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Destination Ethiopia, a Nations Online country profile of the land formerly known as Abyssinia. Ethiopia is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, in the east of the continent. The country lost its access to the Red Sea in 1992 when Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia. It is bordered by Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somaliland (Somalia).

The country covers an area of 1,126,829 km²; this is about twice the size of France or the U.S. state of Texas. The highest elevation is Mount Ras Dashen, with 4620 m.

A population of more than 114 million inhabitants (in 2020) makes the country the second-most populous nation in Africa behind Nigeria. The country comprises more than 80 ethnic groups and as many languages.


Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the world's oldest - it exists for at least 2,000 years. The country comprises more than 80 ethnic groups and as many languages. Primarily their shared independent existence unites Ethiopia's many nations. Unique among African countries, Ethiopia has never been colonized, one exception being the occupation by Italy in 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 of Mengistu Hailemariam was finally toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991.

A new constitution was adopted in 1994, which guaranteed the religious rights and the cultural and political rights of all ethnic groups. Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. With a peace treaty on 12 December 2000, a 30-year-old struggle with Eritrea ended.

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Official Name:
Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
Short form: Ityop'iya

ISO Country Code: et, ETH
Ethiopian Standard Time = UTC +3h
Ethiopia does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Country Calling Code: +251
Capital: Addis Ababa (pop. 3 million)

Largest Cities:
Bahir Dar (800,000), Gondar (750,000), Mekelle (444,000), Dessie (400,000), Adama (Nazret, 340,000), Hawassa (Awassa, 320,000), Dire Dawa (290,000)

Federal parliamentary democracy.
A new constitution was adopted in 1995.

Transparency: Rank 94 (out of 180 countries); Score 38, on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Ethiopia ranks between Brazil and Kazakhstan in the corruption perception index.

Location: Horn of Africa bordered by Sudan on the west, Somalia and Djibouti on the east, Eritrea on the north and Kenya on the south.
Area: 1.1 million km² (440 000 sq. mi.), about twice the size of Kenya, France, or Texas.
Terrain: Rugged mountains, flat-topped high plateaus, deep river canyons, rolling plains, and dry low lands.

Climate: Temperate in the highlands; tropical in the lowlands; dry season from October through May; wet season from June to September.