene Mesafint
The Zemene Mesafint was a period in Ethiopian history when the country was rent by conflicts between warlords, the Emperor was reduced to little more than a figurehead confined to the capital city of...

or "Age of Princes". The Emperors became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras Mikael Sehul
Mikael Sehul
Mikael Sehul was a Ras or governor of Tigray 1748–71 and again from 1772 until his death...

 of Tigray
Tigray Province
Tigray was a province of Ethiopia. The Tigray Region superseded the province with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. The province of Tigre merged with its neighboring provinces, including Semien, Tembien, Agame and the prominent Enderta province and towards the end of 19th century it...

, Ras Wolde Selassie
Wolde Selassie
Wolde Selassie He was an Overlord of Tigray-Mereb Milash and a Ras Bitwoded of Ethiopia. He was the second son of Dejazmach Kefla Iyasus Amdamikael, hereditary chief of Enderta...

 of Tigray
Tigray Province
Tigray was a province of Ethiopia. The Tigray Region superseded the province with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. The province of Tigre merged with its neighboring provinces, including Semien, Tembien, Agame and the prominent Enderta province and towards the end of 19th century it...

, and by the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 Yejju dynasty, such as Ras Gugsa
Gugsa of Yejju
Gugsa of Yejju was a Ras of Begemder , and Inderase of the Emperor of Ethiopia. According to Nathaniel Pearce, he took the Christian name of Wolde Mikael. He was the son of Mersu Barentu and Kefey, the sister of Ras Aligaz. Both Bahru Zewde and Paul B...

 of Begemder, which later led to 17th century Oromo rule of Gondar, changing the language of the court from Amharic to Afaan Oromo.

Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that concluded an alliance between the two nations; however, it was not until 1855 that Ethiopia was completely united and the power in the Emperor restored, beginning with the reign of Emperor Tewodros II
Tewodros II of Ethiopia
Tewodros II was the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death....

. Upon his ascent, despite still large centrifugal forces, he began modernizing Ethiopia and recentralizing power in the Emperor, and Ethiopia began to take part in world affairs once again.

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 Emperor Tewodros II, who committed suicide in 1868 after his last battle with a British expeditionary force
1868 Expedition to Abyssinia
The British 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia was a punitive expedition carried out by armed forces of the British Empire against the Ethiopian Empire...

.

After Tewodros' death, Tekle Giyorgis II
Tekle Giyorgis II of Ethiopia
Tekle Giyorgis II was of Ethiopia from 1868 to 1872....

 was proclaimed Emperor. However, he was later defeated in the Battles of Zulawu (21 Jun 1871) and Adua (11 Jul 1871) by Dejazmach Kassai with the aid of John Kirkham
John Kirkham
John Charles Kirkham was a British adventurer, hotelier and ship's steward who fought with William Walker in Nicaragua and Charles George Gordon in China during the Taiping Rebellion before landing in Ethiopia at the beginning of the British campaign against Emperor Tewodros II in 1868...

, a British advisor who had trained his troops with modern weapons. Tekle Giyorgis was captured and deposed and Kassai was declared Emperor 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 at the Battle of Gundet losing 800 men, and then following the second invasion, decisively defeated by Emperor Yohannes IV at the Battle of Gura on 7 March 1875, losing at least 3000 killed or captured. From 1885 to 1889 Ethiopia joined the Mahdist War
Mahdist War
The Mahdist War was a colonial war of the late 19th century. It was fought between the Mahdist Sudanese and the Egyptian and later British forces. It has also been called the Anglo-Sudan War or the Sudanese Mahdist Revolt. The British have called their part in the conflict the Sudan Campaign...

 allied to Britain, Turkey and Egypt against the Sudanese Mahdist State. On 10 March 1889 Yonannes IV was killed whilst leading his army in the Battle of Gallabat
Battle of Gallabat
The Battle of Gallabat was fought 9–10 March 1889 between the Mahdist Sudanese and Ethiopian forces. It is a critical event in Ethiopian history because Nəgusä Nägäst Yohannes IV was killed in this battle...

 (also called Battle of Metemma).

From Menelik to Adwa


Ethiopia as we currently know it began under the reign of Menelik II who was Emperor from 1889 until his death in 1913. From the central province of Shoa, Menelik set off to subjugate and incorporate ‘the lands and people of the South, East and West into an empire.’ He did this with the help of Ras Gobena
Ras Gobena
Ras Gobena Dacche was an ethnic Oromo member of the Shewan aristocrats of central Ethiopia in the mid-19th century...

's Shewan Oromo militia, began expanding his kingdom to the south and east, expanding into areas that had not been held since the invasion of Ahmed Gragn, and other areas that had never been under his rule, resulting in the borders of Ethiopia of today. At the same time there were also advances in road construction, electricity and education, development of a central taxation system, and the foundation and building of the city of Addis Ababa – which became capital of Shoa province in 1881 which Menelik then ruled as Ras, and subsequently became the new capital of Abyssinia on his accession to the throne in 1889. 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 a small area north of Ethiopia (part of modern Eritrea). In return Italy was to provide Menelik with arms and support him as emperor. The Italians used the time between the signing of the treaty and its ratification by the Italian government to further expand their territorial claims. This conflict erupted in the battle of Adwa on 1 March 1896 in which Italy’s colonial forces were defeated by the Ethiopians. The Great Ethiopian Famine
Famines in Ethiopia
Traditionally the Economy of Ethiopia was based on subsistence agriculture, with an aristocracy that consumed the surplus. Due to a number of causes, the peasants lacked incentives to either improve production or to store their excess harvest; as a result, they lived from harvest to harvest.Despite...

 of 1888 to 1892 cost it roughly one-third of its population.

Haile Selassie era



The early 20th century was marked by the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I
Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie I , born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974...

, who came to power after Iyasu V
Iyasu V of Ethiopia
Iyasu V , also known as Lij Iyasu was the designated but uncrowned Emperor of Ethiopia . His baptismal name was Kifle Yaqob...

 was deposed. It was he who undertook the modernization of Ethiopia, from 1916, when he was made a Ras and Regent (Inderase) for Zewditu I and became the de facto ruler of the Ethiopian Empire. Following Zewditu's death he was made Emperor on 2 November 1930.

Haile Selassie was born from parents of three Ethiopian ethnicities: the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 and Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

, which are the country's two main ethnic groups, as well as the Gurage
Gurage
Gurage is an ethnic group in Ethiopia. According to the 2007 national census, its population is 1,867,377 people , of whom 792,659 are urban dwellers. This is 2.53% of the total population of Ethiopia, or 7.52% of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region...

.

The independence of Ethiopia was interrupted by the Second Italo-Abyssinian War
Second Italo-Abyssinian War
The Second Italo–Abyssinian War was a colonial war that started in October 1935 and ended in May 1936. The war was fought between the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy and the armed forces of the Ethiopian Empire...

 and Italian occupation (1936–1941). During this time of attack, Haile Selassie appealed to the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 in 1935, delivering an address that made him a worldwide figure, and the 1935 Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine Man of the Year. Following the entry of Italy into World War II, British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 forces, together with patriot Ethiopian fighters, liberated Ethiopia in the course of the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

 in 1941. This was followed by British recognition of full sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, (i.e. without any special British privileges), with the signing of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement
Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement
The Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement was a joint effort between Ethiopia and the United Kingdom at reestablishing Ethiopian independent statehood following the ousting of Italian troops by combined British and Ethiopian forces in 1941 during World War II....

 in December 1944. During 1942 and 1943 there was an Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia
Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia
The Italian guerrilla war in Ethiopia was as an armed struggle fought from the summer of 1941 to the autumn of 1943 by remnants of Italian troops in Italian East Africa, following the Italian defeat during the East African Campaign of World War II.-History:...

. On 26 August 1942 Haile Selassie I issued a proclamation outlawing slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. Ethiopia had between two and four million slaves in early 20th century out of a total population of about eleven million.

In 1952 Haile Selassie orchestrated the federation with Eritrea which he dissolved in 1962. This annexation sparked the Eritrean War of Independence
Eritrean War of Independence
The Eritrean War of Independence was a conflict fought between the Ethiopian government and Eritrean separatists, both before and during the Ethiopian Civil War. The war started when Eritrea’s autonomy within Ethiopia, where troops were already stationed, was unilaterally revoked...

