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Ethiopia


Official Name (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia)
Capital Addis Ababa
Population 88,013,491 (2011 Estimates)
Area 1.10 million sq km or 0.42 million sq mi
Currency Birr ($1= 16.9474)
Religion Ethiopian Orthodox (Orthodox Christian) 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%
Literacy 35.5%
Languages Amharic, Oromo, and English (principal foreign language)
Major Cities Addis Ababa, Adama, Aksum, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Dire Dawa, and Harar
Climate Varies as per elevation
Ethiopia is a mountainous and landlocked country in the northeast part of Africa. It is formally known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Map
The country was previously known as Abyssinia. The capital of the country is Addis Ababa. Ethiopia ranks as the second most populated country in the continent and is famous for its eventful and extensive history. The country is bounded on the north by Eritrea, on the east by Somalia and Djibouti, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and northwest by Sudan. The country houses the maximum number of World Heritage Sites in the African continent.

Ethiopia Flag
Flag of Ethiopia
The flag of Ethiopia has three equal horizontal bands of green at the top, yellow,and red at the bottom. Present in the center of the three bands is a yellow pentagram with single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag were so often adopted by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the pan-African colors.

People of Ethiopia
Around 32 percent of the population of Ethiopia is made up of the Amhara, who founded the original nation, and the related Tigreans, both of which are highland people of partly Semitic origin. While Amharic, the country's official language, is spoken by more than half of the population, English and Arabic are also spoken widely spoken. Out of the 70 or more languages spoken in Ethiopia, most belong to the Semitic and Cushitic branches of the Afro-Asiatic family.

History of Ethiopia
For the greater part of its past, the country was a kingdom. The Ethiopian empire links its origin to 2nd century BC. An interesting history behind it shows that the country’s emperors considered themselves to be descendants of King Solomon and the beautiful Queen of Sheba. At a time when the African continent was split by European authorities at the Berlin Conference, the country was one of the few nations which were able to maintain their freedom. Ethiopia was one of just four African constituents of the League of Nations. Following a short phase of Italian dominance, the country was nominated as an original member of the UN. Once other countries in Africa attained their liberation after the Second World War, most of them assumed the shades of the flag of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa developed into a hub of many global associations concentrated on Africa. After independence, the last emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, was deposed by armed Marxist forces in 1974.

Arts, Culture and Music of Ethiopia
Ethiopia excels in the field of literature and has to its credit numerous translations from ancient Greek, Arabic, and other languages to the ancient Gecez and modern Amharic. Most of the literature is theological or mythological in nature. Secular literature is largely confined to history. Besides literature, the country is also rich in ecclesiastical architecture, which shows both Byzantine and Coptic influences. Ethiopia also excels in beautiful silver work.

Economy of Ethiopia
At present, the country houses the largest economy in eastern Africa in terms of Gross Domestic Product. The economy of the country ranks among the fastest developing economies in the world. It is an agro-based economy, which represents more than 50% of its GDP. Agricultural exports bring in a significant amount of revenue to the government.

Major industries of Ethiopia include beverages, food processing, telecommunications, chemicals, textiles, cement, and metals processing. It exports qat, coffee, leather goods, gold, oilseeds, and cattle and imports livestock, food items, oil and oil products, equipments, chemicals, automobiles, textiles, and food grains. The per capita nominal GDP of the country is $350 (2010 estimate).

The economy of Ethiopia is based on agriculture, which accounts for half of the GDP, 85% of exports and 80% of total employment. However, the agriculture sector is often subject to frequent droughts and poor civilization practices. Coffee is very essential to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $270 million in 2000/01. The war with Eritrea in 1999-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, and the coffee production in particular. Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; but this system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. The year 2002 saw strong growth in economy, which can be attributed to good rainfall early in the year, the cessation of hostilities, and renewed foreign aid and debt relief. But drought struck again late in 2002 and the country was sent reeling back to a frail economy.

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