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Ethiopia flag
Ethiopia since 1996   

Country Profile

Capital: Addis Ababa (pop. 3 million)

Largest Cities: Dire Dawa (180 000), Harar (138 000), Dessie (105 000), Nazret (100 000), Bahir Dar (95 000), Awassa (90 000)

Ethiopian Standard Time:
UTC +3h

Location: Horn of Africa bordered by the Sudan on the west, Somalia and Djibouti on the east, Eritrea on the north and Kenya on the south.
Area: 1.14 million sq. km (440 000 sq. mi.) about twice the size of Kenya, France or Texas.
Terrain: Rugged mountains, flat-topped high plateaus, deep river canyons, rolling plains and dry low lands.
Border countries: Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan

Climate: Temperate in the highlands; tropical in the lowlands; dry season from October through May; wet season from June to September.

Federal parliamentary democracy.
New constitution adopted in 1995.

Nationality: Noun and adjective: Ethiopian(s)
Population: Approximately 67,2 millions (July 2002)
Ethnic groups (est.): comprised of seventy-eight nations of which the Amhara and the Oromo constitute the majority, Oromo 35%, Amhara 30%, Tigre 6%-8%, Somali 6%
Religions: Ethiopian Orthodox Christian 45%-50%, Muslim 40%, Protestant 5%, Animic
Languages: Amharic (official), Afan Oromo, Tigrinya, Gurage, Somali, Arabic and about 80 other local languages. English (major foreign language taught in schools)
Ethiopian alphabet: Gez


Currency: Ethiopian Birr (ETB)

Natural resources: Small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower.

Agriculture - products:
Cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats.

Industries: Food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement.

Exports partners: Djibouti 13.4%,
Germany 11.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, Japan 6.8%, Italy 6.4%, USA 5.1% (2003)

Imports partners: Saudi Arabia 24.1%, USA 17%, China 6.4%, Italy 4.1% (2003)


Official Sites of Ethiopia

The Parliament of Ethiopia

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of FDRE

Diplomatic Missions
The Ethiopian Government Information Service

Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations

Embassy of Ethiopia in Canada

Embassy of Ethiopia Washington, DC

Ethiopian diplomatic missions abroad.

Map of Ethiopia



Background:  Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian
monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule, one exception being
the Italian occupation of 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 by a
coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic
Front (EPRDF), in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia's
first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A two and a half year
border war with Eritrea ended with a peace treaty on 12 December 2000.

Geography Ethiopia

Location:  Eastern Africa, west of Somalia

Geographic coordinates:  8 00 N, 38 00 E

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 1,127,127 sq km water: 7,444 sq km land: 1,119,683 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Land boundaries:  total: 5,328 km border countries: Djibouti 349 km,
Eritrea 912 km, Kenya 861 km, Somalia 1,600 km, Sudan 1,606 km

Coastline:  0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:  none (landlocked)

Climate:  tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation

Terrain:  high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great
Rift Valley

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Denakil Depression -125 m highest
point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m

Natural resources:  small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash,
natural gas, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 10% permanent crops: 1% other: 89% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  1,900 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts

Environment - current issues:  deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion;
desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive
farming and poor management

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone
Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification,
Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note:  landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was
lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; the Blue
Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana)
in northwest Ethiopia

People Ethiopia

Population:  67,673,031 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 and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:   47.2% (male 16,098,191; female 15,879,065) 15-64 years:
854,023; female 1,034,829) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  2.64% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  44.31 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  18.04 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: repatriation
of Ethiopians who fled to Sudan for refuge from war and famine in earlier
years is expected to continue for several years; some Sudanese and Somali
refugees, who fled to Ethiopia from the fighting or famine in their own
countries, continue to return to their homes (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.83 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  98.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   45.09 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  6.94 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  10.63% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  3 million (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  280,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Ethiopian(s) adjective: Ethiopian

Ethnic groups:  Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigre 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%,
Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1%

Religions:  Muslim 45%-50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35%-40%, animist 12%,
other 3%-8%

Languages:  Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic,
other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 35.5% male: 45.5% female: 25.3% (1995 est.)

