Dallol is a cinder cone volcano in the Danakil Depression in northern Ethiopia. It features strange volcanic landscapes and is one of the hottest places on Earth. The elliptical Dallol rises 60 m above the salt plain but is nonetheless below sea level. Its summit crater is about 100 m in diameter. Mud, salt, iron stains, halophile algae, and hot spring activity produce a colorful but dangerous landscape in the Dallol craters. Shown are sulfur pools.
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Introduction

Background

Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941. 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 was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995.

A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates, Ethiopia did not accept them and maintained troops in previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. This intransigence resulted in years of heightened tension between the two countries. In August 2012, longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades. Following a wave of popular dissent and anti-government protest that began in 2015, HAILEMARIAM resigned in February 2018 and ABIY Ahmed Ali took office in April 2018 as Ethiopia's first ethnic Oromo prime minister. In June 2018, ABIY announced Ethiopia would accept the border ruling of 2000, prompting rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea that was marked with a peace agreement in July 2018 and a reopening of the border in September 2018. In November 2019, Ethiopia's nearly 30-year ethnic-based ruling coalition - the EPRDF - merged into a single unity party called the Prosperity Party, however, one of the four constituent parties (the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front or TPLF) refused to join.

In November 2020, a military conflict erupted between forces aligned with the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Ethiopia’s national military, the Ethiopian National Defense Force. The conflict, which has continued into 2022, has exacerbated ethnic violence and has largely centered in Tigray, Amhara, and Afar regional states.

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Geography

Location

Eastern Africa, west of Somalia

Geographic coordinates

8 00 N, 38 00 E

Area

total: 1,104,300 sq km

land: 1,096,570 sq km

water: 7,730 sq km

note: area numbers are approximate since a large portion of the Ethiopia-Somalia border is undefined

country comparison to the world: 28

Area - comparative

slightly less than twice the size of Texas

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 5,925 km

border countries (6): Djibouti 342 km; Eritrea 1,033 km; Kenya 867 km; Somalia 1,640 km; South Sudan 1,299 km; Sudan 744 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation

Terrain

high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley

Elevation

highest point: Ras Dejen 4,550 m

lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m

mean elevation: 1,330 m

Natural resources

small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 36.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 15.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 20% (2018 est.)

forest: 12.2% (2018 est.)

other: 51.5% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

2,900 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Tana - 3,600 sq km; Abaya Hayk - 1,160 sq km; Ch'amo Hayk - 550 sq km

salt water lake(s): Lake Turkana (shared with Kenya) - 6,400 sq km; Abhe Bid Hayk/Abhe Bad (shared with Djibouti) - 780 sq km; 

Major rivers (by length in km)

Blue Nile river source (shared with Sudan [m]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Major aquifers

Ogaden-Juba Basin, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

Population distribution

highest density is found in the highlands of the north and middle areas of the country, particularly around the centrally located capital city of Addis Ababa; the far east and southeast are sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts

volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir

Geography - note

note 1: landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; Ethiopia is, therefore, the most populous landlocked country in the world; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia

note 2: three major crops may have originated in Ethiopia: coffee (almost certainly), grain sorghum, and castor bean

People and Society

Population

113,656,596 (2022 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly taken into account the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

country comparison to the world: 13

Nationality

noun: Ethiopian(s)

adjective: Ethiopian

Ethnic groups

Oromo 35.8%, Amhara 24.1%, Somali 7.2%, Tigray 5.7%, Sidama 4.1%, Guragie 2.6%, Welaita 2.3%, Afar 2.2%, Silte 1.3%, Kefficho 1.2%, other 13.5% (2022 est.)

Languages

Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Kitaaba Addunyaa Waan Qabataamaatiif - Kan Madda Odeeffannoo bu’uraawaatiif baay’ee barbaachisaa ta’e. (Oromo)

የአለም እውነታ መጽሐፍ፣ ለመሠረታዊ መረጃ እጅግ አስፈላጊ የሆነ ምንጭ። (Amharic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Religions

Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional 0.6%, other 0.8% (2016 est.)

