Official name - Flag - National emblem - National Anthem - Establishment - Area - Geography - Climate - Capital city - Population - Ethnic group - Language - Religion - Government - Constitution - Calendar - Public holidays - Time zone - Currency - Driving - Internet LTD - Calling codeElectricity supply - Economy -GDP real growth rate - GDP nominal growth rate - GDP composition by sector - Health - Education - Infrastructure - Communication

Official name
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

The flag with its current emblem was adopted on 6th February 1996. The origin of its three colors (green, yellow and red) dates back to the reign of Emperor Menelik II (1889–1913) and was first used in a flag in 1895. The green recalls labor, fertility, and development, yellow stands for hope, justice and equality and red is for sacrifice and heroism to words the prevalence of freedom and equality. Since 6th February1996 the current national emblem has appeared on the center of the flag.

National emblem
The national emblem has been in its current form since 1996. It consists of a golden pentagram radiating rays of light on a blue shield. The circular blue background of the emblem signifies peace. The straight and equal lines signify equality of the nations, nationalities and peoples as well as religions.  The star formed by the straight and equal lines signifies the union of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia through their common will. The yellow rays signify the prospect of a bright future bright future for the nations, nationalities and peoples united through their common will. The emblem also appears on the centre of the flag.

National Anthem
"Wodefit Gesgeshi, Widd Innat Ityopp'ya", "March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia") is the national anthem of Ethiopia. The lyrics were composed by Dereje Melaku Mengesha and music by Solomon Lulu Mitiku. It was adopted in 1992.      

Amharic transliteration

Yäzêgennät Keber Bä-Ityopp'yachen S'änto

Tayyä Hezbawinnät Dar Eskädar Bärto.

Läsälam Läfeteh Lähezboch Näs'annät;

Bä'ekkulennät Bäfeqer Qomänal Bä'andennät.

Mäsärätä S'enu Säbe'enan Yalsharen;

Hezboch Nän Läsera Bäsera Yänoren.

Denq Yäbahel Mädräk Yä'akuri Qers Baläbêt;

Yätäfät'ro S'ägga Yä'jägna Hezb ennat;

Ennet'äbbeqeshallän Alläbben Adära;

Ityopp'yachen nuri Eññam Banchi Ennekura!

English translation

Respect for citizenship is strong in our Ethiopia;

National pride is seen, shining from one side to another.

For peace, for justice, for the freedom of peoples,

In equality and in love we stand united.

Firm of foundation, we do not dismiss humanness;

We are people who live through work.

Wonderful is the stage of tradition, mistress of a proud heritage,

Natural grace, mother of a valorous people.

We shall protect you - we have a duty;

Our Ethiopia, live! And let us be proud of you!

Hominid bones, Ardi, discovered in eastern Ethiopia dating back 4.4 million years make Ethiopia one of the earliest known locations of human ancestors. Lucy, discovered in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar region, is considered the world's second-oldest, but most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossil. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. Herodotus, the Greek historian of the fifth century B.C., describes ancient Ethiopia in his writings.

With the total area of 1,104,300 sq km (426,371 sq mi) of which 0.7% is water; Ethiopia is the 27th largest state in the world and the 10th largest in Africa.

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan. Ethiopia is on an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and center of the country some mountains rise over 4,000 meters.

In most of the country, the main rainy season runs from June to the end of September, with short rains in March. In the lower laying areas (Awash, the Afar and Somali Regions, Omo and Mago parks, Gambella) however, the seasons are different with the main rains from March to June and shorter rains in November. Because of the elevation, temperatures rarely exceed 25 °C in most of the country; although in some of the lower laying areas it can get considerably hotter.  Visit the following link for details

Capital city
The capital city, Addis Ababa, is the largest and most populated city in the country. According to the 2007 census the population of the city is 2,738,248, of which 47.6% are male and 52. 4% are female. The area is 530.14sq km (204.7 sq mi) with a population density of 5165.1/ sq km (13,377.5/sq mi). With elevation ranging from 2,200 to 2,600 meters, maximum temperature is 26o C and minimum 4o C. The weather is usually sunny and dry with the short (belg) rains occurring February-April and the big (meher) rains beginning in mid-June and ending in mid-September. Addis Ababa (meaning new flower) is established in 1886 by Empress Taitu Bitul, the wife of Emperor Menelik II (1889–1913).

According to the 2007 census the population of Ethiopia is 73,918,505 of which 50.5% are male and 49.5% are female. 83.9% of the people live in rural areas whereas 16.17% are urban dwellers. The age composition is 45% under 15, 51.8% b/n 15 and 64 and 3.2% above 65 years. The national average annual population growth rate b/n 1994 and 2007 is 2.6%. The average population density of Ethiopia is 71.739/sq km (185.803/sq mi).

Ethnic group
According to the 2007 census there are more than 85 ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Ten ethnic groups with a population of 1 million and above are Oromo34.5 %, Amehara 26.9%, Somali 6.2%, Tigre, 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Guragie 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Afar 1.7% and Gamo 1.5% of the total population.

Ethiopia is a multiethnic state with a variety of languages spoken in the country, of which more than 85 are indigenous languages with 200 dialects. The main three languages are Amharic, Tigrinya and Oromifa. Amharic is the working language of the federal state with each regional state having their working language. English is a widely spoken foreign language both in urban and tourist attraction sites, as well as being taught in schools from an early age. At secondary and tertiary levels, English is the medium of instruction. In some parts of Ethiopia Italian and Arabic are fairly spoken.