. Although Haile Selassie was seen as a national hero, opinion within Ethiopia turned against him owing to the worldwide oil crisis of 1973, food shortages, uncertainty regarding the succession, border wars, and discontent in the middle class created through modernization.

He played a leading role in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity  (OAU) in 1963.

Haile Selassie's reign came to an end in 1974, when a Soviet-backed Marxist-Leninist
Marxism-Leninism
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology, officially based upon the theories of Marxism and Vladimir Lenin, that promotes the development and creation of a international communist society through the leadership of a vanguard party over a revolutionary socialist state that represents a dictatorship...

 military junta
Military junta
A junta or military junta is a government led by a committee of military leaders. The term derives from the Spanish language junta meaning committee, specifically a board of directors...

, the "Derg
Derg
The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

" led by Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam
Mengistu Haile Mariam is a politician who was formerly the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991...

, deposed him, and established a one-party communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

 which was called People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
The People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was the official name of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991, as established by the Communist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam and the Workers' Party of Ethiopia...

.

Mengistu era


The ensuing regime suffered several coups
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

, uprisings, wide-scale drought
Drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

, and a huge refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

 problem. In 1977, there was the Ogaden War
Ogaden War
The Ogaden War was a conventional conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977 and 1978 over the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. In a notable illustration of the nature of Cold War alliances, the Soviet Union switched from supplying aid to Somalia to supporting Ethiopia, which had previously been...

, when Somalia captured part of the Ogaden region, but Ethiopia was able to recapture the Ogaden after receiving military aid from the USSR, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, South Yemen, East Germany and North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, including around 15,000 Cuban combat troops.

Hundreds of thousands were killed as a result of the red terror
Red Terror (Ethiopia)
The Ethiopian Red Terror, or Qey Shibir , was a violent political campaign in Ethiopia that most visibly took place once Communist Mengistu Haile Mariam achieved control of the Derg, the military junta, 3 February 1977...

, forced deportations
Resettlement and villagization in Ethiopia
Resettlement and villagization in Ethiopia has been an issue since the late nineteenth century, due to the overcrowded population of the Ethiopian highlands...

, or from the use of hunger as a weapon under Mengistu's rule. The Red Terror was carried out in response to what the government termed "White Terror", supposedly a chain of violent events, assassinations and killings carried out by the opposition. In 2006, after a trial that lasted 12 years, Ethiopia's Federal High Court in Addis Ababa found Mengistu guilty in absentia of genocide
Genocides in history
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. It is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in...

.

In the beginning of 1980s, a series of famines hit Ethiopia that affected around 8 million people, leaving 1 million dead. Insurrections against Communist rule sprang up particularly in the northern regions of Tigray and Eritrea. In 1989, the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front (TPLF) merged with other ethnically based opposition movements to form the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Concurrently the Soviet Union began to retreat from building World Communism under Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

's glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

 and perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 policies, marking a dramatic reduction in aid to Ethiopia from Socialist bloc countries. This resulted in even more economic hardship and the collapse of the military in the face of determined onslaughts by guerrilla forces in the north. The Collapse of Communism in general, and in Eastern Europe during the Revolutions of 1989
Revolutions of 1989
The Revolutions of 1989 were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in various Central and Eastern European countries.The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and...

, 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 to asylum in Zimbabwe, where he still resides. The Transitional Government of Ethiopia, composed of an 87-member Council of Representatives and guided by a national charter that functioned as a transitional constitution, was set up. In June 1992, the Oromo Liberation Front
Oromo Liberation Front
The Oromo Liberation Front , or OLF, is an organization established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists to promote self-determination for the Oromo people against what they call "Abyssinian colonial rule". It has been outlawed and labeled as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian government...

 withdrew from the government; in March 1993, members of the Southern Ethiopia Peoples' Democratic Coalition
Southern Ethiopia Peoples' Democratic Coalition
The Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition is a political party in Ethiopia. At the last legislative elections held on 15 May 2005, the Coalition was part of the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces that won 52 out of 527 seats in the Council of People's Representatives .It was founded in...

 also left the government. In 1994, a new constitution was written that formed a bicameral legislature and a judicial system. The first formally multi-party election took place in May 1995 in which Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

 was elected the Prime Minister and Negasso Gidada
Negasso Gidada
Dr. Negasso Gidada Solon was the President of Ethiopia from 1995 until 2001. He is the son of Gidada Solon, one of the first local ministers of the Protestant church in the Dembidolo area in western Ethiopia.Dr...

 was elected President.

Recent history



In 1994, a constitution was adopted that led to Ethiopia's first multi-party elections in the following year. In May 1998, a border dispute with Eritrea led to the Eritrean-Ethiopian War
Eritrean-Ethiopian War
The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from May 1998 to June 2000 between Ethiopia and Eritrea, forming one of the conflicts in the Horn of Africa...

 that lasted until June 2000 and cost both countries an estimated $1 million a day. This has hurt the nation's economy, but strengthened the ruling coalition. On 15 May 2005, Ethiopia held another multiparty election
Ethiopian general elections, 2005
Ethiopia held general elections on May 15, 2005, for seats in both its national and in four regional government councils. Under pressure from the international community, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi promised that this election would be proof that more democracy would come in this multi-ethnic...

, which was a highly disputed one with some opposition groups claiming fraud. Though the Carter Center
Carter Center
The Carter Center is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter. In partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center works to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering...

 approved the preelection conditions, it has expressed its dissatisfaction with postelection matters. The 2005 EU election observers continued to accuse the ruling party of vote rigging. In general, the opposition parties gained more than 200 parliamentary seats compared to the just 12 in the 2000 elections. Despite most opposition representatives joining the parliament, certain leaders of the CUD party, some of which refused to take up their parliamentary seats, were accused of inciting the post-election violence that ensued and were imprisoned. Amnesty International considered them "prisoners of conscience
Prisoner of conscience
Prisoner of conscience is a term defined in Peter Benenson's 1961 article "The Forgotten Prisoners" often used by the human rights group Amnesty International. It can refer to anyone imprisoned because of their race, religion, or political views...

" and they were subsequently released.

The coalition of opposition parties and some individuals that was established in 2009 to oust at the general election in 2010 the regime of the EPRDF, Meles Zenawi’s party that has been in power since 1991, published its 65-page manifesto
Manifesto
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

 in Addis Ababa on October 10, 2009.

Some of the eight member parties of this Ethiopian Forum for Democratic Dialogue (FDD or Medrek
Medrek
Medrek is an Ethiopian opposition political coalition founded in 2008 which contested the Ethiopian general election, 2010. In that election, Medrek won a single seat in the Council of People's Representatives, representing an electoral district in Addis Ababa. This was allegedly due to lack of...

 in Amharic) include the Oromo Federalist Congress (organized by the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement is a political party in Ethiopia, created to further the interests of the Oromo people.At the last legislative elections, on 15 May 2005, the party won 11 seats, all from the Oromia Region. The party Whip is Mesfin Nemera Deriesa from the Mirab Welega Zone...

 and the Oromo People’s Congress), the Arena Tigray (organized by former members of the ruling party TPLF), the Unity for Democracy and Justice
Unity for Democracy and Justice
The Unity for Democracy and Justice is an Ethiopian political party established on 20 June 2008 to contest the 2010 elections. It is mostly based on the parties which constituted the Coalition for Unity and Democracy. The party's leader is Birtukan Midekssa. It is a major component in the...

 (UDJ, whose leader is imprisoned), and the Coalition of Somali Democratic Forces.

In mid 2011, two consecutive missed rainy seasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa
2011 East Africa drought
Since mid-July 2011, a severe drought has been affecting the entire East Africa region. Said to be "the worst in 60 years", the drought has caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya that threatens the livelihood of more than 13.3 million people...

 seen in 60 years. Full recovery from the drought's effects are not expected until 2012, with long-term strategies by the national government in conjunction with development agencies believed to offer the most sustainable results.

Politics


The politics of Ethiopia takes place in a framework of a federal
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 parliamentary
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. Executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 is exercised by the government. Federal legislative power is vested in both the government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and the two chambers of parliament.