Demographic profile

Ethiopia is a predominantly agricultural country – nearly 80% of the population lives in rural areas – that is in the early stages of demographic transition. Infant, child, and maternal mortality have fallen sharply over the past decade, but the total fertility rate has declined more slowly and the population continues to grow. The rising age of marriage and the increasing proportion of women remaining single have contributed to fertility reduction. While the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women has increased significantly from 6 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2012, the overall rate is still quite low.

Ethiopia’s rapid population growth is putting increasing pressure on land resources, expanding environmental degradation, and raising vulnerability to food shortages. With about 40 percent of the population below the age of 15 and a fertility rate of 4 children per woman (and even higher in rural areas), Ethiopia will have to make further progress in meeting its family planning needs if it is to achieve the age structure necessary for reaping a demographic dividend in the coming decades.

Poverty, drought, political repression, and forced government resettlement have driven Ethiopia’s internal and external migration since the 1960s. Before the 1974 revolution, only small numbers of the Ethiopian elite went abroad to study and then returned home, but under the brutal Derg regime thousands fled the country, primarily as refugees. Between 1982 and 1991 there was a new wave of migration to the West for family reunification. Since the defeat of the Derg in 1991, Ethiopians have migrated to escape violence among some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups or to pursue economic opportunities. Internal and international trafficking of women and children for domestic work and prostitution is a growing problem.

Age structure

0-14 years: 39.81% (male 21,657,152/female 21,381,628)

15-24 years: 19.47% (male 10,506,144/female 10,542,128)

25-54 years: 32.92% (male 17,720,540/female 17,867,298)

55-64 years: 4.42% (male 2,350,606/female 2,433,319)

65 years and over: 3.38% (male 1,676,478/female 1,977,857) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 76.8

youth dependency ratio: 70.6

elderly dependency ratio: 6.3

potential support ratio: 16 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 19.8 years

male: 19.6 years

female: 20.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

Birth rate

30.49 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Death rate

5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

Net migration rate

-0.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Population distribution

highest density is found in the highlands of the north and middle areas of the country, particularly around the centrally located capital city of Addis Ababa; the far east and southeast are sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 22.7% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

5.228 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.3 years (2019 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

401 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Infant mortality rate

total: 33.51 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 38.33 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 28.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 68.25 years

male: 66.12 years

female: 70.44 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 70.2% of population

total: 76.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 29.8% of population

total: 23.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

3.2% of GDP (2019)

Physicians density

0.11 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.3 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 52.5% of population

rural: 8.1% of population

total: 17.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 47.5% of population

rural: 91.9% of population

total: 82.3% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Ethiopia is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.16 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.92 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.2 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.03 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 149

Tobacco use

total: 5.1% (2020 est.)

male: 8.8% (2020 est.)

female: 1.3% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 161

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 14.1%

women married by age 18: 40.3%

men married by age 18: 5% (2016 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 51.8%

male: 57.2%

female: 44.4% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.5%

male: 2.7%

female: 4.5% (2013 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; loss of biodiversity; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management; industrial pollution and pesticides contribute to air, water, and soil pollution

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 34.36 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 14.87 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 114.21 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation

Land use

agricultural land: 36.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 15.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 20% (2018 est.)

forest: 12.2% (2018 est.)

other: 51.5% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 22.7% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 96

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

note: on 21 March 2022, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Travel Alert for polio in Africa; Ethiopia is currently considered a high risk to travelers for circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV); vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) is a strain of the weakened poliovirus that was initially included in oral polio vaccine (OPV) and that has changed over time and behaves more like the wild or naturally occurring virus; this means it can be spread more easily to people who are unvaccinated against polio and who come in contact with the stool or respiratory secretions, such as from a sneeze, of an “infected” person who received oral polio vaccine; the CDC recommends that before any international travel, anyone unvaccinated, incompletely vaccinated, or with an unknown polio vaccination status should complete the routine polio vaccine series; before travel to any high-risk destination, CDC recommends that adults who previously completed the full, routine polio vaccine series receive a single, lifetime booster dose of polio vaccine

