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The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ityop'iya, Amharic ኢትዮጵያ) is a country situated in the Horn of Africa. It has one of the most extensive known histories as an independent nation on the continent. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia maintained independence during the Scramble for Africa, and continued to do so until 1936, when the Italian army invaded the country. British and Ethiopian troops defeated the Italians in 1941, but Ethiopia did not regain sovereignty until the signing of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of December 1944. (Pankhurst)

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
የኢትዮጵያ ፈደራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ
Flag of Ethiopia
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: —
Location of Ethiopia
Official language Amharic
Capital Addis Ababa
President Girma Wolde-Giorgis
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 26th
1,127,127 kmē
Ranked 16th
Independence December 1944 (from the British) [1]
Currency Birr (ETB)
Time zone UTC +3
National anthem Whedefit Gesgeshi Woude Henate Ethiopia (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)
Internet TLD .et
Calling Code 251


Main article: History of Ethiopia

In 1974 a pro-Soviet Marxist-Leninist military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile Selassie, who had ruled since 1930, and established a one-party socialist state. The ensuing regime suffered several bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problem. It was eventually defeated in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces under the name Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In 1994 a constitution was adopted leading to Ethiopia's first multiparty elections in the following year. A border war with Eritrea (a nation which separated from Ethiopia in 1992) erupted in May 1998. This has hurt the nation's economy but since strengthened the ruling coalition.


Main article: Politics of Ethiopia


Main article: Regions of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is divided into 9 ethnically-based administrative regions (kililoch; singular - kilil):

Afar; Amhara, Benishangul-Gumaz; Gambela; Harari; Oromia; Somali; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region; Tigray.

Additionally, there are two chartered cities (astedader akababiwach, singular - astedader akabibi), Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.


Main article: Geography of Ethiopia

Map of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country with land below sea level and above 10,000 feet. Lake Tana in the north is the source of the Blue Nile. It also has a large number of endemic species, notably the Gelada Baboon and the Ethiopian wolf (or Simien fox).


Main article: Economy of Ethiopia


Main article: Demographics of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to many different groups of people, the three largest groups being the Oromo, Amhara (whose Amharic language is used for official purposes), and Tigrawot.

The Axumite Kingdom was one of the first nations to officially adopt Christianity, when St. Frumentius of Tyre converted Ezana of Axum during the fourth century CE. Islam in Ethiopia dates back almost to the founding of the religion; Islamic tradition states that Bilal was from present-day Ethiopia. A small group of Jews, the Beta Israel, lived in Ethiopia for centuries, though most have emigrated to Israel. There are numerous indigenous African religions in Ethiopia.


Main article: Culture of Ethiopia

Date English name Local name Remarks
January 7 Orthodox Christmas Day Genna  
January 19 Feast of Epiphany Timket  
February 2 Feast of the Sacrifice Eid ul-Adha varies; this date is for 2005
March 2 Adwa Day Y'adowa B'al  
April 21 Birthday of The Prophet Muhammad Mawlid varies; this date is for 2005
April 29 Orthodox Good Friday Sikilet (Crucifixion) varies; this date is for 2005
May 1 Orthodox Easter Fasika varies; this date is for 2005
May 2 Easter Monday (public holiday)   varies; this date is for 2005
May 5 Patriots' Day Arbegnoch Qen  
May 28 National Day   End of Derg Regime
September 11 Ethiopian New Year Enkutatash  
September 27 Finding of the True Cross Meskel  
November 3 End of Ramadan Eid ul-Fitr varies; this date is for 2005

Miscellaneous topics

External links

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