On the basis of Article 78 of the 1994 Ethiopian Constitution, the Judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is completely independent of the executive and the legislature. The current realities of this provision are questioned in a report prepared by Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

.

According to The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

in its Democracy Index
Democracy Index
The Democracy Index is an index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit that claims to measure the state of democracy in 167 countries, of which 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states...

 published in late 2010, Ethiopia is an "authoritarian regime", ranking 118th out of 167 countries (with the larger number being less democratic). Ethiopia has dropped 12 places on the list since 2006, and the latest report attributes the drop to the regime's crackdown on opposition activities, media and civil society before the 2010 parliamentary election
Ethiopian general election, 2010
A parliamentary election was held in Ethiopia on May 23, 2010.The National Election Board of Ethiopia reported that a total of 29,170,867 people were registered to vote in this election...

, which the report argues has made Ethiopia a de facto one-party state.

Governance


The election of Ethiopia's 547-member constituent assembly was held in June 1994. This assembly adopted the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of 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 the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front is the ruling political coalition in Ethiopia. It is an alliance of four other groups: the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization , the Amhara National Democratic Movement , the South Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Front The Ethiopian People's...

 (EPRDF). International and non-governmental observers concluded that opposition parties would have been able to participate had they chosen to do so.

The current government of Ethiopia was installed in August 1995. The first President was Negasso Gidada
Negasso Gidada
Dr. Negasso Gidada Solon was the President of Ethiopia from 1995 until 2001. He is the son of Gidada Solon, one of the first local ministers of the Protestant church in the Dembidolo area in western Ethiopia.Dr...

. The EPRDF-led government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

 promoted a policy of ethnic federalism, devolving significant powers to regional, ethnically based authorities. 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
Freedom of the press
Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

, 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.

Zenawi's 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 Zenawi to power. Although the opposition vote increased in the election, both the opposition and observers from the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 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
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, in the violence following the May 2005 elections in the Ethiopian police massacre.

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 in the Ogaden
Ogaden
Ogaden is the name of a territory comprising the southeastern portion of the Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somali and Muslim. The title "Somali Galbeed", which means "Western Somalia," is often preferred by Somali irredentists.The region, which is...

 region since 2007. The biggest opposition party in 2005 was the Coalition for Unity and Democracy
Coalition for Unity and Democracy
The Coalition for Unity and Democracy is a coalition of four existing political parties of Ethiopia which combined to compete for seats in the Ethiopian General Elections held on May 15, 2005. Its leader is Dr...

 (CUD). After various internal divisions, most of the CUD party leaders have established the new Unity for Democracy and Justice
Unity for Democracy and Justice
The Unity for Democracy and Justice is an Ethiopian political party established on 20 June 2008 to contest the 2010 elections. It is mostly based on the parties which constituted the Coalition for Unity and Democracy. The party's leader is Birtukan Midekssa. It is a major component in the...

 party led by Judge Birtukan Mideksa
Birtukan Mideksa
Birtukan Mideksa is an Ethiopian politician and former judge. She is the leader of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party. The English equivalent of Birtukan is "orange."-Early life:...

. A member of the country's Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 ethnic group, Ms. Birtukan Mideksa is the first woman to lead a political party in Ethiopia.

As of 2008, the top five opposition parties are the Unity for Democracy and Justice
Unity for Democracy and Justice
The Unity for Democracy and Justice is an Ethiopian political party established on 20 June 2008 to contest the 2010 elections. It is mostly based on the parties which constituted the Coalition for Unity and Democracy. The party's leader is Birtukan Midekssa. It is a major component in the...

 led by Judge Birtukan Mideksa
Birtukan Mideksa
Birtukan Mideksa is an Ethiopian politician and former judge. She is the leader of the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice party. The English equivalent of Birtukan is "orange."-Early life:...

, United Ethiopian Democratic Forces
United Ethiopian Democratic Forces
The United Ethiopian Democratic Forces is a coalition of several existing political parties of Ethiopia which combined to compete for seats in the Ethiopian General Elections held on May 15, 2005....

 led by Dr.Beyene Petros
Beyene Petros
Professor Beyene Petros Lodamo is a professor at Addis Ababa University and a member of the Ethiopian House of People's Representatives, representing an electoral district in Badawacho of Hadiya Zone....

, Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement
The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement is a political party in Ethiopia, created to further the interests of the Oromo people.At the last legislative elections, on 15 May 2005, the party won 11 seats, all from the Oromia Region. The party Whip is Mesfin Nemera Deriesa from the Mirab Welega Zone...

 led by Dr. Bulcha Demeksa
Bulcha Demeksa
Bulcha Demeksa is an outspoken Ethiopian politician and businessman, and founded one of the largest opposition parties in that country, the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement. In 1967 he was appointed vice-minister of Finance before representing his country at the board of the World Bank...

, Oromo People's Congress
Oromo People's Congress
The Oromo People's Congress is one of the major opposition political parties in Ethiopia. It was founded in April 1996 under the name of Oromo National Congress by Dr. Merera Gudina, who is currently its chairman...

 led by Dr. Merera Gudina, and United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin Party
United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin Party
The Ethiopian Democratic Party is a political party in Ethiopia.At the last legislative elections, 15 May 2005, the party was part of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy , that won 109 out of 527 seats in the Council of People's Representatives. However, in October 2005 the party central...

 led by Lidetu Ayalew
Lidetu Ayalew
Lidetu Ayalew is an Ethiopian politician and the President of the opposition United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin Party . He was born in the historical town of Lasta, Lalibela, Ethiopia - also known as Bugna woreda.- Life :Lidetu came from a modest background, working in NGOs but later to...

.

Regions, zones, and districts


Before 1996, Ethiopia was divided into 13 provinces
Provinces of Ethiopia
Until 1995 Ethiopia was divided into provinces, further subdivided into awrajjas or districts. They were replaced by regions and two chartered cities with the adoption of a new constitution that year...

, many derived from historical regions. Ethiopia now has a tiered government system consisting of a federal government
Federal government
The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and...

 overseeing ethnically based regional countries, zones, district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

s (woreda
Woreda
Woreda is an administrative division of Ethiopia , equivalent to a district . Woredas are composed of a number of Kebele, or neighborhood associations, which are the smallest unit of local government in Ethiopia...

s
), and neighborhoods (kebele
Kebele
A kebele is the smallest administrative unit of Ethiopia similar to ward, a neighbourhood or a localized and delimited group of people...

).

Ethiopia is divided into nine ethnically based administrative countries (kililoch, sing. kilil) and subdivided into sixty-eight zones and two chartered cities (astedader akababiwoch, sing. astedader akababi): Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 and Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa
Dire Dawa is one of two chartered cities in Ethiopia . This chartered city is divided administratively into two woredas, the city proper and the non-urban woreda of Gurgura....

 (subdivisions 1 and 5 in the map, respectively). It is further subdivided into 550 woredas and several special woredas.

The constitution assigns extensive power to regional states that can establish their own government and democracy according to the federal government's constitution. Each region has its apex 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).

The nine regions and two chartered cities (in italics) are:

  1. Addis Ababa
    Addis Ababa
    Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...


  2. Afar
    Afar Region
    Afar is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, and is the homeland of the Afar people. Formerly known as Region 2, its current capital is Asayita; a new capital named Semera on the paved Awash - Asseb highway is under construction....


  3. Amhara
    Amhara Region
    Amhara is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as Region 3, its capital is Bahir Dar....


  4. Benishangul-Gumuz
  5. Dire Dawa
    Dire Dawa
    Dire Dawa is one of two chartered cities in Ethiopia . This chartered city is divided administratively into two woredas, the city proper and the non-urban woreda of Gurgura....



  1. Gambela
    Gambela Region
    Gambela is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia. Previously known as "Region 12", its capital is Gambela. Lying between the Baro and Akobo Rivers, the western part of Gambela includes the Baro salient....


  2. Harari
    Harari Region
    Harari or officially, Harari People's National Regional State is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, covering the homeland of the Harari people...


  3. Oromia
    Oromia Region
    Oromia is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia...


  4. Somali
    Somali Region
    Somali Region ; is the eastern-most of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia. It is often called Somalia, though it is not to be confused with the independent country of the same name. The capital of Somali State is Jijiga...


