Location and Size • Ethiopia is located in Africa. • Ethiopia is landlocked meaning it has no bordering bodies of water. • The countries that border Ethiopia include Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and Djibouti. • The size is about 426,371 sq mi, with a total population of 79.2 million people.
Capital and major cities Major CityPopulation1. Addis Ababa* 2,757,7292. Dire Dawa 252,2793. Nazret 213,9954. Bahir Dar 168,8995. Gonder 153,9146.Dese 136,0567.Awasa 133,0978.Jima 128,3069.Debre Zeyit 104,21510.Kombolcha 93,605*-Capital
National Flag and Song The national song of Ethiopia is “Wodefit Gesgeshi, Widd Innat Ityopp'ya” and it was written by Dereje Melaku Mengesha
Important Landmarks • Rivers- The five major rivers of Ethiopia include the Awash, the Jubba, the Omo, the Nile, and the Shebelle river. • Mountains- The most well known mountain range in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Highlands, the tallest mountain being 4,620 meters tall, Ras Dashen • Others- Some other major landmarks include the Great Rift Valley, Lake Tana, and the Danakil Depression.
Climate • Ethiopia’s climate is very varying due to its location in the tropical zone. • There is often rain followed by droughts, monsoons, and violent thunderstorms in the summer. • The average yearly temperature is about 61 degrees. • Typical highs in Ethiopia range from 68 to 77 degrees, while typical lows range from 41 to 50 degrees.
Economy and Currency • Ethiopia has a very poverty-stricken government that is dependent upon agriculture. • Agriculture makes up 85% of Ethiopia’s exports and is responsible for employing 80% of the population. • The reason for its struggle is because of droughts and insufficient cultivating techniques. • The currency of Ethiopia is the Birr for cash, and the santim for coins.
Major Crops, Exports, and Resources • Crops- A variety of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and coffee. Grains are the most important crops and a key element in the diet of most Ethiopians. • Exports- Coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds. • Natural Resources- small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower.
Type/Head of Government • Ethiopia’s government is a federal democratic republic, meaning it’s a government where the citizens have an impact. • Their government, much like ours, is broken into three branches: the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. • On August 22nd, 1995, Ethiopia’s constitution was put into place, splitting the country into nine regions and giving universal suffrage. • In Ethiopia, there is both a president, GirmaWolde-Giorgis, and a prime minister, Meles Zenawi
Culture and Language • Ethiopia is made up of about 70 different ethnic groups, most being very minute. • The most prominent group, making up 40%, is the Oromo, mostly found in the southern regions of Ethiopia. • The politically dominant ethnic groups, Amhara and Tigrean, make up 32%. • Although there are many different languages, the national language of Ethiopia is Amharic. Its roots are found from Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian.
Educational System • In the 1970’s, the percentage of illiterate Ethiopians was above 90%. • After this time an emphasis was put on educational funding. • By using 13% of the national budget for education, the illiteracy rate to about 61% by 2000. • Ethiopia continues to put an emphasis on education, continually decreasing the illiteracy rate, but now only spending 4.3% of its budget.
Religion • In Ethiopia, the majority of the people are Christian, with a large minority of Muslim, about 25 to 40%. • Most of Ethiopia’s Muslims are Sunnis, members of the largest division of Islam. • It is said that the Prophet Mohammed instructed his followers to protect and respect all Ethiopians. • Some other religious groups of Ethiopia include the Felesha Jewish community, and the Animists, but both are rare today.
Places to Visit • One important place to visit in Ethiopia is Lalibela. Click here for a video on it. • Also, Ethiopia is filled with many fascinating scenes of nature such as the Nile, the Denekil Depression, the Great Rift Valley. • Some cities worth visiting include Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
Fun Facts • The name "Ethiopia" derives from the Greek ethio, meaning "burned" and pia, meaning "face": the land of burned-faced peoples. • Ethiopia is thought to be the place of origin for human beings. The oldest known skeleton, Lucy, was found there. • An Ethiopian year consists of 13 months. • Ethiopia’s alphabet contains 33 letters and 7 characters for each letter.