Government Ethiopia

Country name:  conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic
of Ethiopia
 Ityop'iya former:  Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik abbreviation: FDRE

Government type:  federal republic

Capital:  Addis Ababa

Administrative divisions:  9 ethnically-based states (kililoch, singular -
kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular -
astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara, Binshangul Gumuz,
Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch, Hareri Hizb, Oromiya, Sumale (Somali),
Tigray, YeDebub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations,
Nationalities, and Peoples Region)

Independence:  oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest
in the world - at least 2,000 years

National holiday:  National Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)

Constitution:  ratified December 1994; effective 22 August 1995

Legal system:  currently transitional mix of national and regional courts

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President GIRMA Woldegiorgis (since
8 October 2001) head
 Prime Minister MELES Zenawi (since NA August 1995) cabinet:  ministers
 are selected by the prime minister and approved by the House
of People's Representatives elections: president elected by the House
of People's Representatives for a six-year term; election last held 8
October 2001 (next to be held NA October 2007); prime minister designated
by the party in power following legislative elections election results:
People's Representatives - 100%

Legislative branch:  bicameral Parliament consists of the House
of Federation or upper chamber (108 seats; members are chosen by
state assemblies to serve five-year terms) and the House of People's
Representatives or lower chamber (548 seats; members are directly elected
by popular vote from single-member districts to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 14 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005) note:
irregularities and violence at a number of polling stations necessitated
the rescheduling of voting in certain constituencies; voting postponed
in Somali regional state because of severe drought election results:
percent of vote - NA%; seats - OPDO 177, ANDM 134, TPLF 38, WGGPDO 27,
BMPDO 5, KAT 4, other regional political groupings 22, independents 8;
note - 43 seats unconfirmed

Judicial branch:  Federal Supreme Court (the president and vice president
of the Federal Supreme Court are recommended by the prime minister
and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; for other
federal judges, the prime minister submits to the House of People's
Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal
Judicial Administrative Council)

Political parties and leaders:  Afar National Democratic Party or
ANDP [leader NA]; All-Amhara People's Organization or AAPO [HAILU
Shawel]; Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM [ADDISU Legesse];
Bench Madji People's Democratic Organization or BMPDO [leader NA];
Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front or BGPDUF [leader NA];
Ethiopian Democratic Party or EDP [ADMASSU Gebeyehu]; Ethiopian People's
Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi] (an alliance of
ANDM, OPDO, SEPDF, and TPLF); Gedeyo People's Revolutionary Democratic
Fund or GPRDF [leader NA]; Gurage Nationalities' Democratic Movement
orGNDM [leader NA]; Kafa Shaka People's Democratic Organization or KSPDO
[leader NA]; Kembata, Alabaa and Tembaro or KAT [leader NA]; Oromo
Liberation Front or OLF [DAOUD Ibsa Gudina]; Oromo National Congress
or ONC [MERERA Gudina]; Oromo People's Democratic Organization or OPDO
[JUNEDI Sado]; Sidamo People's Democratic Organization or SPDO [leader
NA]; South Ethiopia People's Democratic Front or SEPDF [KASSU Yilala];
South Omo People's Democratic Movement or SOPDM [leader NA]; Tigrayan
People's Liberation Front or TPLF [MELES Zenawi]; Walayta, Gamo, Gofa,
Dawro, and Konta People's Democratic Organization or WGGPDO [leader NA];
dozens of small parties

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Council of Alternative Forces
for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia or CAFPDE [BEYANE Petros]; Southern
Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition or SEPDC [BEYANE Petros]

International organization participation:  ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, FAO,
IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
KASSAHUN Ayele chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC
20008 FAX: [1] (202) 686-9551 telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Tibor P. NAGY, Jr.  embassy: Entoto Street,
 P. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa telephone:
Flag description:  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; 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

Economy Ethiopia

Economy - overview:  Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on
agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, 85% of exports, and 80% of
total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought
and poor cultivation practices, and as many as 4.6 million people need
food assistance annually. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with
exports of some $260 million in 2000. Other important exports include
qat, live animals, hides, and gold. The war with Eritrea in 1999-2000
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. Under Ethiopia's land
tenure system, the government 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.
Despite this limitation, strong growth is expected to continue in the
near term as good rainfall, the cessation of hostilities, and renewed
foreign aid and debt relief push the economy forward.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $46 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  7.3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 52.3% industry: 11.1% services:
36.6% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  64% (1996)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 33.7% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  40 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  6.8% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  NA

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture and animal husbandry 80%,
government and services 12%, industry and construction 8% (1985)

Unemployment rate:  NA%

Budget:  revenues: $1.8 billion expenditures: $1.9 billion, including
capital expenditures of $600 million (2002 est.)