  5. Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region
    Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region
    Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia. It was formed from the merger of the former Regions 7-11 following the 1994 elections...


  6. Tigray
    Tigray Region
    Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine ethnic regions of Ethiopia containing the homeland of the Tigray people. It was formerly known as Region 1...



Geography


At 435071 square miles (1,126,829 km²), Ethiopia is the world's 27th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

. It lies between latitudes
3rd parallel north
The 3rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 3 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 15°N
15th parallel north
The 15th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 15 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 33°
33rd meridian east
The meridian 33° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Turkey, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 48°E
48th meridian east
The meridian 48° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Madagascar, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

The major portion of Ethiopia lies on the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in East Africa that juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and lies along the southern side of the Gulf of Aden. It is the easternmost projection of the African continent...

, which is the easternmost part of the African landmass. Bordering Ethiopia are Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

 to the west, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 to the north, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 to the east, and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 to the south. Within Ethiopia is a vast highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus divided by the Great Rift Valley
Great Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley is a name given in the late 19th century by British explorer John Walter Gregory to the continuous geographic trench, approximately in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in South East Africa...

, which runs generally southwest to northeast and is surrounded by lowlands, steppe
Steppe
In physical geography, steppe is an ecoregion, in the montane grasslands and shrublands and temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biomes, characterized by grassland plains without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes...

s, or semi-desert. The great diversity of terrain
Terrain
Terrain, or land relief, is the vertical and horizontal dimension of land surface. When relief is described underwater, the term bathymetry is used...

 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 extensive Afromontane
Afromontane
Afromontane is a term used to describe the Afrotropic subregion and its plant and animal species common to the mountains of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula...

 in the northern and southwestern parts. Lake Tana
Lake Tana
Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia...

 in the north is the source of the Blue Nile
Blue Nile
The Blue Nile is a river originating at Lake Tana in Ethiopia. With the White Nile, the river is one of the two major tributaries of the Nile...

. It also has a large number of endemic species, notably the Gelada Baboon, the Walia Ibex
Walia Ibex
The walia ibex is a species of ibex that is endangered. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Alpine Ibex...

 and the Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian Wolf
The Ethiopian wolf , also known as the Abyssinian wolf, Abyssinian fox, red jackal, Simien fox, or Simien jackal is a canid native to Africa...

 (or Simien fox). The wide range of altitude has given the country a variety of ecologically distinct areas, this has helped to encourage the evolution of endemic species in ecological isolation.

Climate


The predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide topographic-induced variation. The Ethiopian Highlands
Ethiopian Highlands
The Ethiopian Highlands are a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, Eritrea , and northern Somalia in the Horn of Africa...

 which cover most of the country 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 2000 – above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar and Axum.

The modern capital Addis Ababa is situated on the foothills of Mount Entoto
Mount Entoto
Mount Entoto is the highest peak overlooking the city of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Mount Entoto is part of the Entoto mountain chain, reaching 3,200 meters above sea level. It is also a historical place where Menelik II resided and built his palace, when he came from Ankober and...

 at an elevation of around 2400 metres (7,874 ft), and experiences a healthy and pleasant climate year round. With fairly uniform year round temperatures, the seasons in Addis Ababa are largely defined by rainfall, with a dry season from October–February, a light rainy season from March–May, and a heavy rainy season from June–September. The average annual rainfall is around 1200 mm (47.2 in). There are on average 7 hours of sunshine per day, meaning it is sunny for around 60% of the available time. 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 (68–77 °F) throughout the year, and overnight lows averaging 5–10 °C (41–50 °F).

Most major cities and tourist sites in Ethiopia lie at a similar elevation to Addis Ababa and have a comparable climate. In less elevated regions, particularly the lower lying Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands
Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands
The Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands ecoregion is a semi-desert strip on or near the Red Sea and the Gulf of Oman coasts in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland.-Location and description:...

 in the east of the country, the climate can be significantly hotter and drier. Dallol, in the Danakil Depression
Danakil Depression
The Danakil Depression is a desert basin which lies in the Danakil Desert in north-eastern Ethiopia and southern Eritrea. It belongs to the homeland of the Afar people. It lies up to 100 m below sea level as a result of tectonic activity caused by plate movements...

 in this eastern zone, has the world's highest average annual temperature of 34 °C (93.2 °F).

Wildlife


Ethiopia has 31 endemic species of mammals. The African Wild Dog prehistorically had widespread distribution in Ethiopia; however, with last sightings at Fincha, this canid is thought to be potentially extirpated within Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Wolf is perhaps the most researched of all the endangered species within Ethiopia.

Historically, throughout the African continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

, wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 populations have been rapidly declining owing to logging, civil wars, pollution, poaching and other human interference. 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 gas emissions.

Ethiopia has a large number of species listed as critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable to global extinction. To assess the current situation in Ethiopia, it is critical that the threatened species in this region are identified. The threatened species in Ethiopia can be broken down into three categories (based on IUCN ratings); Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN Red List for wild species. Critically Endangered means that a species' numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations....

, Endangered
Endangered species
An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters...

, and Vulnerable
Vulnerable species
On 30 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 9694 Vulnerable species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.-References:...

.
Critically endangered mammals Endangered mammals Vulnerable mammals
Bilen Gerbil Grevy's Zebra
Grevy's Zebra
The Grévy's zebra , also known as the Imperial zebra, is the largest extant wild equid and one of three species of zebra, the other two being the plains zebra and the mountain zebra. Named after Jules Grévy, it is the sole extant member of the subgenus Dolichohippus. The Grévy's zebra is found in...

African Elephant Large-eared Free-tailed Bat
Large-eared Free-tailed Bat
The Large-eared Free-tailed Bat is a species of bat in the family Molossidae. It is found in Angola, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and possibly...

Red-fronted Gazelle
Red-fronted Gazelle
The Red-fronted gazelle is a species of gazelle that is widely but unevenly distributed across the middle Africa from Senegal to north-eastern Ethiopia. It is mainly resident in the Sahel zone, a narrow cross-Africa band south of the Sahara, where it prefers arid grasslands, wooded savannas and...

Black Rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros
The Black Rhinoceros or Hook-lipped Rhinoceros , is a species of rhinoceros, native to the eastern and central areas of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Angola...

Mountain Nyala
Mountain Nyala
The Mountain Nyala found in Oromia, Ethiopia as gadumsa, is an antelope found in high altitude woodland in a small part of central Ethiopia...

Ammodile
Ammodile
The Ammodile, Walo or Somali gerbil is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is the only species in the genus Ammodillus.It is found in Ethiopia and Somalia....

Lesser Horseshoe Bat
Lesser horseshoe bat
The Lesser Horseshoe Bat , is a type of European bat related to but smaller than its cousin, the Greater Horseshoe Bat...

Rupp's Mouse
Rupp's Mouse
Rupp's Mouse or Rupp's Stenocephalemys is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.It is found only in Ethiopia.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland....

Ethiopian Wolf
Ethiopian Wolf
The Ethiopian wolf , also known as the Abyssinian wolf, Abyssinian fox, red jackal, Simien fox, or Simien jackal is a canid native to Africa...

Nubian Ibex
Nubian Ibex
The Nubian ibex is a desert-dwelling goat species found in mountainous areas of Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan, and Pakistan. It is generally considered to be a subspecies of Alpine ibex, but is sometimes considered specifically distinct...

Bailey's Shrew
Bailey's Shrew
The Bailey's Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. The name honours American naturalist and museum director Alfred Marshall Bailey.-Distribution and habitat:...

Lion
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

Scott's Mouse-eared Bat
Scott's Mouse-eared Bat
Scott's Mouse-Eared Bat is a species of vesper bat in the Vespertilionidae family.It is found only in Ethiopia.It is found in these habitats: subtropical or tropical moist montanes and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland....

Guramba Shrew
Guramba Shrew
The Guramba Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.-Source:...

African Wild Dog
African Wild Dog
Lycaon pictus is a large canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf...

Bale Shrew
Bale Shrew
The Bale Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montanes and subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss.-References:* Hutterer, R. & Lavrenchenko, L. 2004. . ...

Moorland Shrew
Lucina's Shrew
The Lucina's Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland and swamps.-Source:...

