Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia until the 20th century is a landlock country located in the Horn of Africa, northeast Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. Ethiopia falls in the category of the most populous landlock country in the world and the second-most populated nation in Africa with over 90 million inhabitants. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world.
Capital: Addis Ababa which means “new flower” in Amharic. It ranks as the 3rd highest capital city in the world with an altitude of 2,355 (7,726 ft) and the highest capital city in Africa at 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It is also the diplomatic capital of Africa.
Official name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
It is Africa’s oldest state.
It became a republic in 1995.
It is the only nation in Africa never to be colonized.
Life expectancy: Male: 58.43 years, female: 63.15 years (2014 estimate).
Religion: Christian 62.17 (Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Protestant 18.6%, Catholic 0.7%), Muslim 33.9%, traditional 2.6%, other 0.7% (2007 census)
Currency: Birr (ETB)
Country Code: +251
Internet Country Code: .et
Climate: Moderate in highlands; hot and dry in lowlands
Languages: Amharic ( official ), Arabic, English, Oromigna, Tirignya,Somali, Guaraginga and others.
National dish is called “wat.”
The largest open-air market in Africa; Mercato is located in the heart of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.
January 7 is as Christmas day in Ethiopia.
Ethiopians also celebrate New Year in September.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian nations in the world.
Ethiopians are famous for being great long distance runners.
Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia, in the region of Kaffa.
Ethiopia has the largest per capital density of cattle in Africa and the 10th largest in the world.
The lowest point in Africa continent and one of the only lava lakes in the world – at Erta Ale volcano – Dallol in Danakil Depression, is found in Ethiopia at 116m below sea level.
The earliest fossil Lucy (3.5 million years old) is believed to buried in the soil in Hadar, Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites, more than any other country in Africa.
The sun dictates time in Ethiopia. The sunrise marks the beginning of the day and the sunset marks the end of the day. What most of the world would call 7:00, Ethiopians would call 1:00. Both noon and midnight are 6:00 in Ethiopia.
Rastafarian movement is said to have evolved from Ethiopia by Emperor Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. He is worshipped by Rastafarians as a divine being.
Ethiopia is the only country in Africa with its own alphabet. Actually it uses an abugida, also known as an alpha-syllabary, which consists of 209 symbols and 25 letter variants.
Ethiopian Abebe Bikila was the first African to win gold in the Olympic Games. He finished the marathon in first place after running the whole race barefoot.