Industries:  food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals
processing, cement

Industrial production growth rate:  6.7% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  1.63 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 1.84% hydro: 98.16%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  1.516 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane,
potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats

Exports:  $442 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Exports - commodities:  coffee, qat, gold, leather products, oilseeds

Exports - partners:  Germany 18%, Japan 11%, Djibouti 11%, Saudi Arabia 8%
(2000 est.)

Imports:  $1.54 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum
products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles, cereals, textiles

Imports - partners:  Saudi Arabia 25%, US 9%, Italy 7%, Russia 4%
(2000 est.)

Debt - external:  $5.3 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $308 million (FY00/01)

Currency:  birr (ETB)

Currency code:  ETB

Exchange rates:  birr per US dollar (end of period) - 8.455 (December
2001), 8.3140 (December 2000), 8.3140 (2000), 8.1340 (1999), 7.5030
(1998), 6.8640 (1997) note: since 24 October 2001 exchange rates are
determined on a daily basis via interbank transactions regulated by the
Central Bank

Fiscal year:  8 July - 7 July

Communications Ethiopia

Telephones - main lines in use:  231,900 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  17,800 (2000)

Telephone system:  general assessment: open wire and microwave radio
relay system; adequate for government use domestic: open wire; microwave
radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies;
two domestic satellites provide the national trunk service international:
open wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and
Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and
2 Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 8, FM 0, shortwave 1 (2001)

Radios:  15.2 million (2002)

Television broadcast stations:  1 plus 24 repeaters (2002)

Televisions:  682,000 (2002)

Internet country code:  .et

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2002)

Internet users:  20,000 (2002)

Transportation Ethiopia

Railways:  total: 681 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti
railroad) narrow gauge: 681 km 1.000-m gauge note: in 1998, Djibouti
and Ethiopia announced plans to revitalize the century-old railroad that
links their capitals and since then Ethiopia has expended considerable
effort to repair and maintain the lines; in 2001, Ethiopia and Sudan
agreed to build a line from Ethiopia to Port Sudan (2000 est.)

Highways:  total: 24,145 km paved: 3,290 km unpaved: 20,855 km (1998)

Waterways:  none

Ports and harbors:  none; Ethiopia is landlocked and was by agreement
with Eritrea using the ports of Assab and Massawa; since the border
dispute with Eritrea flared, Ethiopia has used the port of Djibouti for
nearly all of its imports

Merchant marine:  total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 81,933
GRT/101,287 DWT ships by type: cargo 5, container 1, petroleum tanker 1,
roll on/roll off 2 (2002 est.)

Airports:  86 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 14 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047
m: 5 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 72 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to
3,047 m: 4 1,524 to 2,437 m: 11 914 to 1,523 m: 33 under 914 m: 22 (2001)

Military Ethiopia

Military branches:  Ethiopian National Defense Force (Ground Forces,
Air Force, militia, police) note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy;
following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained
in Eritrean possession

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 14,925,883 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 7,790,977
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 703,625
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $800 million (FY00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  12.6% (FY00)

Transnational Issues Ethiopia

Disputes - international:  most of the southern half of the boundary
with Somalia in the Ogaden region is a provisional administrative line;
in the Ogaden, regional states have established a variety of conflicting
relationships with the Somali Transitional National Government in
Mogadishu, feuding factions in Puntland region, and the economically
stabile break-away "Somaliland" region; Ethiopia agreeed in 2002 to
demarcate its entire boundary with Sudan; Eritrea and Ethiopia have
expressed general approval of the April 2002 arbitration commission
ruling re-delimiting the boundary, the focus of their 1998-2000 war;
United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) will monitor
activities within the 25-km wide temporary security zone in Eritrea
until demarcation and de-mining are complete

Illicit drugs:  transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and
Southeast Asia and destined for Europe and North America 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)

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Addis Tribune


FDRE Office of the Government Spokesperson

Ethiopian News Headlines

Walta Information Center

Business & Economy
National Bank of Ethiopia

Addis Chamber of Commerce

Ethiopia Export Products Information

Ethiopian Export Promotion Agency


Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation

Ethiopian Airlines

Destination Ethiopia - Travel and Tour Guides


Ethiopian Tourism Net

Exprience Ethiopia Travel

Addis Ababa University

Ethiopian Distance Learning Association


A General History of Ethiopia

About Ethiopia

Ethiopia-Eritrea Conflict

Ethiopian History 500bc - 1996

The Ethiopian War

History of Ethiopia

Italy Abyssinia (Ethiopia) War 1935-1936

Amba Gishen Ethiopian Links




Newsgroup of Ethiopia




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