Soemmerring's Gazelle
Soemmerring's Gazelle
Soemmerring's Gazelle is a gazelle that lives in eastern Africa.-Subspecies:* Somali Soemmerring Gazelle Nanger soemmeringii berberana...

Harenna Shrew
Harenna Shrew
The Harenna Shrew is a white-toothed shrew found only in one location in the Bale Mountains in southern Ethiopia. It occupies an area of less than 10 km² and is listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss and a restricted range....

Beira Antelope
Beira (antelope)
The Beira is a small antelope that inhabits arid regions of Somalia, Djibouti, and eastern Ethiopia.The Beira stands high at the shoulder and weighs between . It has a coarse, red-grey coat with a yellow-red face. It has long, ears and the males of the species have short, straight horns...

Morris's Bat
Morris's Bat
Morris's Bat is a species of vesper bat in the Vespertilionidae family.It is found in Ethiopia and Nigeria.Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, caves, and subterranean habitats .-Source:...

Speke's Gazelle
Speke's Gazelle
Speke's Gazelle is the smallest of the gazelle species. It is confined to the horn of Africa where it inhabits stony brush, grass steppes, and semi deserts . This species has been sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the dorcas gazelle though this is now widely disregarded...

MacMillan's Shrew
MacMillan's Shrew
The MacMillan's Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montanes and moist savanna. It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:...

Cheetah
Cheetah
The cheetah is a large-sized feline inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. The cheetah is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, most notable for modifications in the species' paws...

Mouse-tailed Bat
Rhinopomatidae
Mouse-tailed bats are a group of insectivorous bats of the family Rhinopomatidae with only three to five species, all contained in the single genus Rhinopoma. They are found in the Old World, from North Africa to Thailand and Sumatra, in arid and semi-arid regions, roosting in caves, houses and...

 species
Spotted-necked Otter
Walia Ibex
Walia Ibex
The walia ibex is a species of ibex that is endangered. It is sometimes considered a subspecies of the Alpine Ibex...

Dibatag
Dibatag
The dibatag , or Clarke's gazelle, is an antelope found in the sandy grasslands of Ethiopia and Somalia. Not a true gazelle, it is similarly marked, with a long, furry black tail which is raised in flight...

Natal Free-Tailed Bat
Natal Free-Tailed Bat
The Natal Free-Tailed Bat is a species of bat found in Ethiopia, Mauritius, Réunion, South Africa, and possibly Madagascar. Its habitat is restricted, and threats include habitat loss due to landfills and tourism.-References:...

Stripe-backed Mouse
Ethiopian Striped Mouse
The Ethiopian Striped Mouse or Striped-back Mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.It is found only in Ethiopia.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland and urban areas....

Dorcas Gazelle
Dorcas Gazelle
The Dorcas Gazelle , also known as the Ariel Gazelle, is a small and common gazelle. The Dorcas Gazelle stands approximately 55-65 cm . Dorcas gazelle have a head and body length of 90-110 cm and a weight of 15-20 kg...

Nikolaus's Mouse
Nikolaus's Mouse
Nikolaus's Mouse is a species of rodent in the Nesomyidae family. It is the only species in the genus Megadendromus.It is found only in Ethiopia....

Glass's Shrew
Glass's Shrew
The Glass's Shrew is a species of mammal in the Soricidae family. It is endemic to Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, and swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss....

Patrizi's Trident Leaf-nosed Bat
Patrizi's Trident Leaf-nosed Bat
Patrizi's Trident Leaf-nosed Bat is a species of bat in the family Hipposideridae. It is found in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and caves. It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:* Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A. & Bergmans, W....


Deforestation



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 is one of the seven fundamental and independent centers of origin of cultivated plants of the world.

Ethiopia loses an estimated 1 410 km² of natural forests each year. Between 1990 and 2005 the country lost approximately 21 000 km².

Current government programs to control deforestation consist of education, promoting reforestation programs and providing alternate raw material 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 communities.

Economy


Ethiopia was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. 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. There have been efforts for reform since 1991, but the scope of reform is modest. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. The effectiveness of these policies is reflected in the ten-percent yearly economic growth from 2003–2008. Despite these economic improvements, urban and rural poverty remains an issue in the country.

Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the "water tower" of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 major) rivers that pour off the high tableland. It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation.

Historically, Ethiopia's feudal and communist economic structure has always kept it one rainless season away from devastating droughts. Ethiopia has great potential to be a producer, as it is one of the most fertile countries in Africa. According to the New York Times, Ethiopia "could easily become the breadbasket for much of Europe if her agriculture were better organized."

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may only 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.

Agriculture accounts for almost 41 percent of the gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP), 80 percent of exports, and 80 percent of the labour force. 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
Coffea
Coffea is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. They are shrubs or small trees native to tropical and southern Africa and tropical Asia. Seeds of several species are the source of the popular beverage coffee. Coffee ranks as one of the world's most valuable and widely traded...

, pulse
Pulse (legume)
A pulse is an annual leguminous crop yielding from one to twelve seeds of variable size, shape, and color within a pod. Pulses are used for food and animal feed. The term "pulse", as used by the Food and Agricultural Organization , is reserved for crops harvested solely for the dry seed...

s (e.g., beans), oilseeds
Rapeseed
Rapeseed , also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae...

, cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s, potatoes, sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

, and vegetables. Recently, Ethiopia has had a fast-growing annual GDP and it was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African nation in 2007. Exports are almost entirely agricultural commodities, and coffee is the largest foreign exchange earner. Ethiopia is Africa's second biggest maize producer. Ethiopia's livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 population is believed to be the largest in Africa, and as of 1987 accounted for about 15 percent of the GDP. According to a recent UN report the GNP per capita of Ethiopia has reached $1541 (2009). 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.

Exports


Ethiopia's major export commodity is coffee, which is claimed to have originated from the highland parts of the country.

Ethiopia is also the 10th largest producer of livestock in the world. Other main export commodities are khat
Khat
Khat, qat, gat or Waquish Spoken from true Yemeni, is a flowering plant native to tropical East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula....

, gold, leather products, and oilseeds. Recent development of the floriculture
Floriculture
Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry...

 sector means Ethiopia is poised to become one of the top flower and plant exporters in the world.

Exports from Ethiopia in the 2009/2010 financial year totaled $US1.4 billion. Neighbouring Kenya with half of Ethiopia's population exported goods worth US$5 billion during the same period.

Cross-border trade by pastoralists is often informal and beyond state control and regulation. However, in East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

, over 95% of cross-border trade is through unofficial channels and the unofficial trade of live cattle, camels, sheep and goats from Ethiopia sold to Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 and Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 generates an estimated total value of between US$250 and US$300 million 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, there are also risks as 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.

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. However, coffee remains its most important export product and with new trademark deals around the world, including recent deals with Starbucks
Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 17,009 stores in 55 countries, including over 11,000 in the United States, over 1,000 in Canada, over 700 in the United Kingdom, and...

, 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 Ethiopia were found to be gilded metal by police, costing the state around US$17 million, according to the Science and Development Network website.

Transportation



Ethiopia has 681 km of railway that mainly consists of the Addis Ababa – Djibouti Railway
Ethio-Djibouti Railways
The Ethio-Djibouti Railways, also Ethio-Djibouti Railway Enterprise, is the successor of the Imperial Railway Company of Ethiopia and jointly owned by the governments of Ethiopia and Djibouti. It was formed after Djibouti gained independence in 1977 and received the French shares of the Imperial...

, with a narrow gauge
Metre gauge
Metre gauge refers to narrow gauge railways and tramways with a track gauge of . In some African, American and Asian countries it is the main gauge. In Europe it has been used for local railways in France, Germany, and Belgium, most of which were closed down in mid 20th century. Only in Switzerland...

. At present the railway is under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia, but negotiations are underway to privatize this transport utility.

As the first part of a 10-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 2002 Ethiopia has a total (Federal and Regional) 33 297 km of roads, both paved and gravel.