According to the 2007 census, the religious composition of the people is Orthodox Christian 43.5%, Protestant Christian 18.6%, Catholic Christian 0.7%, Sunni Muslim 33.9%, Traditional 2.6% and others 0.6%.

Government type: Federal Republic.

Administrative divisions: 9 ethnic-based states and 2 self-governing administrations; Addis Abeba , Afar, Amhara , Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Gambela Peoples, Hareri People, Oromia, Somali, Tigray, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.

Executive branch:
Head of State: President Girma Woldegiorgis (since 8 October 2001); president elected by the House of People's Representatives for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 9 October 2007 (next to be held in October 2013)

Head of Government: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (since August 1995). The Prime Minister is elected by Members of the lower house of parliament having first been designated by the party which has won majority seat in the House of Peoples' Representatives following National Elections which take place every five years. The incumbent Prime Minister, H.E. Ato Meles Zenawi was elected for another five year term on 4th October 2010.

Legislative branch:
The bi-cameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation - an upper chamber of 108 seats whose members are chosen by Members of State Assemblies for a five year term, and which is responsible for interpreting the Constitution and Federal-Regional issues. The House of Peoples' Representatives is the lower chamber of 547 seats whose members are directly elected by popular vote from single-member districts for a five-year term. Elections were last held on 23 May 2010.

National Day: National day is on 28 May, to mark the day in 1991 when the military dictatorship that ruled Ethiopia from 1974-1991 was overthrown.

The current constitution is ratified on 8 December 1994 and is effective from 22 August 1995. The first constitution is ratified in July 1931 during the period of Emperor Hailselase I (1930-1974) this constitution is revised in November 1955.On 22 February 1987 another constitution is adopted during the period of Mengestu Hailemariam (1974-1991). 

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consist of twelve months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and six day in a leap year, every four years. The Julian calendar is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian (western) calendar. 

Public holidays

  • 11 September Ethiopian New Year, Every four years falls on 12 September (11 September 2010 12 September 2011, 11 September 2012, 11 September 2013, 11 September 2014,   12 September 2015 )   
  • Id Al Feter, Remedan ( It may differ from year to year according to the Lunar calendar)
  • 27 September The Discovery of the True Cross, Meskel, Every four years it is on 28 September (27 September 2010, 28 September 2011, 27 September 2012, 27 September 2013, 27 September 2014, 28 September 2015)
  • Id Aladahan, Arafa ( It may differ from year to year according to the Lunar calendar)
  • 7 January Ethiopian Christmas
  • 19 January Ethiopian Epiphany, Every four years it is on 20 January (19 January 2010,  20 January 2011, 19 January 2012, 19 January 2013, 19 January 2014, 20 January 2015)
  • 10 February Birth day of the Prophet Mohammed, Maulid ( It may differ from year to year according to the Lunar calendar)
  • 2 March Victory of Adwa commemoration day
  • Ethiopian Good Friday ( It may differ from year to year and it may not be on the same date with Catholic Good Friday; 2 April 2010, 22 April 2011, 13 April 2012, 3 may 2013, 18 April 2014)
  • Ethiopian Easter ( It may differ from year to year and it may not be on the same date with Catholic Easter, 4 April 2010, 24 April 2011, 15 April 2012, 5 may 2013, 20 April 2014)
  • 1 May International Labor day
  • 5 May Ethiopian patriots victory commemoration day
  • 28 May National day 

Time Zone
Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone. Being relatively close to equator, there is an almost constant twelve hours of daylight through out the country. In Addis Ababa the sunrise and sunset times are 06:30 and 18:45 hours respectively

In Ethiopia time counting starts at western 6:00 a.m. Western 7:00 a.m. is therefore one o'clock, noon is six  midnight is 18:00 hour and so on.


  • The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr made up of 100 cents
  • Notes are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 birr
  • Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and in Sep 2010 a 1 birr coin is issued


  • Driving is on the right
  • Drivers are required to have a valid international driving license at all times when they are behind wheels.
  • An international driving license can be obtained by exchanging your local driving license at the Transport and Communication Office located at  Haile Gabreselassie Road, Addis Ababa
  • Visitors can recover their original license a day or so prior to their departure
  • Those with their own vehicle are also required a permit from the Minster of Transport and communication to use the their vehicle 

Internet LTD
Internet TLD is  .et

Calling code
The country calling code is (00) 251

Electricity supply

  • Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.
  • Plugs are of the round two-pin variety


GDP Real growth 2009/2010
Aggregate 10.1%
Agriculture related sectors 6%
Industry 10.2%
Service 14.5%

GDP Nominal growth 2009/2010
Agriculture related sectors

GDP composition by sector 2009/10
Aggregate 100%
Agriculture related sectors 41%
Industry 13%
Service 46%

Health 2009/10
Health service coverage 89%
Birth control users 55%
Birth through skilled health care worker 25%
Health care worker and population ratio 1:2500
Death of mothers during delivery in 1000             5.90
Death of child under 5 years in 1000                     101

Elementary school participation    94.2%
Female male student ratio           0.93:1
Student book ratio                      1.25:1

Clean water supply in cities              91.5%
Clean water supply in rural areas     65.8%
Electricity supply                               41%

Telephone supply                               49.3%
Mobile telephone users                4 million
Land line telephone users          0 .74 million
Internet users                             0.20 million

Last Updated (Friday, 10 June 2011 23:24)