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World Mission

Ethiopia

Basic info

  • Area: 1,104,300km2
  • Population: 99,465,819
  • Infant mortality: 59 per 1000
  • Life expectancy: 64.04
  • Urbanisation: 18
  • Literacy: 39

History

The Ethiopian Empire (Abyssinia) was first founded by Habesha people in the Ethiopian Highlands. Due to migration and imperial expansion, it grew to include many other primarily Afro-Asiatic-speaking communities, including Oromos, Amhara, Somalis, Tigray, Afars, Sidama, Gurage, Agaw and Harari, among others.

One of the earliest kingdoms to rise to power in the territory was the kingdom of D'mt in the 10th century BC, which established its capital at Yeha. In the first century AD the Aksumite Kingdom rose to power in the Tigray Region with its capital at Aksum and grew into a major power on the Red Sea, subjugating Yemen and Meroe and converting to Christianity in the early fourth century. The Aksumite empire fell into decline with the rise of Islam, forcing the Ethiopians to move south into the highlands for refuge. The Aksumites gave way to the Zagwe Dynasty who established a new capital at Lalibela, before giving way to the Solomonic Dynasty in the 13th century. During the early Solomonic period Ethiopia went through military reforms and imperial expansion that made it dominate the Horn of Africa. Portuguese missionaries arrived at this time.

In 1529, a conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al-Habash) by the Somali Muslim Adal Sultanate allied with the Ottoman Empire devastated the highlands, and was only deterred by a Portuguese intervention. With both Ethiopia and Adal greatly weakened by the war, the Oromo people were able to invade into the highlands, conquering the remains of the Adal Sultanate and pushing deep into Ethiopia. The Portuguese presence also increased, while the Ottomans began to push into what is now Eritrea, creating the Habesh Eyalet. The Portuguese brought modern weapons and baroque architecture to Ethiopia, and in 1622 converted the emperor Susenyos I to Catholicism, sparking a civil war which ended in his abdication and an expulsion of all Catholics from Ethiopia. A new capital was established at Gondar in 1632, and a period of peace and prosperity ensued until the country was split apart by warlords in the 18th century during the Zemene Mesafint.

Ethiopia was reunified in 1855 under Tewodros II, beginning Ethiopia's modern history. Ethiopia began to go through a slow modernisation process under a leadership of Yohannes IV, and defended itself from an Egyptian invasion in 1874. Emperor Yohannes fought and won wars against Egyptians, Italians and Mehadists to keep his people free from foreign invaders. He was killed in action in 1889. Under Menelik II Ethiopia defeated an Italian invasion in 1896 and came to be recognised as a legitimate state by European powers. A more rapid modernisation took place under Menelik II and Haile Selassie, however this was not enough to deter another Italian invasion in 1935. The Italian army managed to occupy parts of the country from October 1935-May 1940 under a military occupation. A joint force of British and Ethiopian rebels managed to drive the Italians out of the country in 1941, and Haile Selassie was returned to the throne. Ethiopia and Eritrea united in a federation, but when Haile Selassie ended the federation in 1961 and made Eritrea a province of Ethiopia, a war for Eritrean independence occurred, lasting until 1991.

Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974 and the militaristic Derg Regime came to power. In 1977 Somalia invaded, trying to annex the Ogaden region, but were pushed back by Ethiopian, Soviet, and Cuban forces. In 1977 and 1978 the government tortured or killed hundreds of thousands of suspected enemies in the Red Terror. After a famine in 1984 killing 1 million people, the Derg fell in 1991 and the Federal Democratic Republic was established. Ethiopia remains impoverished, but its economy has become one of the world's fastest growing.

Environment

Ethiopia is one of the eight fundamental and independent centres of origin for cultivated plants in the world. However, deforestation is a major concern for Ethiopia as studies suggest loss of forest contributes to soil erosion, loss of nutrients in the soil, loss of animal habitats, and reduction in biodiversity. At the beginning of the 20th century, around 420,000 km2 (or 35%) of Ethiopia's land was covered by trees, but recent research indicates that forest cover is now approximately 11.9% of the area.

Ethiopia loses an estimated 1,410 km2 of natural forests each year. Between 1990 and 2005 the country lost approximately 21,000 km2 of forests. Current government programs to control deforestation consist of education, promoting reforestation programs, and providing raw materials which are alternatives to timber. In rural areas the government also provides non-timber fuel sources and access to non-forested land to promote agriculture without destroying forest habitat.

