ETHIOPIA

Date of establishment: 13th century (1991)

Brief history:

  • 2nd millennium BCE: First mentions of the D’mt culture in the area of present-day northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • 4th century: Rise of the Aksumite Empire in northern Ethiopia, which becomes an important center of trade in the Middle East and Africa.
  • 330: Adoption of Christianity as the state religion in Ethiopia.
  • 1137: Rise of the Abyssinian Empire, which controls much of East Africa and includes present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and part of South Sudan.
  • 13th century: Current state unit.
  • 1889 – 1913: The reign of Emperor Menelik II, who modernized the country and expanded its territory.
  • 1935 – 1941: Italian invasion and subsequent occupation of Ethiopia.
  • 1974: A coup where a military junta overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie and declared a socialist state.
  • 1991: The fall of the socialist regime and the establishment of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.

 

International abbreviation: ET

 

Currency: Ethiopian birr (ETB)

One birr is divided into 100 centimes. Coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 santims and banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 birr are in circulation.

The Ethiopian birr is used exclusively in Ethiopia and cannot be obtained or exchanged outside the country.

 

Internet domain: .et

 

Dialing code: + 251

 

Time zone: +3 GMT

 

Geography:

Ethiopia is a country located in the area called the “Horn of Africa”, in the east of the African continent. The country borders Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and Sudan and South Sudan to the west.

Ethiopia is the most mountainous country in the region and has a very diverse landscape. It includes plateaus, highlands, plains, mountains, and the coastal plain by the Red Sea.

It also has several major rivers, including the Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia and flows through the country to Sudan and Egypt.

 

Highest peak: Ras Dashen 4 533 m (14 872 feet) above sea level.

It is located in the Semien Mountains, in the northern part of Ethiopia.

Around the mountain there are picturesque mountain villages, pastures with goats and sheep, as well as forests.

 

Climate:

The east and south of the country have a dry climate where rain is rare and temperatures are high. For example, in the Danakil depression, the temperature can be up to 50°C (122°F).

In the north and northwest of Ethiopia, in the area around the Simien mountains, there is a mild and humid climate. The local mountain ranges are often covered with dense forests and vegetation, and the incidence of rain is higher there. During the dry season, temperatures are milder.

In the west and south of Ethiopia, the climate is rainy and humid. In the rainy season, which lasts here from June to September, up to 1000 mm (39 inches) of rain can fall.

 

Fauna and flora:

The Ethiopian wolf, often referred to as the “red wolf”, is an endangered species that is endemic here. The Ethiopian leopard lives in the mountainous regions of Ethiopia.

The gelada is an endemic species of monkey that inhabits the higher mountain regions. The Ethiopian goat, also known as the “walia ibex”, is an endemic species of goat found in the Simien Mountains of northwestern Ethiopia.

In the local rivers and lakes live the Ethiopian hippopotamus and the Ethiopian crocodile, which is also an endemic species.

The country is known for its diversity of birds. Many species of raptors, ostriches, petrels, and other birds can be found in the country.

Acacias are common trees in arid regions, providing shade and food for many species of animals. Baobab trees are distinctive symbols of the savannah and have significance for local people.

Ethiopia is considered the homeland of the Arabica coffee plant. Enset is a plant, also known as the “false banana”, which is an important food for some communities. The country has a rich floral diversity, and flowers such as irises, lilies, gerberas, and others grow there.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown in Ethiopia include cereals such as maize, barley, wheat, and millet. Rice is an important crop in lowland areas. Other important crops are beans, peas, pulses, sugarcane, and enset (false banana), which is a traditional crop here and an important food for the local population. Its roots and stems are processed and consumed. The country is famous for its coffee beans, especially Arabica coffee. Coffee is grown in different parts of the country and has a significant impact on the country’s economy.

Livestock farming, including cattle, sheep, goats, and beef, is a widespread way of life in Ethiopia.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Ethiopia has considerable potential for raw material extraction, but so far it is only mined on a small scale and unevenly. The main raw materials include gold, platinum, copper, tin, and nickel. Gold is the most important mined raw material. It is mined mainly in the Adola region in the south of the country, but also in the Benishangul-Gumuz region on the border with South Sudan. In 2020, about 7.6 tons of gold were mined.

Platinum is mined in the area east of Addis Ababa and has great potential for future mining. Copper, tin, and nickel in the area of southern and western Ethiopia.

 

Industry:

The main industrial sectors include the textiles, food, and construction industries and the production of medicines.