Demographics


Population in Ethiopia
Year Million
1971 31.7
1980 37.9
1990 51.5
2000 65.5
2004 72.7
2008 80.7


Population in Ethiopia increased from 1990 to 2008 with 29 million with 57 % growth. Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million in 1983 to 75.1 million in 2006. 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 country's population is highly diverse, containing over 80 different ethnic groups. Most people in Ethiopia speak Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

, mainly of the Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 or Cushitic
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

 branches. The latter include the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

, Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

, Tigray
Tigray-Tigrinya people
Tigray-Tigrinya are an ethnic group who live in the southern, central and northern parts of Eritrea and the northern highlands of Ethiopia's Tigray province. They also live in Ethiopia's former provinces of Begemder and Wollo, which are today mostly part of Amhara Region, though a few regions...

 and Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

, who together make up three-quarters of the population.

Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially Semitic-speaking ones, collectively refer to themselves as Habesha
Habesha people
The term Habesha ābešā, Ḥābešā; al-Ḥabašah) refers to the South Semitic-speaking group of people whose cultural, linguistic, and in certain cases, ancestral origins trace back to those people who ruled the Axumite Empire and the kingdom known as DʿMT .Peoples referred to as "Habesha" today...

or Abesha, though others reject these names on the basis that they refer only to certain ethnicities. The Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 form of this term (Al-Habasha) is the etymological basis of "Abyssinia," the former name of Ethiopia in English and other European languages.

Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

-speaking Nilotic
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

 ethnic minorities also inhabit the southern regions of the country, particularly in areas bordering South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

. Among these are the Mursi and Anuak.

According to the Ethiopian national census of 2007, the Oromo
Oromo people
The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, .and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census...

 are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, at 34.49% of the nation's population. The Amhara
Amhara people
Amhara are a highland people inhabiting the Northwestern highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19.8 million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population, according to the 2007 national census...

 represent 26.89% of the country's inhabitants, while the Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 and Tigray
Tigray-Tigrinya people
Tigray-Tigrinya are an ethnic group who live in the southern, central and northern parts of Eritrea and the northern highlands of Ethiopia's Tigray province. They also live in Ethiopia's former provinces of Begemder and Wollo, which are today mostly part of Amhara Region, though a few regions...

 represent 6.20% and 6.07% of the population, respectively. Other prominent ethnic groups are as follows: Sidama 4.01%, Gurage
Gurage
Gurage is an ethnic group in Ethiopia. According to the 2007 national census, its population is 1,867,377 people , of whom 792,659 are urban dwellers. This is 2.53% of the total population of Ethiopia, or 7.52% of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region...

 2.53%, Wolayta
Welayta people
Wolayta is the name of an ethnic group and its former kingdom, located in southern Ethiopia. According to the most recent census , they number 1.7 million people or 2.31 percent of the country's population, of whom 289,707 are urban inhabitants...

 2.31%, Afar
Afar people
The Afar , also known as the Danakil, are an ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. They primarily live in the Afar Region of Ethiopia and in northern Djibouti, although some also inhabit the southern point of Eritrea.-Early history:...

 1.73%, Hadiya
Hadiya
The Hadiya Kingdom was an ancient kingdom in located in southwestern Ethiopia, south of the Abbay River and west of Shewa. It was ruled by the Hadiya people, who spoke the Cushitic Hadiyya language. The historical Hadiya area was situated between Kembata, Gamo, and Waj, southwest of Shewa...

 1.74%, Gamo 1.50%, Kefficho 1.18% and others 11%.

In 2007, Ethiopia hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 201,700. The majority of this population came from Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 (approximately 111,600 persons), Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 (55,400) and Eritrea
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

 (23,900). The Ethiopian government required nearly all refugees to live in refugee camps.

Languages


According to Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

, there are 90 individual languages spoken in Ethiopia. Most belong to the Afro-Asiatic
Afro-Asiatic languages
The Afroasiatic languages , also known as Hamito-Semitic, constitute one of the world's largest language families, with about 375 living languages...

 language family, mainly of the Cushitic
Cushitic languages
The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan and Egypt. They are named after the Biblical character Cush, who was identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as AD 947...

 and Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 branches. Languages from the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

 phylum are also spoken by the nation's Nilotic
Nilotic
Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages...

 ethnic minorities.

English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is the medium of instruction in secondary schools. Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

 was the language of primary school instruction, but has been replaced in many areas by regional languages such as Oromifa
Oromo language
Oromo, also known as Afaan Oromo, Oromiffa, Afan Boran, Afan Orma, and sometimes in other languages by variant spellings of these names , is an Afro-Asiatic language, and the most widely spoken of the Cushitic family. Forms of Oromo are spoken as a first language by more than 25 million Oromo and...

 and Tigrinya.

In terms of writing system
Writing system
A writing system is a symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.-General properties:Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that the reader must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to...

, Ethiopia's principal orthography is Ge'ez
Ge'ez alphabet
Ge'ez , also called Ethiopic, is a script used as an abugida for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea but originated in an abjad used to write Ge'ez, now the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Church...

 or Ethiopic (ግዕዝ). Used as an abugida
Abugida
An abugida , also called an alphasyllabary, is a segmental writing system in which consonant–vowel sequences are written as a unit: each unit is based on a consonant letter, and vowel notation is obligatory but secondary...

 for several of the country's languages, it first came into use in the 5th–6th centuries BC as an abjad
Abjad
An abjad is a type of writing system in which each symbol always or usually stands for a consonant; the reader must supply the appropriate vowel....

 to transcribe the Semitic Ge'ez language
Ge'ez language
Ge'ez is an ancient South Semitic language that developed in the northern region of Ethiopia and southern Eritrea in the Horn of Africa...

. Ge'ez now serves as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Churches. Other writing systems have also been used over the years by different Ethiopian communities. The latter include Sheikh Bakri Sapalo
Bakri Sapalo
Sheikh Bakri Sapalo was an Oromo scholar, poet and religious teacher. He is best known as the inventor of a writing system for the Oromo language.-Life:...

's script for Oromo.

Religion



Ethiopia has close historical ties with all three of the world's major Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

. It was one of the first areas of the world to have officially adopted Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 as the state religion, in the 4th century. It still has a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 majority, with over a third of the population Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. Ethiopia is the site of the first hijra
Hijra (Islam)
The Hijra is the migration or journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE. Alternate spellings of this Arabic word are Hijrah, Hijrat or Hegira, the latter following the spelling rules of Latin.- Hijra of Muhammad :In September 622, warned of a plot to...

 in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash
Negash
Negash is a village in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia, which straddles the Adigrat-Mekele road 10 kilometers north of Wukro. Located in Wukro woreda, this settlement has a longitude and latitude of ....

. Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia.

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 updated CIA World Factbook, which states that Christianity is the most widely practiced religion in Ethiopia. According to the latest CIA factbook figure Muslims constitute 32.8% of the population.

The Kingdom of Aksum was one of the first nations to officially accept Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, when St. Frumentius of Tyre, called Fremnatos or Abba Selama ("Father of Peace") in Ethiopia, converted King Ezana
Ezana of Axum
Ezana of Axum , was ruler of the Axumite Kingdom located in present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, he himself employed the style "king of Saba and Salhen, Himyar and Dhu-Raydan"...

 during the 4th century AD
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

. Many believe that the Gospel had entered Ethiopia even earlier, with the royal official described as being baptised by Philip the Evangelist
Philip the Evangelist
Saint Philip the Evangelist appears several times in the Acts of the Apostles. He was one of the Seven Deacons chosen to care for the poor of the Christian community in Jerusalem . He preached and performed miracles in Samaria, converted Simon Magus, and met and baptised an Ethiopian man, an...

 in chapter eight of the Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles
The Acts of the Apostles , usually referred to simply as Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; Acts outlines the history of the Apostolic Age...

. (Acts 8:26–39) Today, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

, part of Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

, is by far the largest denomination, though a number of Protestant (Pentay) churches and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tehadeso Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tehadeso Church
According to its followers, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tehadeso Church stands to preserve the country's orthodox traditions while believing in the full Gospel of the scripture. Most of its members reside in Oromia Region of Ethiopia, however it has several members globally...

 have recently gained ground. Since the 18th century there has existed a relatively small (uniate) Ethiopian Catholic Church
Ethiopian Catholic Church
The Ethiopian Catholic Church is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church within the Catholic Church. Established in 1930, its membership includes inhabitants of Ethiopia and Eritrea....

 in full communion
Full communion
In Christian ecclesiology, full communion is a relationship between church organizations or groups that mutually recognize their sharing the essential doctrines....

 with Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, with adherents making up less than 1% of the total population.