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to conflict in Tigray Region, drought conditions in southeastern areas, high food prices - The difficult and worsening food security situation is the result of multiple shocks affecting food availability and access including: the conflict in northern Tigray Region and in adjacent areas of Amhara and Afar regions, which began in November 2020; in Tigray region alone, 5.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure; the failure of the March‑May 2022 “Gu‑Genna” rains in southern pastoral areas of southern Oromiya Region and southern Somali Region, exacerbated drought conditions prevailing since late 2020, causing severe crop and livestock losses; severe macroeconomic challenges including insufficient foreign currency reserves and the continuous depreciation of the national currency, as a result, inflation is at very high levels, with the year‑on‑year food inflation rate estimated at 35.5 percent in July, one the highest of the last decade; these difficulties are exacerbated by the ripple effects of the Ukraine war, which triggered hikes in international prices of wheat, fuel and fertilizers (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 6,532,787 tons (2015 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

fresh water lake(s): Lake Tana - 3,600 sq km; Abaya Hayk - 1,160 sq km; Ch'amo Hayk - 550 sq km

salt water lake(s): Lake Turkana (shared with Kenya) - 6,400 sq km; Abhe Bid Hayk/Abhe Bad (shared with Djibouti) - 780 sq km; 

Major rivers (by length in km)

Blue Nile river source (shared with Sudan [m]) - 1,600 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Major aquifers

Ogaden-Juba Basin, Sudd Basin (Umm Ruwaba Aquifer)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 810 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 51.1 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 9.687 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

122 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

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

former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa

abbreviation: FDRE

etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word "Aethiopia," which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region

Government type

federal parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Addis Ababa

geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name in Amharic means "new flower" and was bestowed on the city in 1889, three years after its founding

Administrative divisions

11 ethnically based regional states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 chartered cities* (astedader akabibiwach, singular - astedader akabibi); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sidama, Sumale (Somali), Tigray, YeDebub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples), YeDebub M'irab Ityop'iya Hizboch (Southwest Ethiopia Peoples)

Independence

oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years (may be traced to the Aksumite Kingdom, which coalesced in the first century B.C.)

National holiday

Derg Downfall Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995

amendments: proposals submitted for discussion require two-thirds majority approval in either house of Parliament or majority approval of one-third of the State Councils; passage of amendments other than constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms and the initiation and amendment of the constitution requires two-thirds majority vote in a joint session of Parliament and majority vote by two thirds of the State Councils; passage of amendments affecting rights and freedoms and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote in each house of Parliament and majority vote by all the State Councils

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ethiopia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President SAHLE-WORK Zewde (since 25 October 2018)

head of government: Prime Minister ABIY Ahmed Ali (since April 2018); Deputy Prime Minister DEMEKE Mekonnen Hassen (since 29 November 2012)

cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by both chambers of Parliament for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election held on 21 June 2021 and 30 September 2021 (the scheduled 29 August 2020 election was postponed by Prime Minister ABIY due to the COVID-19 pandemic); prime minister designated by the majority party following legislative elections

election results: 2021: SAHLE-WORK elected president during joint session of Parliament, vote - 659 (unanimous); ABIY confirmed Prime Minister by House of Peoples' Representatives (4 October 2021)

2018: SAHLE-WORK elected president during joint session of Parliament, vote - 659 (unanimous); note - snap election held on 25 October 2018 due to resignation of President MULATA Teshome

note: SAHLE-WORK Zewde is the first female elected head of state in Ethiopia; she is currently the only female president in Africa.

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
House of Federation or Yefedereshein Mikir Bete (153 seats maximum; 144 seats current; members indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 5-year terms)
House of People's Representatives or Yehizb Tewokayoch Mekir Bete (547 seats maximum; 470 seats current; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; 22 seats reserved for minorities; all members serve 5-year terms)

elections: House of Federation - last held 4 October 2021 (next expected 31 October 2026)
House of People's Representatives - last held in two parts on 21 June 2021 and 30 September 2021 (next election expected 30 June 2026)

election results: House of Federation - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - NA; composition - men 100, women 44, percent of women 30.6%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - Prosperity Party 454, NAMA 5, EZEMA 4, Gedeo People's Democratic organization 2, Kucha People Democratic Party 1, independent 4; composition - men 275, women 195, percent of women  41.5%; note - total Parliament percent of women 38.9%

notes: House of Federation is responsible for interpreting the constitution and federal-regional issues and the House of People's Representatives is responsible for passing legislation; percent of vote percentages are calculated on the number of members actually seated versus on the constitutional maximums