Ethiopia has low labor costs and favorable conditions for growing cotton, leading to the development of the textiles industry. Many foreign companies, especially from Asia, are moving their production capacities to Ethiopia, where they can use cheap labor.

Thanks to a strong agricultural sector, food products such as flour, sugar, oils, spices, and alcoholic beverages are produced. The construction industry is experiencing significant growth, especially in the area of infrastructure and construction, as well as the production of medicines.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: transport, telecommunications, and tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: the Awash and Simien mountains national parks, Danakil depression, Aksum city, Fasil Ghebbi fortress, and Lalibela settlement.

Ethiopia’s natural beauty includes the Simien and Bale mountain ranges, which are perfect for hiking. Wild animals such as elephants, lions, and antelopes can be seen in Nechisar National Park, and traditional tribes can be visited in the Omo Valley to gain an insight into their culture and customs.

Ethiopia is famous for its coffee, and coffee lovers from all over the world visit. In the Kaffa region, which is considered the birthplace of coffee, you can visit coffee plantations and taste the local coffee.

 

Waterparks in Ethiopia:

 

Form of government: federal parliamentary republic

Ethiopia is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 9 regions and two city-states. The 1995 constitution guarantees basic human rights and the principle of equality before the law.

Executive power is in the hands of the prime minister, who is appointed by parliament. Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of Federation. The lower house has 547 members who are elected for five-year terms. The House of Fedaration has 112 members, each representing one of Ethiopia’s 9 regions and the city-state of Addis Ababa.

 

Capital city: Addis Ababa

The city was founded in 1886 and gradually became the capital of Ethiopia. As a result, it is home to many important institutions such as government offices, ministries and international organizations including the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Addis Ababa also has many historical and cultural monuments, such as the National Museum of Ethiopia, which houses the most important exhibits from Ethiopian history, such as the remains of the ancient human Lucy. Other important monuments are, for example, the Great Palace and the Monastery of St. George, which is considered to be the oldest Christian church in Ethiopia.

 

Area: 1 127 000 km2 (435 137 square miles)

 

Population: 114 000 000 (2022)

The ethnic composition of the population is very diverse. The largest group is the Oromo, who make up about 34% of the population, followed by the Amhara, who make up about 27%.

The majority of the population lives in rural areas, and many make a living from agriculture. The main religions in the country are Christianity and Islam, with Christianity being mainly Orthodox and Islam being especially widespread in the southern regions.

The country has a low level of urbanization, but the capital Addis Ababa and other larger cities such as Dire Dawa, Mekele, and Bahir Dar are still developing rapidly and attracting more residents from rural areas.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 11

 

  1. Aksum (1980) – Center of the ancient kingdom of the Aksumites, with remains of palaces, temples and other buildings dating from the 1st to 13th centuries.
  2. Lalibela (1978) – A group of rock churches carved in the 12th and 13th centuries, considered one of the greatest architectural arts of Africa.
  3. Simien Mountains National Park (1978) – A mountain range with the highest peaks in Ethiopia, rocky gorges and waterfalls, with unique flora and fauna, such as gelada, brown ibis, and other species of endemic animals.
  4. Harar (2006) – A city with fortified walls and East African architecture, considered an important center of Islam.
  5. Omo (1980) – Archaeological site in the valley of the Omo River, where the remains of the oldest known hominids in the world were discovered.
  6. Tiya National Park (1980) – The park with the largest complex of megalithic stelae in Ethiopia, which are significant for the study of the history of the area.
  7. Konso (2011) – A set of fertile terraced fields and cultural sites in Konso that are significant for the study of traditional agriculture and society.
  8. Fasil Ghebbi (1979) – A complex of royal palaces and castles in Gondar, which served as the residence of Ethiopian emperors in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  9. Lower Awaš River Valley (1980) – Paleontological sites in the Awaš Valley.
  10. Gedeo Cultural Landscape (2023) – An area in the southern part of Ethiopia with an indigenous local agricultural-forestry system and megalithic monuments, rock art sites, and traditionally protected forests.
  11. Bale Mountains National Park (2023) – A national park with unique biodiversity at ecosystem, species, and genetic levels and with the headwaters of five major rivers.

 

National parks: 9

 

  1. Simien National Park
  2. Awash National Park
  3. Omo National Park
  4. Nechisar National Park
  5. Bale Mountains National Park
  6. Yangudi Rassa National Park
  7. Mago National Park
  8. Maze National Park
  9. Chebera Churchura National Park