Islam in Ethiopia
Islam in Ethiopia
According to the latest 2007 national census, Islam is the second most widely practised religion in Ethiopia after Christianity, with over 25 million of Ethiopians adhering to Islam according to the 2007 national census, having arrived in Ethiopia in 615...

 dates back to the founding of the religion; in 615, when a group of Muslims were counseled by Muhammad to escape persecution in Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 and travel to Ethiopia via modern day Eritrea
Migration to Abyssinia
The migration known as the first Hijarat was made in two groups totalling more than a hundred persons. According to Islamic tradition, eleven male and five female Sahabah, the Muslims who originally converged in Mecca, sought refuge from Quraysh persecution in the Kingdom of Aksum in of in the...

, which was ruled by Ashama ibn Abjar
Ashama ibn Abjar
According to Arabic sources, Aṣḥama ibn Abjar was Emperor or al-Najashi of Aksum at the time of Muhammad, and gave refuge to several Muslims in the Kingdom of Aksum. The term "al-Najashi" has the variant al-Negashi; it corresponds to the ancient Aksumite title Negus, with the variant Negash...

, a pious Christian king. Moreover, Bilal ibn Ribah
Bilal ibn Ribah
Bilal ibn Rabah or Bilal al-Habashi was an Ethiopian born in Mecca in the late 6th century, sometime between 578 and 582.The Islamic prophet Muhammad chose a former African slave Bilal as his muezzin, effectively making him the first muezzin of the Islamic faith...

, the first Muezzin
Muezzin
A muezzin , or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.The professional muezzin is chosen for his...

, the person chosen to call the faithful to prayer, and one of the foremost companions of Muhammad, was from Abyssinia (Eritrea, Ethiopia etc.). Also, the largest single ethnic group of non-Arab Companions of Muhammad was that of the Ethiopians.

A small ancient group of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, the Beta Israel
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

, live in northwestern Ethiopia, though most emigrated to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the last decades of the 20th century as part of the rescue missions undertaken by the Israeli government, Operation Moses
Operation Moses
Operation Moses refers to the covert evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Sudan during a famine in 1984...

 and Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel.In 1991, the sitting Ethiopian government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was close to being toppled with the recent military successes of Eritrean and Tigrean rebels, threatening Ethiopia with dangerous...

. Some Israeli and Jewish scholars consider these Ethiopian Jews as a historical Lost Tribe of Israel.

There are numerous indigenous African religions in Ethiopia, mainly located in the far southwest and western borderlands. In general, most of the (largely members of the non-Chalcedonian Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

) Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 live in the highlands, while Muslims
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and adherents of traditional African religions tend to inhabit more lowland regions in the east and south of the country.

Calendar



Ethiopia has several local calendars. The most widely-known is the Ethiopian calendar
Ethiopian calendar
The Ethiopian calendar , also called the Ge'ez calendar, is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical calendar for Christians in Eritrea belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Eastern Catholic Church and Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea...

, also known as the Ge'ez calendar. It is based on the older Alexandrian or Coptic calendar
Coptic calendar
The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and still used in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar...

, which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar
Egyptian calendar
The ancient civil Egyptian calendar had a year that was 360 days long and was divided into 12 months of 30 days each, plus five extra days at the end of the year. The months were divided into three weeks of ten days each...

. However, like the Julian calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

, the Ethiopian calendar adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A seven to eight-year gap between the Ethiopian and Gregorian
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

 calendars results from alternate calculations.

Another prominent calendrical system was developed by the Oromo around 300 BC. A lunar-stellar calendar, it 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).

Urbanization



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. In 1936, 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 after to the 1975 Land Reform program instituted by the government 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.

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
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

's minimum standard of food per day (2,200 kilocalories), with 42% of children under 5 years old being underweight. 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. These living conditions are deplorable, but are the daily lives of peasant associations.

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 a hard time working the land and the productivity drops further.

Although conditions are drastically better in cities, all of Ethiopia suffers from poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

, and poor sanitation
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

. In the capital city of Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

, 55% of the population lives in slums. Although there are some wealthy neighborhoods with mansions, most people make their houses using whatever materials are available, with walls made of mud or wood. Only 12% of homes have cement tiles or floors. 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.

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 eligible for secondary school attend. Addis Ababa has its own university
Addis Ababa University
Addis Ababa University is a university in Ethiopia. It was originally named "University College of Addis Ababa" at its founding, then renamed for the former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I in 1962, receiving its current name in 1975.Although the university has six of its seven campuses within...

 as well as many other secondary schools. The literacy rate is 82%.

Health is also much greater in the cities. Birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

s, infant mortality rates, and death rates are lower in the city than in rural areas owing to better access to education and hospitals. Life expectancy is higher at 53, compared to 48 in rural areas. Despite sanitation being a problem, use of improved water sources is also greater; 81% in cities compared to 11% in rural areas. This encourages more people to migrate to the cities in hopes of better living conditions.

Many NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are working to solve this problem; however, most are far apart, uncoordinated, and working in isolation. The Sub-Saharan Africa NGO Consortium is attempting to coordinate efforts among NGOs in Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

, Ethiopia, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

, Ivory Coast, Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

.

Health



According to the head of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

's Global HIV/AIDS Program, Ethiopia has only 1 medical doctor per 100,000 people.
However, the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

's 2006 World Health Report gives a figure of 1936 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 a better economic opportunity in the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

.

Ethiopia's main health problems are said to be communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition. These problems are exacerbated by the shortage of trained manpower and health facilities.

There are 119 hospitals (12 in Addis Ababa alone) and 412 health centers in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a relatively low average life expectancy of 45 years. Infant mortality rates are relatively very high, as over 8% of infants die during or shortly after childbirth, (although this is a dramatic decrease from 16% in 1965) while birth-related complications such as obstetric fistula
Obstetric fistula
Obstetric fistula is a severe medical condition in which a fistula develops between either the rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina after severe or failed childbirth, when adequate medical care is not available.-Symptoms and signs:The resulting disorders typically include...

 affect many of the nation's women. HIV is also prevalent in the country.

The other major health problem in Ethiopia is spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS has mainly affected poor communities and women, due to lack of health education, empowerment, awareness and lack of social well being. The government of 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 (Dugassa, 2005). Many believe that sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea
Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are burning with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain...

 result from touching a stone after a female dog urinates on it and there is a general belief that these diseases are caused by bad spirits and supernatural causes. Others believe that eating the reproductive organs of a black goat will help expel the diseases from those same organ in their body (Kater, 2000). Ethiopia has high infant and maternal mortality rate. Only a minority of Ethiopians are born in hospitals; most of them are born in rural households. Those who are expected to give birth at home have elderly women serve as midwives assist with the delivery (Kater, 2000) The increase in infant and maternal mortality rate is believed to be due to lack of women’s involvement in household decision- making, immunization and social capital (Fantahun, Berhane, Wall, Byass, & Hogberg, 2007). On the other hand, 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).

The low availability of health care professionals with modern medical training, together with lack of funds for medical services, leads to the preponderancy of less reliable traditional healers that use home-based therapies to heal common ailments. One medical practice that is commonly practiced irrespective of religion or economic status is female genital cutting
Female genital cutting
Female genital mutilation , also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined by the World Health Organization as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."FGM...

 (FGC) or female circumcision, a procedure by which some of a woman's external genital tissue, such as the clitoral hood, the clitoris or labia, are removed. According to a study performed by the Population Reference Bureau, Ethiopia has a prevalence rate of 81% among women ages 35 to 39 and 62 percent among women ages 15–19. Ethiopia’s 2005 Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) noted that the national prevalence rate is 74 percent 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. In 2004, the Ethiopian Government enacted a law against FGC. Female circumcision is a pre-marital custom mainly endemic to Northeast Africa and parts of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 that has its ultimate origins in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

. Encouraged by women in the community, it is primarily intended to deter promiscuity and to offer protection from assault. About 76% of Ethiopia's male population is also reportedly circumcised.

The Government of the Federal Republic of 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.

