Africa: Ethiopia

About Ethiopia

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 that ended with a peace treaty on 12 December 2000 has strengthened the ruling coalition, but has hurt the nation's economy.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Addis Ababa
Population: 65,891,874
Percent below poverty: NA%
Language: Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)
Date of independence: oldest independent country in Afric
Form of government: federal republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Environmental Issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Agricultural Products: cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats
Imports: food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles
Exports: coffee, gold, leather products, oilseeds, qat
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Saudi Arabia 28%, Italy 10%, Russia 7%, US 6% (1999 est.)
EXPORTS: Germany 16%, Japan 13%, Djibouti 10%, Saudi Arabia 7% (1999 est.


Ethiopia Headlines

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