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. 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.


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: 10.71% 
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
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 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 15,189,921; female 15,109,870) 
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 17,857,758; female 17,767,411) 
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 855,103; female 1,071,218) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.4 years 
male: 17.3 years 
female: 17.4 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.89% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
39.23 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
20.36 deaths/1,000 population (2004 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 (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female 
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female 
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 102.12 deaths/1,000 live births 
male: 112.22 deaths/1,000 live births 
female: 91.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 40.88 years 
male: 40.03 years 
female: 41.75 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.44 children born/woman (2004 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 Ethnic groups:
Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Gurage, Sidamo, Somali, Welayta, and Afar.
Christianity, Islam, Traditional beliefs and others
Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)  To learn more CLICK HERE.
definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 42.7% 
male: 50.3% 
female: 35.1% (2003 est.)
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 (as known by foreiners): Abyssinia, Italian East Africa 
abbreviation: FDRE
Government type:
federal republic
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)
oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world – at least 2,000 years
National holiday:
Liberation Day (End of four years Italian Occupation), 05 May (1941)
ratified December 1994; effective 22 August 1995
Legal system:
currently transitional mix of national and regional courts
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 NA 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 14 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005) 
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]; Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM [ADDISU Legesse]; Bench Madji People’s Democratic Organization or BMPDO [leader NA]; Benishangul Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front or BGPDUF [leader NA]; Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi] (an alliance of ANDM, OPDO, SEPDF, and TPLF); Gedeyo People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front or GPRDF [leader NA]; Gurage Nationalities’ Democratic Movement or GNDM [leader NA]; Kafa Shaka People’s Democratic Organization or KSPDO [leader NA]; Kembata, Alabaa and Tembaro or KAT [leader NA]; Oromo People’s Democratic Organization or OPDO [JUNEDI Sado]; Sidamo People’s Democratic Organization or SPDO [leader NA]; South Omo People’s Democratic Movement or SOPDM [leader NA]; Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front or TPLF [MELES Zenawi]; Walayta, Gamo, Gofa, Dawro, and Konta People’s Democratic Organization or WGGPDO [leader NA]; 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:
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
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 – overview:
Ethiopia’s poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, which accounts 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. Return to normal weather patterns late in 2003 should help agricultural and GDP growth recover in 2004. The government estimates that annual growth of 7% is needed to reduce poverty.
purchasing power parity – $46.81 billion (2003 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
-3.8% (2003 est.)
GDP – per capita:
purchasing power parity – $700 (2003 est.)
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 46% 
industry: 12.6% 
services: 41.4% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
17% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2003 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):
17.8% (2003 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)
revenues: $1.813 billion 
expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $788 million (2003 est.)
Agriculture – products:
cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats
food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement
Industrial production growth rate:
6.7% (2001 est.)
Electricity – production:
1.713 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity – consumption:
1.594 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity – imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil – production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – consumption:
23,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil – exports:
NA (2001)
Oil – imports:
NA (2001)
Oil – proved reserves:
214,000 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas – proved reserves:
12.46 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-408 million (2003)
$537 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports – commodities:
coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds
Exports – partners:
Djibouti 13.4%, Germany 11.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, Japan 6.8%, Italy 6.4%, US 5.1% (2003)
$1.964 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports – commodities:
food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles, cereals, textiles
Imports – partners:
Saudi Arabia 24.1%, US 17%, China 6.4%, Italy 4.1% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$956 million (2003)
Debt – external:
$2.9 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid – recipient:
$308 million (FY00/01)
birr (ETB)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
birr per US dollar – NA (2003), 8.5678 (2002), 8.4575 (2001), 8.2173 (2000), 7.9423 (1999) 
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
Telephones – main lines in use:
435,000 (2003)
Telephones – mobile cellular:
97,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: open-wire and microwave radio relay system; 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)
Television broadcast stations:
1 plus 24 repeaters (2002)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
9 (2003)
Internet users:
75,000 (2003)
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 (2003)
total: 31,571 km 
paved: 3,789 km 
unpaved: 27,782 km (2000)
Ports and harbors:
none; Ethiopia is landlocked and was by agreement with Eritrea using the ports of Assab and Massawa; since the border dispute with Eritrea flared, Ethiopia has used the port of Djibouti for nearly all of its imports
Merchant marine:
total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 81,933 GRT/101,287 DWT 
by type: cargo 5, container 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2 (2004 est.)
82 (2003 est.)
Airports – with paved runways:
total: 14 
over 3,047 m: 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports – with unpaved runways:
total: 69 
over 3,047 m: 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 
914 to 1,523 m: 27 
under 914 m: 23 (2004 est.)
Military branches:
Ethiopian National Defense Force: Ground Forces, Air Force, Mobilized Militia 
note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy; following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained in Eritrean possession
Military manpower – military age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower – availability:
males age 15-49: 15,748,632 (2004 est.)
Military manpower – fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 8,234,442 (2004 est.)
Military manpower – reaching military age annually:
males: 760,868 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure:$345 million (2003)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP:5.2% (2003)
Disputes – international:
Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 independent boundary commission’s delimitation decision, but demarcation has been delayed, despite intense international intervention, by Ethiopian insistence that the decision ignored “human geography,” made technical errors in the delimitation, and incorrectly awarded Badme – the focus of the 1998-2000 war – and other areas to Eritrea and Eritrea’s insistence on not deviating from the commission’s decision; Ethiopia maintains only an administrative line and no international border with the Oromo region of southern Somalia and maintains alliances with local clans in opposition to the Transitional National Government, which lost its mandate in August 2003, in Mogadishu; “Somaliland” secessionists provide port facilities and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; 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)


Adapted with some changes from the CIA Factbook (Updated on 10 February, 2005).



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