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Introduction - Ethiopia:




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 Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopias first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. Final demarcation of the boundary is currently on hold due to Ethiopian objections to an international commissions finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia.

Location - Ethiopia:


Eastern Africa, west of Somalia

Geographic coordinates

8 00 N, 38 00 E

Map references



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


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation


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: 10.01%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 89.34% (2005)

Irrigated land

2,900 sq km (2003)

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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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 Tana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean

People - Ethiopia:


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 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.4% (male 16,657,155/female 16,553,812)
15-64 years: 53.8% (male 20,558,026/female 20,639,076)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 953,832/female 1,149,986) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 18 years
male: 17.8 years
female: 18.1 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.272% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

37.39 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

14.67 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: repatriation of Ethiopian refugees residing in Sudan is expected to continue for several years; some Sudanese, Somali, and Eritrean refugees, who fled to Ethiopia from the fighting or famine in their own countries, continue to return to their homes (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.006 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.996 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.829 male(s)/female
total population: 0.995 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 91.92 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 101.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 81.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 49.23 years
male: 48.06 years
female: 50.44 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

5.1 children born/woman (2007 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.)


noun: Ethiopian(s)
adjective: Ethiopian

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and cutaneous leishmaniasis are high risks in some locations
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2007)

Ethnic groups

Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%, Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4% (1994 census)


Christian 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other 1.8% (1994 census)


Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (major foreign language taught in schools) (1994 census)


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: Ityopiya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
local short form: Ityopiya
former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
abbreviation: FDRE

Government type

federal republic


name: Addis Ababa
geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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)


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)


ratified 8 December 1994, effective 22 August 1995

Legal system

based on civil law; currently transitional mix of national and regional courts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


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 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 Peoples Representatives
elections: president elected by the House of Peoples Representatives for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 15 May 2005 (next to be held in October 2010); prime minister designated by the party in power following legislative elections
election results: GIRMA Woldegiorgis elected president; percent of vote by the House of Peoples 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 Peoples Representatives (or lower chamber) (547 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 in 2010)
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - EPRDF 327, CUD 109, UEDF 52, SPDP 23, OFDM 11, BGPDUF 8, ANDP 8, independent 1, others 6, undeclared 2
note: irregularities at some polling stations necessitated the rescheduling of voting in certain constituencies

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 Peoples Representatives; for other federal judges, the prime minister submits to the House of Peoples Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council)

Political parties and leaders

Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP; Benishangul Gumuz Peoples Democratic Unity Front or BGPDUF [Mulualem BESSE]; Coalition for Unity and Democratic Party or CUDP [TEMESGEN Zewdie] (contains elements of the former CUD); Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi] (an alliance of Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM, Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization or OPDO, the South Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Front or SEPDF, and Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front or TPLF); Gurage Nationalities Democratic Movement or GNDM; Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement or OFDM [BULCHA Demeksa]; Somali Peoples Democratic Party or SPDP; United Ethiopian Democratic Forces or UEDF [BEYENE Petros]; dozens of small parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Ethiopian Peoples Patriotic Front or EPPF; Ogaden National Liberation Front or ONLF; Oromo Liberation Front or OLF [DAOUD Ibsa]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Samuel ASSEFA
chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Donald Y. YAMAMOTO
embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa
mailing address: P. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
telephone: [251] (1) 517-4000
FAX: [251] (1) 517-4888

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

Ethiopias poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for almost 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 $350 million in 2006, 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, and in December 2005 the IMF voted to forgive Ethiopias debt to the body. Under Ethiopias 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 3.3% decline in GDP in 2003. Normal weather patterns helped agricultural and GDP growth recover in 2004-06.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$74.88 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$13.32 billion (FY05/06 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

10.6% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$1,000 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 46.7%
industry: 12.9%
services: 40.4% (2006 est.)

Labor force

27.27 million (1999)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 80%
industry: 8%
services: 12% (1985)

Unemployment rate


Population below poverty line

38.7% (FY05/06 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 33.7% (1995)

Distribution of family income gini index

30 (2000)

Inflation rate consumer prices

13% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

20% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $2.679 billion
expenditures: $3.388 billion; including capital expenditures of $788 million (2006 est.)

Public debt

80.3% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

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


food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing, cement

Industrial production growth rate

7.4% (2001 est.)

Electricity production

2.294 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

2.133 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

0 kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

29,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

428,000 bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

24.92 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$3.384 billion (FY05/06 est.)


$1.085 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds

Exports partners

China 10.5%, Germany 8.7%, Japan 7.4%, US 6.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, Djibouti 5.8%, Switzerland 5.1%, Italy 5% (2006)


$4.105 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

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

Imports partners

Saudi Arabia 18.1%, China 11.4%, India 8.1%, Italy 5.1% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.108 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external

$6.038 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipient

$1.6 billion (FY05/06)

Currency code

birr (ETB)

Exchange rates

birr per US dollar - 8.69 (2006), 8.68 (2005), 8.6356 (2004), 8.5997 (2003), 8.5678 (2002)
note: since 24 October 2001 exchange rates are determined on a daily basis via interbank transactions regulated by the Central Bank

Communications - Ethiopia:

Fiscal year

8 July - 7 July

Telephones main lines in use

725,000 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

866,700 (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: adequate for government use
domestic: open-wire; microwave radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies; 2 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)

Television broadcast stations

1 (plus 24 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

88 (2006)

Internet users

164,000 (2005)

Transportation - Ethiopia:


84 (2006)

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 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 70
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 28
under 914 m: 23 (2006)


total: 699 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
narrow gauge: 699 km 1.000-m gauge
note: railway under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia (2006)


total: 36,469 km
paved: 6,980 km
unpaved: 29,489 km (2004)

Merchant marine

total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 79,441 GRT/97,669 DWT
by type: cargo 6, roll on/roll off 2 (2006)

Ports and terminals

Ethiopia is landlocked and uses the port of Djibouti

Military - Ethiopia:

Military branches

Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force
note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy; following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained in Eritrean possession

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
females age 18-49: 14,482,885 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 8,072,755
females age 18-49: 7,902,660 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 803,777
females age 18-49: 801,789 (2005 est.)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 73,927 (Sudan), 15,901 (Somalia), 10,700 (Eritrea)
IDPs: 100,000-280,000 (border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000 and ethnic clashes in Gambela; most IDPs are in Tigray and Gambela Provinces) (2006)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

3% (2006)

Disputes international

Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commissions (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; UN Peacekeeping Mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), which has monitored the 25-km-wide Temporary Security Zone in Eritrea since 2000, is extended for six months in 2007 despite Eritrean restrictions on its operations and reduced force of 17,000; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopias Ogaden and southern Somalias Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist Courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; Somaliland secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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