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Country of Ethiopia Flag

Capital: Addis Ababa

Population: 112,078,730

Brief History of Ethiopia:

The Kingdom of Ethiopia is one of the oldest kingdoms in the world and certainly the oldest independent country in Africa. Ancient Ethiopia is mentioned in Greek history as well as Hebrew history. Ethiopia managed to avoid colonization from Europe unlike most other African areas and countries. During World War II, Italy occupied the country for a few years, but was removed when they lost the war.

In modern times Ethiopia has been ravaged by famine and military coups. In 1974 Emperor Haile Selassie was forcibly removed by the military and a socialist state was put into place. For many years Ethiopia was a place of unrest and civil strife. Refugees starved as different military regimes fought for power. Some peace was restored in 1995 with the establishment of a constitution and multiparty elections. Ethiopia currently has a border dispute with Eritria.

Country of Ethiopia Map

The Geography of Ethiopia

Total Size: 1,127,127 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Geographical Coordinates: 8 00 N, 38 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

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

Geographical Low Point: Denakil Depression -125 m

Geographical High Point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m

Climate: tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation

Major cities: ADDIS ABABA (capital) 2.863 million (2009), Gonder

The People of Ethiopia

Type of Government: federal republic

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

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)

Nationality: Ethiopian(s)

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

National Symbol: Abyssinian lion

National Anthem or Song: Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)

Economy of Ethiopia

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

Agricultural Products: cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, qat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish

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

Major Exports: coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds

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

Currency: birr (ETB)

National GDP: $94,850,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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