Education



Education in Ethiopia had been dominated by the Orthodox Church for many centuries until secular education was adopted in the early 1900s.The current system follows very similar school expansion schemes to the rural areas as the previous 1980s system with an addition of deeper regionalisation giving rural education in their own languages starting at the elementary level and with more budget allocated to the education sector. The sequence of general education in Ethiopia is six years of primary school, four years of lower secondary school and two years of higher secondary school. in 2004 school enrollment was below that of many other African countries. Half the population of Ethiopia is illiterate.

Cuisine




The best known Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

 or meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

 side dishes and entrées, usually a wat
Wat (food)
Wat, wet, or wot , known as tsebhi in Tigrinya is an Ethiopian and Eritrean stew or curry which may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables, and spice mixtures such as berbere and niter kibbeh, a seasoned clarified butter.Several properties distinguish wats from stews of...

, or thick stew
Stew
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables , meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used...

, served atop injera
Injera
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea...

, a large sourdough
Sourdough
Sourdough is a dough containing a Lactobacillus culture, usually in symbiotic combination with yeasts. It is one of two principal means of biological leavening in bread baking, along with the use of cultivated forms of yeast . It is of particular importance in baking rye-based breads, where yeast...

 flatbread
Flatbread
A flatbread is a simple bread made with flour, water, and salt and then thoroughly rolled into flattened dough. Many flatbreads are unleavened: made without yeast or sourdough culture: although some flatbread is made with yeast, such as pita bread....

 made of teff
Teff
Eragrostis tef, known as teff, taf , or khak shir , is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of Northeast Africa....

 flour. One does not eat with utensils, but instead uses injera to scoop up the entrées and side dishes. Chachabsa, Marka
Marka
Marka may refer to:* Marka people, a people of Mali in Western Africa** Marka language, the language of the Marka people* Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark , the currency of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

, Chukko and Dhanga are the most popular dish among the Oromos. Kitfo being originated from Gurage is one of the widely accepted and favorite food in Ethiopia.

Tihlo prepared from roasted barley flour is very popular in Amhara
Amhara Region
Amhara is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as Region 3, its capital is Bahir Dar....

, Agame
Agame
The Agame is a former province in northern Ethiopia, now part of the Tigray Region. Its inhabitants include the Irob people, a region where tradition states the legendary Makeda was born and raised...

, and Awlaelo (Tigrai). Traditional Ethiopian cuisine employs no pork
Pork
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig , which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC....

 or shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

 of any kind, as they are forbidden in the Islamic, Jewish, and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is the predominant Oriental Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Church was administratively part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All...

 faiths. It is also very common to eat from the same dish in the center of the table with a group of people.

Music




The music of Ethiopia
Music of Ethiopia
The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Some forms of traditional music are strongly influenced by folk music from elsewhere in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia. However, Ethiopian religious music also has an...

 is extremely diverse, with each of the country's 80 ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Ethiopian music uses a distinct modal system
Musical mode
In the theory of Western music since the ninth century, mode generally refers to a type of scale. This usage, still the most common in recent years, reflects a tradition dating to the middle ages, itself inspired by the theory of ancient Greek music.The word encompasses several additional...

 that is pentatonic
Pentatonic scale
A pentatonic scale is a musical scale with five notes per octave in contrast to a heptatonic scale such as the major scale and minor scale...

, 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
Eritrea
Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

. Traditional singing in Ethiopia presents diverse styles of polyphony
Polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 (heterophony
Heterophony
In music, heterophony is a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. Such a texture can be regarded as a kind of complex monophony in which there is only one basic melody, but realized at the same time in multiple voices, each of which plays the melody...

, drone
Drone (music)
In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The word drone is also used to refer to any part of a musical instrument that is just used to produce such an effect.-A musical effect:A drone...

, imitation
Imitation
Imitation is an advanced behavior whereby an individual observes and replicates another's. The word can be applied in many contexts, ranging from animal training to international politics.-Anthropology and social sciences:...

, counterpoint
Counterpoint
In music, counterpoint is the relationship between two or more voices that are independent in contour and rhythm and are harmonically interdependent . It has been most commonly identified in classical music, developing strongly during the Renaissance and in much of the common practice period,...

).

Sport



The main sports in Ethiopia are athletics and football. Ethiopian athletes have won many Olympic gold medals in track and field, particularly distance running. Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie
Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship titles in the event. He won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively and also had three straight wins at the Dubai Marathon...

 is a world-renowned marathon
Marathon
The marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometres , that is usually run as a road race...

 runner, having set the world record
World record
A world record is usually the best global performance ever recorded and verified in a specific skill or sport. The book Guinness World Records collates and publishes notable records of all types, from first and best to worst human achievements, to extremes in the natural world and beyond...

 several times. Another sportsman, Kenenisa Bekele
Kenenisa Bekele
Kenenisa Bekele is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, who holds the world record and Olympic record in both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres events...

, is also a dominant runner, particularly in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in which he holds the world records. Other notable Ethiopian athletes are Abebe Bikila
Abebe Bikila
Abebe Bikila was a two-time Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia. A stadium in Addis Ababa is named in his honor.-1932–1959:...

, Mamo Wolde
Mamo Wolde
Degaga Wolde was an Ethiopian long distance track and road running athlete and was winner of the marathon at the 1968 Summer Olympics....

, Miruts Yifter
Miruts Yifter
Miruts Yifter ]] is a former Ethiopian athlete, winner of two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics. His name is also sometimes spelled as Muruse Yefter....

, Derartu Tulu
Derartu Tulu
Derartu Tulu is an Ethiopian long distance track, road and marathon athlete.Derartu , a member of the Oromo ethnic group, grew up tending cattle in the village of Bekoji in the highlands of Arsi Province...

, Tirunesh Dibaba
Tirunesh Dibaba
Tirunesh Dibaba also known as Tirunesh Dibaba Kenene is an Ethiopian long distance track athlete and the outdoor 5000 metres world record holder. She is the current Olympic 5000 metres and 10,000 metres champion...

, Meseret Defar
Meseret Defar
Meseret Defar is a female long-distance runner from Ethiopia who competes chiefly in the 3000 metres and 5000 metres events. She has won medals at top-tier international competitions including Olympic and World Championship gold medals over 5000 metres...

, Birehane Adare, Firehiwot Dado
Firehiwot Dado
Firehiwot Tufa Dado is a female long-distance runner from Ethiopia, who won the 2011 New York Marathon in a personal best time of 2:23:15. She also has taken three consecutive victories in the Rome City Marathon. She set a previous personal best of 2:25:28 in the classic distance on March 21,...

, and Gelete Burka.

See also


  • Aethiopia (Classical Greek term)
  • Archaeology in Ethiopia
    Archaeology in Ethiopia
    Ethiopia offers a greater richness in archaeological finds and historical buildings than any other country in Sub-Saharan Africa . In April 2005, the Obelisk of Axum, one of Ethiopia's religious and historical treasures, was returned to Ethiopia by Italy. Under the orders of dictator Benito...

  • Link Ethiopia

Further reading

Reprint, Trenton, NJ: Red Sea, 1995. ISBN 1-56902-009-4. Reprint, New York: Olive Branch, 2003. ISBN 1-902669-53-3.
  • Pankhurst, Richard.
  • Siegbert Uhlig, et al. (eds.) (2003). Encyclopaedia aethiopica
    Encyclopaedia aethiopica
    The Encyclopaedia Aethiopica is the basic reference work for Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies. The Encyclopaedia Aethiopica provides access to reliable and state-of-the art information in all fields of the discipline, i.e. anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, history, geography, languages and...

    , Vol. 1: A-C. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
  • Siegbert Uhlig, et al. (eds.) (2005). Encyclopaedia aethiopica, Vol. 2: D-Ha. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
  • Siegbert Uhlig, et al. (eds.) (2007). Encyclopaedia aethiopica, Vol. 3: He-N. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.
  • Arnaldo Mauri, The Early Development of Banking in Ethiopia, International Review of Economics, Vol. L, n. 4, 2003, pp. 521–543.
  • Arnaldo Mauri, The re-establishment of the national monetary and banking system in Ethiopia, 1941–1964, The South African Journal of Economic History, 24 (2), 2009, pp. 82–131.

External links