Facts About : Ethiopia

  • Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front. A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates, Ethiopia has not accepted them and has not withdrawn troops from previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. In August 2012, longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades.
  • Geography :: ETHIOPIA

  • Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
    8 00 N, 38 00 E
    total: 1,104,300 sq km
    land: 1 million sq km
    water: 104,300 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 27
    slightly less than twice the size of Texas
    Area comparison map: 
    total: 5,925 km
    border countries (6): Djibouti 342 km, Eritrea 1,033 km, Kenya 867 km, Somalia 1,640 km, South Sudan 1,299 km, Sudan 744 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
    high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
    lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m
    highest point: Ras Dejen 4,533 m
    small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
    agricultural land: 36.3%
    arable land 15.2%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 20%
    forest: 12.2%
    other: 51.5% (2011 est.)
    2,896 sq km (2003)
    122 cu km (2011)
    total: 5.56 cu km/yr (13%/1%/86%)
    per capita: 80.5 cu m/yr (2005)
    geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts
    volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (elev. 613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir
    deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
    landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; Ethiopia is, therefore, the most populous landlocked country in the world; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean
  • People and Society :: ETHIOPIA

  • noun: Ethiopian(s)
    adjective: Ethiopian
    Oromo 34.4%, Amhara (Amara) 27%, Somali (Somalie) 6.2%, Tigray (Tigrinya) 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Gurage 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Afar (Affar) 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Silte 1.3%, Kefficho 1.2%, other 10.5% (2007 est.)
    Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 est.)
    Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.5%, traditional 2.7%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    0-14 years: 43.94% (male 21,900,571/female 21,809,643)
    15-24 years: 19.98% (male 9,865,976/female 10,009,596)
    25-54 years: 29.31% (male 14,487,280/female 14,667,179)
    55-64 years: 3.88% (male 1,882,315/female 1,981,762)
    65 years and over: 2.88% (male 1,289,336/female 1,572,161) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid: 
    total dependency ratio: 81.6%
    youth dependency ratio: 75.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.3%
    potential support ratio: 15.8% (2015 est.)
    total: 17.7 years
    male: 17.5 years
    female: 17.8 years (2015 est.)
    2.89% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    37.27 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    8.19 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    -0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    note: repatriation of Ethiopian refugees residing in Sudan is expected to continue for several years; some Sudanese, Somali, and Eritrean refugees, who fled to Ethiopia from the fighting or famine in their own countries, continue to return to their homes (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    urban population: 19.5% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 4.89% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    ADDIS ABABA (capital) 3.238 million (2015)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    total: 53.37 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 61.08 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 45.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    total population: 61.48 years
    male: 59.11 years
    female: 63.93 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    5.15 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    28.6% (2010/11)
    5.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    0.03 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    6.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 93.1% of population
    rural: 48.6% of population
    total: 57.3% of population
    urban: 6.9% of population
    rural: 51.4% of population
    total: 42.7% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 27.2% of population
    rural: 28.2% of population
    total: 28% of population
    urban: 72.8% of population
    rural: 71.8% of population
    total: 72% of population (2015 est.)
    1.15% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    730,300 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    23,400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
    animal contact disease: rabies
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2013)
    3.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    25.2% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    4.7% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 49.1%
    male: 57.2%
    female: 41.1% (2015 est.)
    total: 7 years
    male: 8 years
    female: 6 years (2005)
    total number: 10,693,164
    percentage: 53% (2005 est.)
    total: 24.9%
    male: 19.5%
    female: 29.4% (2006 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
  • Government :: ETHIOPIA

  • conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
    conventional short form: Ethiopia
    local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
    local short form: Ityop'iya
    former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
    abbreviation: FDRE
    federal republic
    name: Addis Ababa
    geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    9 ethnically based states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples)
    oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years (may be traced to the Aksumite Kingdom, which coalesced in the first century B.C.)
    National Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)
    several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995 (2013)
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    birthright citizenship: no, unless at least one parent is a citizen of Ethiopia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President MULATU Teshome Wirtu (since 7 October 2013)
    head of government: Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn (since 21 September 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers ASTER Mamo, DEBRETSION Gebre-Michael, DEMEKE Mekonnen Hassen; note - prior to his approval as prime minister, HAILEMARIAM had been acting prime minister due to the death of former Prime Minister MELES
    cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by both chambers of Parliament for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2019); prime minister designated by the majority party following legislative elections
    election results: MULATU Teshome Wirtu (OPDO) elected president by acclamation
    bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation or Yefedereshein Mikir Bete (108 seats; members indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 5-year terms) and the House of People's Representatives or Yehizb Tewokayoch Mekir Bete (547 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the House of Federation is responsible for interpreting the constitution and federal-regional issues and the House of People's Representatives is responsible for passing legislation
    elections: last held on 24 May 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: House of Representatives percent of vote - NA; seats by party - EPRDF 500, SPDP 24, BGPDP 9, ANDP 8, GPUDM 3, APDO 1, HNL 1, independent 1
    highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or Supreme Imperial Court (consists of 11 judges); note - the Federal Supreme Court has jurisdiction for all constitutional issues
    judge selection and term of office: president and vice president of Federal Supreme Court nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; other Supreme Court judges nominated by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; judges serve until retirement at age 60
    subordinate courts: federal high courts and federal courts of first instance; state court systems (mirror structure of federal system); sharia courts and customary and traditional courts
    Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [Mohammed KEDIR]
    Argoba People's Democratic Organization or APDO
    Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Party or BGPDP
    Blue Party (Semayawi Party) [Yanatan TESFAYE, spokesman]
    Ethiopian Federal Democratic Forum or FORUM [Dr. Moga FRISSA] (a UDJ-led 6-party alliance established for the 2010 parliamentary elections)
    Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [Hailemarian DESALEGN] (including the following organizations: Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM; Oromo People's Democratic Organization or OPDO; Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement or SEPDM; Tigray People's Liberation Front or TPLF)
    Gambella Peoples Unity Democratic Movement or GPUDM
    Harari National League or HNL [YASIN Husein]
    Somali People's Democratic Party or SPDP
    Ethiopian People's Patriotic Front or EPPF
    Ogaden National Liberation Front or ONLF
    Oromo Liberation Front or OLF [DAOUD Ibsa]
    chief of mission: Ambassador GIRMA Birru (since 6 January 2011)
    chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
    FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Seattle
    consulate(s): Houston, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia Marie HASLACH (since 25 September 2013)
    embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa
    mailing address: P. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
    telephone: 130-6000
    FAX: 124-2401
    three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red, with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; green represents hope and the fertility of the land, yellow symbolizes justice and harmony, while red stands for sacrifice and heroism in the defense of the land; the blue of the disk symbolizes peace and the pentagram represents the unity and equality of the nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia
    note: Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag (adopted ca. 1895) were so often appropriated by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the Pan-African colors; the emblem in the center of the current flag was added in 1996
    Abyssinian lion (traditional), yellow pentagram with five rays of light on a blue field (promoted by current government); national colors: green, yellow, red
    name: "Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia" (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)
    lyrics/music: DEREJE Melaku Mengesha/SOLOMON Lulu
    note: adopted 1992
  • Economy :: ETHIOPIA

  • Ethiopia's economy is based on agriculture, but the government is pushing to diversify into manufacturing, textiles, and energy generation. Coffee is a major export crop. The agricultural sector suffers from poor cultivation practices and frequent drought, but recent joint efforts by the Government of Ethiopia and donors have strengthened Ethiopia's agricultural resilience, contributing to a reduction in the number of Ethiopians threatened with starvation. The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted significant foreign investment in textiles, leather, commercial agriculture and manufacturing. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; land use certificates are now being issued in some areas so that tenants have more recognizable rights to continued occupancy and hence make more concerted efforts to improve their leaseholds. While GDP growth has remained high, per capita income is among the lowest in the world. Ethiopia's economy continues on its state-led Growth and Transformation Plan and is scheduled to issue another development plan in 2015. Ethiopia has achieved high single-digit growth rates through government-led infrastructure expansion and commercial agriculture development. Ethiopia in late 2014 issued its first sovereign bond, generating $1 billion in revenue for a 10 year note.
    $144.6 billion (2014 est.)
    $131 billion (2013 est.)
    $119.3 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 73
    $52.34 billion (2014 est.)
    10.3% (2014 est.)
    9.8% (2013 est.)
    8.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $1,600 (2014 est.)
    $1,400 (2013 est.)
    $1,300 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 217
    25.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
    28.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    30.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    household consumption: 83.7%
    government consumption: 8%
    investment in fixed capital: 36.8%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 12.8%
    imports of goods and services: -41.3%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 47.7%
    industry: 10.4%
    services: 41.9% (2014 est.)
    cereals, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, khat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish
    food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing, cement
    7.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    47.32 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    agriculture: 85%
    industry: 5%
    services: 10% (2009 est.)
    17.5% (2012 est.)
    18% (2011 est.)