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Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Capital (and largest city) Addis Ababa
Official languages Amharic
Recognised regional languages Other languages official amongst the different ethnicities and their respective regions.
Ethnic groups Oromo 34.5%, Amhara 26.91%, Somali 6.20%, Tigray 6.07%;[1][2] the remaining percent are other ethnic groups.
Government Federal Parliamentary republic
- President Girma Wolde-Giorgis
- Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Establishment c. 10th century BC
- Traditional date 980 BC
- Kingdom of Dʿmt 8th century BC
- Kingdom of Aksum c. 4th century BC
- Independent Abyssinia 1137
- Partially occupied territory by Italy 1936-1941
- Constitution 1987
- Democratic Republic 1991
Area
- Total 1,104,300 km2 (27th)
426,371 sq mi
- Water (%) 0.7
Population
- 2008 estimate 85,237,338 (15th²)
- 1994 census 53,477,265
- Density 70/km2 (123rd) 181/sq mi

Ethiopia (pronounced /ˌiːθiˈoʊpiə/) (Ge’ez: ኢትዮጵያ ʾĪtyōṗṗyā) , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the northeast. Its size is 1,100,000 km² with an estimated population of over 85,000,000. Its capital is Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and Africa’s second-most populous nation. Ethiopia has yielded some of humanity’s oldest traces, making the area a primary factor in the origin and developmental history of humanity, with recent studies claiming the vicinity of present-day Addis Ababa as the point from which human beings migrated around the world. Ethiopian dynastic history traditionally began with the reign of Emperor Menelik I in 1000 BC. The roots of the Ethiopian state are similarly deep, dating with unbroken continuity to at least the Aksumite Empire (which officially used the name “Ethiopia” in the 4th century) and its predecessor state, D`mt (with early 1st millennium BC roots). After a period of decentralized power in the 18th and early 19th centuries known as the Zemene Mesafint (“Era of the Judges/Princes”), the country was reunited in 1855 by Kassa Hailu, who became Emperor Tewodros II, beginning Ethiopia’s modern history. Ethiopia’s borders underwent significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south, toward its modern borders for the rest of the century due to several migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, especially by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena, culminating in its victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa in 1896 with the military leadership of Ras Alula Aba Nega, and ensuring its sovereignty and freedom from colonization. It was brutally occupied by Benito Mussolini’s Italy from 1936 to 1941, ending with its liberation by British Commonwealth and Ethiopian patriot forces.

Ethiopia has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa and the country is famous for its Olympic distance athletes, rock-hewn churches and as the origin of the coffee bean. Having converted during the fourth century AD, it was the second-earliest country to officially adopt Christianity, after Armenia. Ethiopia also has a considerable Muslim minority, dating from the earliest days of Islam – being the site of the first Hijra in Islam history, the earliest ninth-century Sultanates, the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash and home to the fourth holiest Muslim city of Harar. The country has been secular since 1974. Historically a relatively isolated mountain country, Ethiopia by the mid 20th century became a crossroads of global international cooperation under the leadership of Emperor Haile Selassie I. It became a member of the League of Nations in 1923, signed the Declaration by United Nations in 1942, and was one of the fifty-one original members of the United Nations (UN). The headquarters of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is in Addis Ababa, often labeled Africa’s “Diplomatic Capital,” as is the headquarters of the African Union (formerly the Organisation of African Unity), of which Ethiopia was the principal founder. When several African countries gained independence, they adopted Ethiopia’s national flag colors of green, yellow and red, often labeled as Pan-African colours. There are about forty-five Ethiopian embassies and consulates around the world. In the Human Development Index its place is 169 of 177.

Where in the world is Ethiopia? See the map.

Where in the world is Ethiopia? See the map.

Ethiopia flag

Ethiopia flag

 

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