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 11 judges); note - the House of Federation has jurisdiction for all constitutional issues

judge selection and term of office: president and vice president of Federal Supreme Court recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; other Supreme Court judges nominated by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council (a 10-member body chaired by the president of the Federal Supreme Court) and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; judges serve until retirement at age 60

subordinate courts: federal high courts and federal courts of first instance; state court systems (mirror structure of federal system); sharia courts and customary and traditional courts

Political parties and leaders

House of People's Representatives:
Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice and Democracy or EZEMA [BERHANU Nega]   
Gedeo People's Democratic Party
Independent 
Kucha People Democratic Party 
National Movement of Amhara or NAMA
Prosperity Party or PP

note: Ethiopia has over fifty national-level and regional-level political parties. The ruling party, the Prosperity Party, was created by Prime Minister ABIY in November 2019 from member parties of the former Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which included the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM), plus other EPRDF-allied parties such as the Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP), Benishangul Gumuz People’s Democratic Party (BGPDP), Gambella People’s Democratic Movement (GPDM), Somali People’s Democratic Party (SPDP), and the Harari National League (HNL). Once the Prosperity Party was created, the various ethnically-based parties that comprised or were affiliated with the EPRDF were subsequently disbanded; in January 2021, the Ethiopian electoral board de-registered the Tigray People’s Liberation Front or TPLF; national level parties are qualified to register candidates in multiple regions across Ethiopia; regional parties can register candidates for both national and regional parliaments, but only in one region of Ethiopia

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, ATMIS, AU, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador SELESHI Bekele Awulachew (since 7 June 2022)

chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200

FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195

email address and website:
ethiopia@ethiopianembassy.org

https://ethiopianembassy.org/

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Ambassador Tracey Ann JACOBSON (since 25 February 2022)

embassy: Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa

mailing address: 2030 Addis Ababa Place, Washington DC  20521-2030

telephone: [251] 111-30-60-00

FAX: [251] 111-24-24-01

email address and website:
AddisACS@state.gov

https://et.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red, with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; green represents hope and the fertility of the land, yellow symbolizes justice and harmony, while red stands for sacrifice and heroism in the defense of the land; the blue of the disk symbolizes peace and the pentagram represents the unity and equality of the nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia

note: Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag (adopted ca. 1895) were so often appropriated by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the Pan-African colors; the emblem in the center of the current flag was added in 1996

National symbol(s)

Abyssinian lion (traditional), yellow pentagram with five rays of light on a blue field (promoted by current government); national colors: green, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia" (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)

lyrics/music: DEREJE Melaku Mengesha/SOLOMON Lulu

note: adopted 1992

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 9 (8 cultural, 1 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela (c); Simien National Park (n); Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Region (c); Axum (c); Lower Valley of the Awash (c); Lower Valley of the Omo (c); Tiya (c); Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town (c); Konso Cultural Landscape (c)

Economy

Economic overview

Ethiopia - the second most populous country in Africa - is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, GDP grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually – one of the fastest growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure, as well as sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the agricultural sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP.

 

Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and one of the lowest in the world, with a Gini coefficient comparable to that of the Scandinavian countries. Yet despite progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, due both to rapid population growth and a low starting base. Changes in rainfall associated with world-wide weather patterns resulted in the worst drought in 30 years in 2015-16, creating food insecurity for millions of Ethiopians.

 

The state is heavily engaged in the economy. Ongoing infrastructure projects include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks. Key sectors are state-owned, including telecommunications, banking and insurance, and power distribution. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to tenants. Title rights in urban areas, particularly Addis Ababa, are poorly regulated, and subject to corruption.

 

Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings are led by the services sector - primarily the state-run Ethiopian Airlines - followed by exports of several commodities. While coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, Ethiopia is diversifying exports, and commodities such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock and horticulture products are becoming increasingly important. Manufacturing represented less than 8% of total exports in 2016, but manufacturing exports should increase in future years due to a growing international presence.

 

The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly from China, Turkey, India and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products.

 

To support industrialization in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products, Ethiopia plans to increase installed power generation capacity by 8,320 MW, up from a capacity of 2,000 MW, by building three more major dams and expanding to other sources of renewable energy. In 2017, the government devalued the birr by 15% to increase exports and alleviate a chronic foreign currency shortage in the country.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$264.05 billion (2020 est.)

