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Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ
ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ

ye-Ītyōṗṗyā Fēdēralāwī Dīmōkrāsīyāwī Rīpeblīk
Coat of arms of Ethiopia
Coat of arms
Anthem: ወደፊት ገስግሺ፣ ውድ እናት ኢትዮጵያ
March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia
Location of Ethiopia
and largest city
Addis Ababa
Official languagesAmharic[1]
Recognised regional languagesOther languages official amongst the different ethnicities and their respective regions.
Ethnic groups
  • Oromo 34.5%
  • Amhara 26.9%
  • Somali 6.2%
  • Tigray 6.1%
  • Sidama 4.%
  • Gurage 2.5%
  • Welayta 2.3%
  • Hadiya 1.7%
  • Afar 1.7%
  • Gamo 1.5%
  • Gedeo 1.3%
  • Other 11.3%[2]
  • Demonym(s)Ethiopian
    GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic1
    • President
    Sahle-Work Zewde
    Abiy Ahmed
    980 BC
    • Total
    1,104,300 km2 (426,400 sq mi) (27th)
    • Water (%)
    • 2011 estimate
    82,101,998[3] (14th)
    • 2007 census
    • Density
    74/km2 (191.7/sq mi) (123rd)
    GDP (PPP)2011 estimate
    • Total
    $94.598 billion[4]
    • Per capita
    GDP (nominal)2010 estimate
    • Total
    $29.717 billion[4]
    • Per capita
    Gini (1999–00)30
    HDI (2010)Increase 0.328
    low · 157th
    CurrencyBirr (ETB)
    Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
    • Summer (DST)
    UTC+3 (not observed)
    Driving sideright
    Calling code251
    ISO 3166 codeET
    1. According to The Economist in its Democracy Index, Ethiopia is a "hybrid regime", with a dominant-party system led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.
    2. Rank based on 2005 population estimate by the United Nations.

    Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It has one of the longest and most well known histories as a country in Africa and the world. Ethiopia was one of the few countries in Africa that escaped the Scramble for Africa. It avoided being colonized until 1935, when it was invaded by the Italians, who took over the country. Ethiopia used to be called Abyssinia. The word "Ethiopia" is from the Greek word Αἰθιοπία meaning sun light burned face. It is the most populous landlocked country in the world, having lost its Red Sea ports when Eritrea gained independence in 1993.

    History[change | change source]

    The Kingdom of Aksum, the first known kingdom of great power to rise in Ethiopia, rose during the first century AD. The Persian religious figure Mani listed Axum with Rome, Persia, and China as one of the four great powers of his time. It was in the early 4th century that a Syro-Greek castaway, Frumentius, was taken to the court and over time changed King Ezana to Christianity, making Christianity Ethiopia's religion. For this, he received the title "Abba Selama". At different times, including a time in the 6th century, Axum ruled most of modern-day Yemen just across the Red Sea.

    The line of rulers of the actual Axumite kings ended around 950 AD when they were overthrown by the Jewish Queen Gudit;[5] then it was followed by the Zagwe dynasty for around 300 years. Around 1270 AD, the Solomonid dynasty came to control Ethiopia, claiming that they were related to the kings of Axum (though their claim was unscientific, they were even southern Ethiopia people, like from Shewa and such). They called themselves Neguse Negest ("King of Kings," or Emperor), basing their claims on their direct relation to king Solomon and the queen of Sheba.[6]

    During the rule of Emperor Lebna Dengel, Ethiopia made its first good contact with a European country, Portugal in 1520. When the Empire was attacked by Somali General and Imam, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, Portugal responded to Lebna Dengel's request for help with 400 musketeers, helping his son Gelawdewos beat al-Ghazi and remake his rule. However, Jesuit missionaries over time offended the Orthodox faith of the local Ethiopians, and in the mid-17th century Emperor Fasilidos got rid of these missionaries. At the same time, the Oromo people began to question the Ethiopian Christian authorities in the Abyssinian territories, and wanted to keep their own religion.

    All of this led to Ethiopia's isolation during the 1700s. The Emperors became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras Mikael Sehul of Tigray. But Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia. Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that made friendship between the two nations; however, it was not until the reign of Tewodros II that Ethiopia began to take part in world matters once again.

    In 1896 Italy was decisively defeated in the battle of Adwa by Emperor Menelik; an Amhara Emperor from the province of Shewa. This battle dispelled the notion that Europeans were superior and couldn't be defeated by a black army. It gave rise to the Pan African movement and hope to other African countries who were conquered. This victory made Ethiopia the only African country to successfully repel a European power during The Scramble of Africa. In 1936 Italy once again attacked, and succeeded in occupied Ethiopia until 1941. The 5 year occupation ended, Emperor Haile Selassie regained the throne.

    Revolutionaries overthrew and killed the emperor in 1974. The resulting civil war lasted until 1991. Eritrea became independent and later fought the Eritrean–Ethiopian War.

    Regions, zones, and districts[change | change source]

    Before 1996, Ethiopia was divided into 13 provinces. Ethiopia now has ethnically based regional countries, zones, districts, and neighborhoods.

    There are nine regions, sixty-eight zones and two chartered cities. Ethiopia is further divided into 550 woredas and several special woredas.

    The nine regions and two chartered cities (in italics) are:

    1. Addis Ababa
    2. Afar
    3. Amhara
    4. Benishangul-Gumuz
    5. Dire Dawa
    1. Gambela
    2. Harari
    3. Oromia
    4. Somali
    5. Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region
    6. Tigray

    Economy[change | change source]

    Coffee sorting in Awasa

    Coffee production is a longstanding tradition in Ethiopia.

    Related pages[change | change source]

    References[change | change source]

    1. "Ethiopian Constitution". Article 5 Ethiopian constitution. APAP. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
    2. CIA – Ethiopia – Ethnic groups. Retrieved on 2012-03-03.
    3. Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia. Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Ethiopia". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
    5. "Gudit, a Jewish Queen of Aksum? Some Considerations on the Sources and Modern Scholarship, and the Use of Legends".
    6. "The Legend of Queen Sheba, the Solomonic Dynasty and Ethiopian History: An Analysis".