Background: Alone among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy has never been a colonial possession, except during the period of Italian occupation in 1936^1. In 1974, a military junta (Derg) deposed Emperor Haile SALASSIE, who had ruled since 1930, and proclaimed a socialist state. Affected by bloody uprisings, severe droughts and a refugee problem, the regime was overthrown by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994, and the first multi-party elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea that broke out in May 1998 . and ended with the conclusion of a peace agreement on December 12, 2000, strengthened the ruling coalition, but caused damage to the country’s economy.
Location: East Africa, west of Somalia.
Geographic coordinates: 8° 00′ N. latitude, 38° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 1,127,127 km2; land surface area: 1,119,683 km2; water surface area: 7,444 km2
Comparative area: slightly less than twice the area of the state of Texas.
Land borders: total: 5,311 km; :n m with neighboring states: with Djibouti 337 km, with Eritrea 912 km, with Kenya 830 km, with Somalia 1,626 km, with Sudan 1,606 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: tropical monsoonal with wide variations due to altitude differences.
Terrain: High plateau with a central range of mountains separated by the Great Rift Valley.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Danakil depression -125 m; highest point: Mount Ras Dashen 4,620 m.
Natural resources: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 12%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 40%; forests and plantations: 25%; others: 22% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 1,900 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: The geologically active Great Rift is prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts.
Current environmental issues: deforestation; overgrazing by livestock; soil erosion; desertification.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Hazardous waste, Ozone layer protection; signed but not ratified: Environmental Change, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban.
Geography note: Landlocked – the entire Red Sea coast was lost with Eritrea’s de jure independence on May 24, 1993.
Population: 65,891,874; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in the age structure and ratio of priests (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 47.18% (male 15,647,675; female 15,442,348); 15 to 64 years: 50.03% (male 16,584,765; female 16,378,060); over 65: 2.79% (male 834,825; female 1,004,201) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.7% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 44.68 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 17.84 deaths / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.13 people / 1000 people (2001 est.); note: the repatriation of Ethiopian citizens who in previous years emigrated to Sudan to escape war and famine should continue for several years; a small number of Sudanese and Somali refugees who emigrated to Ethiopia to escape armed conflict and famine continue to return to their homeland.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; under 15: 1.01 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.01 male/female; over 65: 0.83 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 99.96 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 44.68 years; men: 43.88 years; women: 45.51 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 7 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adult population infected with HIV: 10.63% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 3 million (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 280,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Ethiopian; adjective: Ethiopian.
Ethnic groups: Oroma 40%, Amhara and Tigre 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, others 1%.
Believers: Muslim 45-50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35-40%, animist 12%, other 3-8%.
Languages): Amharic, Tigray, Oromo, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (the main foreign language taught in schools).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 35.5%; men: 45.5%; women: 25.3% (1995 est.).
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; abbreviation: FDRE.
State structure: federal republic.
Capital: Addis Ababa.
Administrative divisions: 9 ethnic administrative regions (astedader akabibi) and 2 cities with regional rights*: Addis Ababa*; Amhara; Afar; Benishambul-Gumats; Gambela; Hole-Dawa*; The region of the southern peoples, nationalities and nationalities; Oromia; Somalia; Tigre; Harer.
Independence: the oldest independent state in Africa and one of the oldest in the world – about 2,000 years old.
National holiday: Nation’s Day, May 28 (1991) (overthrow of the MENGI-STU [MENGI-STU] regime).
Constitution: ratified in December 1994; enacted August 22, 1995.
Legal system: there is currently a transitional mix of state and local courts.
Suffrage: from the age of 18, universal.
chief of state: President NEGASSO Gidada (since 22 August 1995);
head of government: Prime Minister MELES Zenawi (since August 1995);
government: the Council of Ministers is provided for in the December 1994 constitution; ministers are appointed by the prime minister and approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives; elections: the president is elected by the House of People’s Representatives for a term of 6 years; elections last held in June 1995 (next to be held in May 2001); the prime minister is appointed by the party that wins elections to the legislative assembly; election results: NEGASSO Gidada elected president; distribution of votes in the House of People’s Representatives: no data.
Legislature: bicameral parliament consists of the House of Federation (upper house) (108 seats; members are elected by regional assemblies for 5 years) and the House of People’s Representatives (lower house) (548 seats; members are elected by direct universal suffrage in single-member constituencies for 5 years); elections: last held 14 May 2000 (next to be held in May 2005); election results: distribution of votes: no data; seat distribution: OPDO 177, ANDM 134, TPLF 38, WGGPDO 27, EPRDF 19, SPDO 18, GNDM 15, KSPDO 10, ANDP 8, GPRD 7, SOPDM 7, BGPDUF 6, BMPDO 5, CAT 4, other regional political groupings 22, independent 8; note – election results for 43 constituencies are pending; note: unrest and violence in several polling stations forced the postponement of voting in some constituencies;
Judiciary: Federal Supreme Court; the President and Vice President of the Federal Supreme Court are appointed by the House of Peoples on the advice of the Prime Minister; candidates for federal judges are selected by the prime minister from a list of candidates drawn up by the Federal Judicial-Administrative Council and submitted to the House of Peoples for approval. See a2zgov.com to know more about Ethiopia government and politics.
Political parties and leaders: Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP) (leader – NA); All-Amharic People’s Organization (AAPO) (KEGNAZ MATCH Neguea Tibeb); Amharic National Democratic Movement (ANDM) (TEFERA Walwa); Bench Maji People’s Democratic Organization (BMPDO) (leader – NA); Benishangup-Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front (BGPDUF) (leader – NA); Coalition of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy (CAFPD) (Kifpe TIGNEH Abate, BEYENE Petros); Ethiopian Democratic Unity Party (EDUP) (Lieutenant General TESFAYE Gebre Kidan); Ethiopian National Democratic Party (ENDP) (FEKADU Gedami [FEKADU Gedamu]); Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) (MELES Zenawi) (alliance of ANDM, OPDO, TPLF); Guedeyo People’s Revolutionary Democratic Movement (GPRDF) (leader – NA); Gourange Peoples’ Democratic Movement (GNDM) (leader – NA); Kafa-Shaka People’s Democratic Organization (KSPDO) (leader – NA); Kembata, Alabaa and Tembaro (KAT) (leader – no data); Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) (DAOUD Ibsa Gudina [DAOUD Ibsa Gudina]); Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) (KUMA Demeksa); Sidama People’s Democratic Organization (SPDO) (leader – NA); Southern Omo People’s Democratic Movement (SOPDM) (leader – NA); Tig-raye People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) (MELES Zenawi); People’s Democratic Organization of Walaita, Gamo, Gough, Dave-ro, Konta (WGGPDO) (leader – no data); dozens of small parties.
Political pressure groups and their leaders: Southern Ethiopia People’s Democratic Coalition; many small groups of an ethnic nature formed after the defeat of the former MENGISTU regime in 1991, including several armed Islamist groups.
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: the post of ambassador is vacant; office: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 364-1200; fax: [\] (202) 686-9857.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Tibor NAGI Jr. (Tibor P. NAGY, Jr.); embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa; mailing address: R. O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa; phone:  (1) 550666; fax:  (1) 551328.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of green (top), yellow and red, in the center on a blue disk a pentagram with single yellow rays emerging from the corners between the rays; Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the colors of its flag have been used so often by other African countries in their flags that they have become known as Pan-African colors.