$248.97 billion (2019 est.)

$229.76 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 58

Real GDP growth rate

10.9% (2017 est.)

8% (2016 est.)

10.4% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Real GDP per capita

$2,300 (2020 est.)

$2,200 (2019 est.)

$2,100 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 205

GDP (official exchange rate)

$92.154 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

15.7% (2019 est.)

13.9% (2018 est.)

10.8% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 216

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2014)

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2014)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 34.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.6% (2017 est.)

services: 43.6% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 43.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 8.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -31.2% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, cereals, wheat, sorghum, milk, barley, sweet potatoes, roots/tubers nes, sugar cane, millet

Industries

food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, garments, chemicals, metals processing, cement

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 72.7%

industry: 7.4%

services: 19.9% (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.5%

male: 2.7%

female: 4.5% (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.1%

highest 10%: 25.6% (2005)

Budget

revenues: 11.24 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 13.79 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

54.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

53.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Fiscal year

8 July - 7 July

Current account balance

-$6.551 billion (2017 est.)

-$6.574 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Exports

$7.62 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$2.814 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 109

Exports - partners

China 17%, United States 16%, United Arab Emirates 8%, Saudi Arabia 6%, South Korea 5%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

coffee, sesame seeds, gold, cut flowers, zinc (2019)

Imports

$19.93 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$14.69 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Imports - partners

China 27%, India 9%, United Arab Emirates 9%, France 9%, United Kingdom 7% (2019)

Imports - commodities

aircraft, gas turbines, packaged medicines, electric filament, cars (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.013 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.022 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Debt - external

$27.27 billion (2019 est.)

$26.269 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 87

Exchange rates

birr (ETB) per US dollar -

25 (2017 est.)

21.732 (2016 est.)

21.732 (2015 est.)

21.55 (2014 est.)

19.8 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 47% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 96% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 34% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 4.856 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 9,778,100,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 1 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 3.374 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 3.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 95.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 689,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 528,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 107,900 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 400,000 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 24.919 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

16.798 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.474 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 15.324 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1.252 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 44.5 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 39 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: has been one of the last in Africa to allow its national telco a monopoly on all telecom services including fixed, mobile, internet and data communications; this has stifled innovation, restricted network expansion, and limited the scope of services on offer; the World Bank in early 2021 provided a $200 million loan to help develop the country’s digital transformation, while the government has embarked on its 2020-2030 program as well as its Digital Ethiopia 2025 strategy, both aimed at making better use of digital technologies to promote socioeconomic development (2021)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions at about 1 per 100 while mobile-cellular stands at a little over 39 per 100; the number of mobile telephones is increasing steadily (2020)

international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; 2 domestic satellites provide the national trunk service; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean) (2016)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

6 public TV stations broadcasting nationally and 10 public radio broadcasters; 7 private radio stations and 19 community radio stations (2017)

Internet users

total: 27,591,260 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 24% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 34

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 212,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.2 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 75

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 11,501,244 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,089,280,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 17

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 40

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 20

under 914 m: 8 (2021)

Railways

total: 659 km (2017) (Ethiopian segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)

standard gauge: 659 km (2017) 1.435-m gauge

note: electric railway with redundant power supplies; under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia and managed by a Chinese contractor

country comparison to the world: 105

Merchant marine

total: 11

by type: general cargo 9, oil tanker 2 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 155

Ports and terminals

Ethiopia is landlocked and uses the ports of Djibouti in Djibouti and Berbera in Somalia

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force (Ye Ityopya Ayer Hayl, ETAF); Ministry of Peace: Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) (2022)

note 1: in 2020 the Ethiopian Government announced it had re-established a navy, which had been disbanded in 1996; in March 2019, Ethiopia signed a defense cooperation agreement with France which stipulated that France would support the establishment of an Ethiopian navy, which would reportedly be based out of Djibouti

note 2: in 2018, Ethiopia established a Republican Guard military unit responsible to the Prime Minister for protecting senior officials

note 3: each of the states have regional and/or a "special" paramilitary security and police forces that report to regional civilian authorities and operate separately from federal forces; local militias operate across the country in loose and varying coordination with these regional security and police forces, the ENDF, and the EFP; there have been some calls for these regional paramilitary forces to be incorporated into the ENDF and EFP

