Country Profile

Country Profile - Ethiopia

Country Profile of Ethiopia

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.

Head of State: President Girma Woldegiorgis (since 8 October 2001)
                       H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (1995)

Location: Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
Capital: Addis Ababa
Independence: oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years

Population: 93,877,025 milliom (July 2013)
Population growth rate: 2.90% (2013 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)

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

Currency: Ethiopian Birr

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