Facts about Ethiopia
|Time zone||UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
General info about Ethiopia
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of the 1936-41 Italian occupation during World War II. 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 (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission in November 2007 remotely demarcated the border by geographical coordinates, but final demarcation of the boundary on the ground is currently on hold because of Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia.
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis
Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (major foreign language taught in schools) (1994 census)
What about drugs?
transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money laundering center
Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%, Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4% (1994 census)
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
4.4% (2003 est.)
tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for almost half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $350 million in 2006, but historically low prices have seen many farmers switching to qat to supplement income. The war with Eritrea in 1998-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular coffee production. In November 2001, Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and in December 2005 the IMF voted to forgive Ethiopia's debt to the body. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. Drought struck again late in 2002, leading to a 3.3% decline in GDP in 2003. Normal weather patterns helped agricultural and GDP growth recover during 2004-08.
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management
Cities in Ethiopiaabomsa addis abeba addis zemen adet adwa agaro aksum areka asasa asayita asbe teferi asosa assela awash awassa bahir dar bako bati bedele bedesa bichena boditi bonga bure butajira dabat debre birhan debre sina debre tabor debre zeyit deder dejen dembi dolo dese dilla dire dawa dodola dubti fiche finote selam gambela gebre guracha gedo gelemso gewane gidole gimbi ginir giyon goba gondar gore guder hagere hiywet hagere selam harer hirna huruta jijiga jimma jinka kembolcha kemise kibre mengist kofele korem lalibela leku mega mendi metehara metu mizan teferi mojo moyale nazret nedjo negele robe sebeta sendafa shakiso shambu sire tulu bolo wendo were ilu werota wonji yabelo ziway