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Ethiopia is Africa’s oldest independent country and its second largest in terms of population.

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Ethiopia is a country in the north eastern part of Africa,popularly known as the horn of shares borders with Eritrea to the north Djibouti to the northwest,to the northeast Somaliland,and Somalia to the east Sudan and south Sudan to the west and multi-ethnic Kenya to the south. Ethiopia is the most populous land locked country in the world and the second most populous nation on the African continent.It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometers and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa   Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and the second-oldest official Christian nation in the world after Armenia. Unique among African countries, Ethiopian maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41.



Mountains and Rivers

Ethiopia is stunning in its geography. The landscape is dominated by the dramatic Ethiopian Highlands with the highest peak of around 4620m. The two major mountain ranges are the Simien Mountains (a World Heritage Site), in the north of the country; and the Bale Mountains to the east of the Rift Valley, in the southeastern highlands.

The major rivers include the Blue Nile which is the longest river in the world which flows 4258miles. The Omo River starts in the western highlands and feeds Lake Turkana on the Kenyan border. The Awash feeds a series of desert lakes to the east of the country and settles within the countries territory of Lake Abe close to Asaita of the Afar region near the Djibouti border.



Varied Seasonal Climate

The climate of Ethiopia varies mainly according to elevation. The tropical zone below approximately 1,800 m (approximately 6,000 ft) has an average annual temperature of about 27°C (about 80°F) and receives less than about 500 mm (about 20 in) of rain annually. The subtropical zone, which includes most of the highland plateau and is between about 1,800 and 2,400 m (about 6,000 and 8,000 ft) in elevation, has an average temperature of about 22°C (about 72°F) with an annual rainfall ranging from about 500 to 1,500 mm (about 20 to 60 in).  The principal rainy season occurs between mid-June and September, followed by a dry season that may be interrupted in February or March by a short rainy season.



Population Characteristics

The population of Ethiopia (2007 estimate) is 75,891,874 estimate, yielding an overall density of 58 persons per sq km (151 per sq mi). The Amhara, who founded the original nation, and the related Tigreans, both of which are highland peoples of partly Semitic origin, constitute about 32 percent of the total population. They occupy the northwestern Ethiopian highlands and the area north of Addis Ababa. The Oromo, a pastoral and agricultural people who live mainly in central and southwestern Ethiopia, constitute about 40 percent of the population. The Shankella, a people in the western part of the country from the border of Eritrea to Lake Turkana, constitute about 6 percent of the population. The Somali, who live in the east and southeast, notably in the Ogaden region, are about equal in number to the Shangalla. The Denakil inhabit the semi desert plains east of the highlands. The no indigenous population includes Yemenis, India ns, Armenians, and Greeks




Ethnic Groups and languages

Amharic is the official language of the Federal Government. English is the medium of instruction at secondary schools, Universities and Colleges and is widely used in business transaction. Oromiffa, Tigrigna, Somali, Guragigna, Sidama, Afar are among the most widely spoken besides Amharic. Arabic, French and Italian are also spoken



The Ethiopian economy is based on agriculture, which contributes 42% to GDP and more than 80% of exports, and employs 80% of the population. In 2009-2010, the per capita income was US$365 per annum, and it is unlikely to have increased. The major agricultural export crop is coffee, providing approximately 26% of Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings, down from 65% a decade ago because export diversification since the mid-1990s. Other traditional major agricultural exports are leather, hides and skins, pulses, oilseeds, flowers and the traditional “chat,” a leafy narcotic that is chewed. Sugar and gold production has also become important in recent years. The Ethiopian Highlands are very fertile, and are criss-crossed by large rivers with enormous untapped potential for irrigation projects, but many parts of the country, particularly in the east and northeast, are prone to periodic rain failures and locust plagues, so there is a constant threat of local drought.




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