Organizations such as SOS and Farm Africa are working with the federal government and local governments to create a system of forest management. Working with a grant of approximately 2.3 million Euros, the Ethiopian government recently began training people on reducing erosion and using proper irrigation techniques that do not contribute to deforestation. This project is assisting more than 80 communities.

Economy

According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014.

Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable development gains came under threat during 2008 and 2011 with the emergence of twin macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and a difficult balance of payments situation. Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011 because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation was projected to be about 22%.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems. However, with a focused investment in public infrastructure and industrial parks, Ethiopia's economy is addressing its structural problems to become a hub for light manufacturing in Africa. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. "Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the 'water tower' of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 majors) rivers that pour off the high tableland", including the Nile. "It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation." In recent years, however, Ethiopia has completed several major dams for hydroelectricity production and irrigation.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014.

Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable development gains came under threat during 2008 and 2011 with the emergence of twin macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and a difficult balance of payments situation. Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011 because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation was projected to be about 22%.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems. However, with a focused investment in public infrastructure and industrial parks, Ethiopia's economy is addressing its structural problems to become a hub for light manufacturing in Africa. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. "Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the 'water tower' of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 majors) rivers that pour off the high tableland", including the Nile. "It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation." In recent years, however, Ethiopia has completed several major dams for hydroelectricity production and irrigation.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014.

Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable development gains came under threat during 2008 and 2011 with the emergence of twin macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and a difficult balance of payments situation. Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011 because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation was projected to be about 22%.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems. However, with a focused investment in public infrastructure and industrial parks, Ethiopia's economy is addressing its structural problems to become a hub for light manufacturing in Africa. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. "Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the 'water tower' of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 majors) rivers that pour off the high tableland", including the Nile. "It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation." In recent years, however, Ethiopia has completed several major dams for hydroelectricity production and irrigation.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014. ">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014.

Ethiopia's growth performance and considerable development gains came under threat during 2008 and 2011 with the emergence of twin macroeconomic challenges of high inflation and a difficult balance of payments situation. Inflation surged to 40% in August 2011 because of loose monetary policy, large civil service wage increase in early 2011, and high food prices. For 2011/12, end-year inflation was projected to be about 22%.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems. However, with a focused investment in public infrastructure and industrial parks, Ethiopia's economy is addressing its structural problems to become a hub for light manufacturing in Africa. Agricultural productivity remains low, and frequent droughts still beset the country. "Ethiopia is often ironically referred to as the 'water tower' of Eastern Africa because of the many (14 majors) rivers that pour off the high tableland", including the Nile. "It also has the greatest water reserves in Africa, but few irrigation systems in place to use it. Just 1% is used for power production and 1.5% for irrigation." In recent years, however, Ethiopia has completed several major dams for hydroelectricity production and irrigation.

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has a hydroelectric capacity of 6,000 MW. Ethiopia, despite Egypt's initial protest, is also in the process of constructing a 6,000 MW hydroelectric dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Nile river. When completed, it will become Africa's largest hydroelectric power station.

Provision of telecommunications services is left to a state-owned monopoly. It is the view of the current government that maintaining state ownership in this vital sector is essential to ensure that telecommunication infrastructures and services are extended to rural Ethiopia, which would not be attractive to private enterprises.

The Ethiopian constitution defines the right to own land as belonging only to "the state and the people", but citizens may lease land (up to 99 years), and are unable to mortgage or sell. Renting of land for a maximum of twenty years is allowed and this is expected to ensure that land goes to the most productive user. Land distribution and administration is considered an area where corruption is institutionalized, and facilitation payments as well as bribes are often demanded when dealing with land-related issues.">According to the IMF, Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. It was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008. In 2015, the World Bank highlighted that Ethiopia had witnessed rapid economic growth with real domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 10.9% between 2004 and 2014.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

Oromo

34.4

Amhara

27

Others

20.03

Somali

6.22

Tigrayans

6.08

Sidama

4

Gurage

2.52

Welayta

2.27

Religion

Religion(%)

Ethiopian Orthodox

43.5

Islam

33.9

Pentay (Protestant)

18.6

Traditional faiths

2.6

Catholicism

0.7

Other

0.7

Languages

  • 33.8%

    Oromo

  • 29.33%

    Amharic

  • 6.25%

    Somali

  • 5.86%

    Tigrinya

  • 4.04%

    Sidamo

  • 20.72%

    Others