Military expenditures

0.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

0.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.6% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $970 million)

0.6% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $950 million)

0.7% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $930 million)

country comparison to the world: 158

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; prior to the 2020-21 Tigray conflict, approximately 150,000 active duty troops, including about 3,000 Air Force personnel (no personnel numbers available for the newly-established Navy) (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ENDF's inventory is comprised mostly of Soviet-era equipment from the 1970s; since 2010, the ENDF has received arms from a variety of countries, with China, Russia, and Ukraine as the leading suppliers; Ethiopia has a modest industrial defense base centered on small arms and production of armored vehicles (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-22 years of age for voluntary military service (although the military may, when necessary, recruit a person more than 22 years old); no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2022)

note: in November 2021, the Ethiopian Government issued a nationwide state of emergency that enabled officials to order military-age citizens to undergo training and accept military duty in support of the Tigray conflict; the order also recalled retired military officers to active duty

Military deployments

5-10,000 Somalia (4,500 for ATMIS; the remainder under a bilateral agreement with Somalia; note - bilateral figures are prior to the conflict with Tigray); 250 Sudan (UNISFA); 1,475 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2022)

Military - note

since November 2020, the Government of Ethiopia has been engaged in a protracted military conflict with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the former governing party of the Tigray Region; the government deemed a TPLF attack on Ethiopia military forces as a domestic terrorism incident and launched a military offensive in response; the TPLF asserted that its actions were self-defense in the face of planned Ethiopian Government action to remove it from the provincial government; the Ethiopian Government sent large elements of the ENDF into Tigray to remove the TPLF and invited militia and paramilitary forces from the states of Afar and Amara, as well as the military forces of Eritrea, to assist; the fighting included heavy civilian and military casualties with widespread abuses reported; in March 2022, the Ethiopian Government declared a  truce to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into the Tigray region; the TPLF reciprocated with a truce of its own; however, fighting between the TPLF and the Ethiopian Government resumed in August 2022; the two sides agreed to another cease-fire in November 2022

the military forces of the Tigray regional government are known as the Tigray Defense Force (TDF); the TDF is comprised of state paramilitary forces, local militia, and troops that defected from the ENDF; it was reported to have up to 250,000 fighters at the start of the conflict

in 2022, the ENDF was also engaged in counterinsurgency operations against anti-government militants in several other states; the largest was in Oromya (Oromia) against the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA; aka Shene), an insurgent group that claimed to be fighting for greater autonomy for the Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group; the OLA was a member of a coalition of eight anti-government factions known as the United Front of Ethiopia and Confederalist Forces (UFEFCF); formed in 2021, the UFEFCF included the TPLF, as well as rebel groups of variable sizes from several regions of the country; the OLA has also clashed with ethnic militias (aka Fano) from the neighboring state of Amara

in July 2022, militants from the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab launched an incursion into Ethiopia's Somali (Sumale) region, attacking villages and security forces; the Ethiopian Government claimed that regional security forces killed hundreds of Shabaab fighters and subsequently deployed additional ENDF troops into Somalia’s Gedo region to prevent further such incursions (2022)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

al-Shabaab; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)/Qods Force

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Ethiopia-Eritrea: Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement

Ethiopia-Somalia: While border clashes continue in the al-Fashqa (Fashaga) area, the US views the 1902 boundary treaty between Ethiopia and Sudan as being in force; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; 

Ethiopia-Sudan: Ethiopia's construction of a large dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile since 2011 has become a focal point of relations with Egypt and Sudan; as of 2020, four years of three-way talks between the three capitals over operating the dam and filling its reservoir had made little progress; Ethiopia began filling the dam in July 2020; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 407,382 (South Sudan), 251,126 (Somalia), 161,963 (Eritrea), 48,132 (Sudan) (2022)

IDPs: 2,114,653 (includes conflict- and climate-induced IDPs, excluding unverified estimates from the Amhara region; border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000; ethnic clashes; and ongoing fighting between the Ethiopian military and separatist rebel groups in the Somali and Oromia regions; natural disasters; intercommunal violence; most IDPs live in Sumale state) (2021)

Illicit drugs

transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money laundering center