Ethiopia (GPS: 8 00 N, 38 00 E) located in Eastern Africa, west of Somalia. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,104,300 sq km; land: 1 million sq km, water: 104,300 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly less than twice the size of Texas. The total irrigated land is 2,900 sq km (2012).
One of Ethiopia’s essential features: Landlocked – the 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 Lake Tana in northwest Ethiopia. Three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Addis Ababa’s GPS coordinates are 9 02 N 38 42 E. Addis Ababa’s local time is 8 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+3.
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule except for 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 giving the coordinates, Ethiopia did not accept them. It maintained troops in previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. This intransigence resulted in years of heightened tension between the two countries.
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. Following a wave of popular dissent and anti-government protest that began in 2015, HAILEMARIAM resigned in February 2018. ABIY Ahmed Ali took office in April 2018 as Ethiopia’s first ethnic Oromo prime minister. In June 2018, ABIY announced Ethiopia would accept the border ruling of 2000, prompting rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea marked with a peace agreement in July 2018 and a reopening of the border in September 2018.
Ethiopia’s names conventional long form: the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, traditional short form: Ethiopia, local long form: Ityop’iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik, local short state: Ityop’iya, former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa abbreviation: FDRE, etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word “Aethiopia,” which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region. The country name derives from the Greek word “Aethiopia,” which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region.
Ethiopia’s terrain is typically high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley. The country’s mean elevation: 1,330 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m, highest point: Ras Dejen 4,533 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical monsoon with a wide topographic-induced variation.
The total number of border countries is 6, Djibouti 342 km, Eritrea 1,033 km, Kenya 867 km, Somalia 1,640 km, South Sudan 1,299 km, Sudan 744 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Ethiopia’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 36.3%; arable land 15.2%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 20%; forest: 12.2%; other: 51.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Ethiopia 108,386,391 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 19.5% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: ADDIS ABABA (capital) 3.238 million (2015), while Ethiopia has N/A. Their spoken languages are Oromo (official language working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official language national language) 29.3%, Somali (official language working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official language working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official language 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 estimate). Main religions in Ethiopia are Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.5%, traditional 2.7%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.6% (2007 estimate). The nation uses civil law system. It is a(n) federal parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) National Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991).
Economic overview for the country: Ethiopia – the second most populous country in Africa – is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, GDP grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually, one of the fastest-growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure and sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the farming sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP. Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and one of the lowest globally, with a Gini coefficient comparable to that of the Scandinavian countries. Yet despite progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, due both to rapid population growth and a low starting base.
Changes in rainfall associated with world-wide weather patterns resulted in the worst drought in 30 years in 2015-2016, creating food insecurity for millions of Ethiopians. The state is heavily engaged in the economy. Ongoing infrastructure projects include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports, and industrial parks. Key sectors are state-owned, including telecommunications, banking and insurance, and power distribution. Under Ethiopia’s constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to tenants. Title rights in urban areas, particularly Addis Ababa, are poorly regulated and subject to corruption. The services sector leads Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings – primarily the state-run Ethiopian Airlines – followed by exports of several commodities. While coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, Ethiopia diversifies exports, and things such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock, and horticulture products are becoming increasingly important.
Manufacturing represented less than 8% of total exports in 2016, but manufacturing exports should increase in future years due to a growing international presence. The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly from China, Turkey, India, and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather, and leather products. To support industrialization in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products, Ethiopia plans to increase installed power generation capacity by 8,320 MW, up from a total of 2,000 MW, by building three more major dams and expanding to other sources of renewable energy. In 2017, the government devalued the birr by 15% to increase exports and alleviate a chronic foreign currency shortage.
Natural resources of Ethiopia: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower.
Main export partners for Ethiopia, Africa are Switzerland 14.3%, China 11.7%, US 9.5%, Netherlands 8.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.9%, Germany 5.7% (2015) for coffee (27%, by value), oilseeds (17%), edible vegetables including khat (17%), gold (13%), flowers (7%), live animals (7%), raw leather products (3%), meat products (3%), while the main import partners for the country are: China 20.4%, US 9.2%, Saudi Arabia 6.5%, India 4.5% (2015) for machinery and aircraft (14%, by value), metal and metal products, (14%), electrical materials, (13%), petroleum products (12%), motor vehicles, (10%), chemicals and fertilizers (4%).
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Ethiopia: Geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, frequent droughts volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley, Erta Ale (elevation 613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country’s most active volcano, Dabbahu became operational in 2005, forcing evacuations, other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Harare, and Manda-Inakir, while infectious diseases are a 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 (2016). Also, note that Ethiopia faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation, Overgrazing, Soil erosion, Desertification, Loss of biodiversity, water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management, Industrial pollution, and pesticides contribute to air, water, and soil pollution.