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Ethiopia[Country flag of Ethiopia]
[Country map of Ethiopia]

Introduction Ethiopia
Background:
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule, with the exception of the 1936-41 Italian occupation during World War II. 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 in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). 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. Final demarcation of the boundary is currently on hold due to Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender sensitive territory.
Geography Ethiopia
Location:
Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 1,127,127 sq km
land: 1,119,683 sq km
water: 7,444 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,328 km
border countries: Djibouti 349 km, Eritrea 912 km, Kenya 861 km, Somalia 1,600 km, Sudan 1,606 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
Terrain:
high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Denakil Depression -125 m
highest point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m
Natural resources:
small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 10.71%
permanent crops: 0.75%
other: 88.54% (2001)
Irrigated land:
1,900 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean
People Ethiopia
Population:
73,053,286
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.9% (male 16,082,504/female 15,999,602)
15-64 years: 53.4% (male 19,452,737/female 19,525,746)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 905,648/female 1,087,049) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.75 years
male: 17.64 years
female: 17.85 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.36% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
38.61 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
15.06 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: repatriation of Ethiopians who fled to Sudan for refuge from war and famine in earlier years is expected to continue for several years; some Sudanese and Somali refugees, who fled to Ethiopia from the fighting or famine in their own countries, continue to return to their homes (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 95.32 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 105.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 85.05 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 48.83 years
male: 47.67 years
female: 50.03 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.33 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
4.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.5 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
120,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and hepatitis E
vectorborne diseases: malaria and cutaneous leishmaniasis are high risks in some locations
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2004)
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)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 42.7%
male: 50.3%
female: 35.1% (2003 est.)
Government Ethiopia
Country name:
conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
conventional short form: Ethiopia
local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
local short form: Ityop'iya
former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
abbreviation: FDRE
Government type:
federal republic
Capital:
Addis Ababa
Administrative divisions:
9 ethnically-based states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples)
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)
Constitution:
ratified December 1994, effective 22 August 1995
Legal system:
currently transitional mix of national and regional courts
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President GIRMA Woldegiorgis (since 8 October 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister MELES Zenawi (since NA August 1995)
cabinet: Council of Ministers as provided for in the December 1994 constitution; ministers are selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
elections: president elected by the House of People's Representatives for a six-year term; election last held 8 October 2001 (next to be held October 2007); prime minister designated by the party in power following legislative elections
election results: GIRMA Woldegiorgis elected president; percent of vote by the House of People's Representatives - 100%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation or upper chamber (108 seats; members are chosen by state assemblies to serve five-year terms) and the House of People's Representatives or lower chamber (548 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote from single-member districts to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 15 May 2005 (next to be held NA 2010)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats by party - OPDO 177, ANDM 134, TPLF 38, WGGPDO 27, EPRDF 19, SPDO 18, GNDM 15, KSPDO 10, ANDP 8, GPRDF 7, SOPDM 7, BGPDUF 6, BMPDO 5, KAT 4, other regional political groupings 22, independents 8; note - 43 seats unconfirmed
note: irregularities and violence at some polling stations necessitated the rescheduling of voting in certain constituencies; voting postponed in Somali regional state because of severe drought
Judicial branch:
Federal Supreme Court (the president and vice president of the Federal Supreme Court are recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; for other federal judges, the prime minister submits to the House of People's Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council)
Political parties and leaders:
Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [leader NA]; Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front or BGPDUF [Mulualem BESSE]; Coalition for Unity and Democracy or CUD [HAILU Shawil]; Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi] (an alliance of ANDM, OPDO, SEPDF, and TPLF); Gurage Nationalities' Democratic Movement or GNDM [leader NA]; United Ethopian Democratic Forces or UEDF [MERARA Gudina]; dozens of small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union Front or ARDUF [leader NA]; Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia or CAFPDE [BEYANE Petros]; Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition or SEPDC [BEYANE Petros]
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, ONUB, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador KASSAHUN Ayele
chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
FAX: [1] (202) 686-9551
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aurelia A. BRAZEAL
embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa
mailing address: P. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
telephone: [251] (1) 550666
FAX: [251] (1) 551328
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag were so often adopted by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the pan-African colors
Economy Ethiopia
Economy - overview:
Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $156 million in 2002, but historically low prices have seen many farmers switching to qat to supplement income. The war with Eritrea in 1998-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular coffee production. In November 2001, Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. Drought struck again late in 2002, leading to a 2% decline in GDP in 2003. Normal weather patterns late in 2003 helped agricultural and GDP growth recover in 2004.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$54.89 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
11.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $800 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 47%
industry: 12.4%
services: 40.6% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
NA (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and animal husbandry 80%, industry and construction 8%, government and services 12% (1985)
Unemployment rate:
NA (2002)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 33.7% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
40 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.4% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
17.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $1.887 billion
expenditures: $2.388 billion, including capital expenditures of $788 million (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats
Industries:
food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement
Industrial production growth rate:
6.7% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.149 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 1.3%
hydro: 97.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 1.2% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
1.998 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
23,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
214,000 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
12.46 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-464.4 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$562.8 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds
Exports - partners:
Djibouti 13.3%, Germany 10%, Japan 8.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.6%, US 5.2%, UAE 5%, Italy 4.6% (2004)
Imports:
$2.104 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles, cereals, textiles
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 25.3%, US 15.8%, China 6.6% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$923.1 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.9 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$308 million (FY00/01)
Currency (code):
birr (ETB)
Currency code:
ETB
Exchange rates:
birr per US dollar - 8.68 (2004), 8.5997 (2003), 8.5678 (2002), 8.4575 (2001), 8.2173 (2000)
note: since 24 October 2001 exchange rates are determined on a daily basis via interbank transactions regulated by the Central Bank
Fiscal year:
8 July - 7 July
Communications Ethiopia
Telephones - main lines in use:
435,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
97,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate for government use
domestic: open-wire; microwave radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies; two domestic satellites provide the national trunk service
international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 0, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios:
15.2 million (2002)
Television broadcast stations:
1 plus 24 repeaters (2002)
Televisions:
682,000 (2002)
Internet country code:
.et
Internet hosts:
9 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2002)
Internet users:
75,000 (2003)
Transportation Ethiopia
Railways:
total: 681 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
narrow gauge: 681 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia (2004)
Highways:
total: 33,297 km
paved: 3,996 km
unpaved: 29,301 km (2002)
Ports and harbors:
Ethiopia is landlocked and has used ports of Assab and Massawa in Eritrea and port of Djibouti
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 81,933 GRT/101,287 DWT
by type: cargo 6, roll on/roll off 2 (2005)
Airports:
83 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 69
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 27
under 914 m: 23 (2004 est.)
Military Ethiopia
Military branches:
Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Air Force
note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy; following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained in Eritrean possession (2003)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 14,568,277 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 8,072,755 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 803,777 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$337.1 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
4.6% (2004)
Transnational Issues Ethiopia
Disputes - international:
Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but despite international intervention, mutual animosities, accusations and armed posturing prevail, preventing demarcation; Ethiopia refuses to withdraw to the delimited boundary until technical errors made by the EEBC that ignored "human geography" are addressed, including the award of Badme, the focus of the 1998-2000 war; Eritrea insists that the EEBC decision be implemented immediately without modifications; Ethiopia has only an administrative line and no international border with the Oromo region of southern Somalia where it maintains alliances with local clans in opposition to the unrecognized Somali Interim Government in Mogadishu; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; the UNHCR expects most of the remaining 23,000 Somali refugees in Ethiopia to be repatriated in 2005; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Sudan have been delayed by civil war
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 93,032 (Sudan) 23,578 (Somalia)
IDPs: 132,000 (border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000 and ethnic clashes in Gambela; most IDPs are in Tigray and Gambela Provinces) (2004)
Illicit drugs:
Transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe and North America as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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