Photos of Ethiopia

Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa is considered the largest and most magnificent of all modern churches in Ethiopia. Originally begun in 1887 as a monastery church, it was expanded to a cathedral according to a European design between 1928 and 1931. Construction was completed in 1943. Today the church commemorates the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian occupation (1936-41). The tombs of the Emperor Haile Selassie, the Empress Menen Asfaw, as well as other members of the former imperial family lie within the cathedral.

Introduction

Background

The area that is modern-day Ethiopia is rich in cultural and religious diversity with more than 80 ethnic groups. The oldest hominid yet found comes from Ethiopia, and Ethiopia was the second country to officially adopt Christianity in the 4th century A.D. A series of monarchies ruled the area that is now Ethiopia from 980 B.C. to 1855, when the Amhara kingdoms of northern Ethiopia united in an empire under Tewodros II. Many Ethiopians still speak reverently about the Battle of Adwa in 1896, when they defeated Italian forces and won their freedom from colonial rule.

Emperor Haile SELASSIE became an internationally renowned figure in 1935, when he unsuccessfully appealed to the League of Nations to prevent Italy from occupying Ethiopia from 1936 to 1941. SELASSIE survived an attempted coup in 1960, annexed modern-day Eritrea in 1962, and played a leading role in establishing the Organization of African Unity in 1963. However, in 1974, a military junta called the Derg deposed him and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, drought, and massive displacement, the Derg regime was toppled in 1991 by a coalition of opposing forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The EPRDF became an ethno-federalist political coalition that ruled Ethiopia from 1991 until its dissolution in 2019. Ethiopia adopted its constitution in 1994 and held its first multiparty elections in 1995.

A two-and-a-half-year border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in 2000. Ethiopia subsequently rejected the 2007 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission demarcation. This resulted in more than a decade of a tense “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries. In 2012, longtime 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 2018, and ABIY Ahmed Ali took office the same year as Ethiopia's first ethnic Oromo prime minister. In 2018, ABIY promoted a rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea that was marked with a peace agreement and a reopening of their shared border. In 2019, Ethiopia's nearly 30-year ethnic-based ruling coalition, the EPRDF, merged into a single unity party called the Prosperity Party; however, the lead coalition party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), declined to join. In 2020, a military conflict erupted between forces aligned with the TPLF and the Ethiopian military. The conflict -- which was marked by atrocities committed by all parties -- ended in 2022 with a cessation of hostilities agreement between the TPLF and the Ethiopian Government. However, Ethiopia continues to experience ethnic-based violence as other groups -- including the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and Amhara militia Fano -- seek concessions from the Ethiopian Government.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

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

comparison ranking: total 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

1,813 sq km (2020)

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

116,462,712 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 12

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 of Oromia Regional State) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of Somali Regional State) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of Tigray Regional State) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of Afar Regional State) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English

note: Sidama is an official working language of Sidama Regional State (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: 38.91% (male 22,821,026/female 22,498,331)

15-64 years: 57.55% (male 33,345,764/female 33,672,933)

65 years and over: 3.54% (2023 est.) (male 1,887,831/female 2,236,827)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 75.7

youth dependency ratio: 70.2

elderly dependency ratio: 5.5

potential support ratio: 18.1 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 20.2 years (2023 est.)

male: 20 years

female: 20.5 years

comparison ranking: total 201

Population growth rate

2.4% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 25

Birth rate

30.1 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 27

Death rate

6 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 156

Net migration rate

-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 99

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: 23.2% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

5.461 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

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

15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 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

267 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Infant mortality rate

total: 33.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 38.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 28.8 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 40

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.1 years (2023 est.)

male: 64.9 years

female: 69.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 197

Total fertility rate

3.92 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 27

Gross reproduction rate

1.93 (2023 est.)

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

3.5% of GDP (2020)

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 (2023)

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

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

4.5% (2016)

comparison ranking: 185

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.)

comparison ranking: total 149

Tobacco use

total: 5.1% (2020 est.)

male: 8.8% (2020 est.)

female: 1.3% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 161

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

21.1% (2019)

comparison ranking: 12

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 14.1%

women married by age 18: 40.3%

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

Education expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 101

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)

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

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: 23.2% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

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 (2023)

Revenue from forest resources

5.81% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 11

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 118

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 21.8 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 14.87 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 114.21 megatons (2020 est.)

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 (2020 est.)

industrial: 50 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 9.69 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

122 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

conventional short form: Ethiopia

local long form: YeItyop'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

12 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), Hareri Hizb (Harari), Oromia, Sidama, Sumale, Tigray, YeDebub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples), YeDebub M'irab Ityop'iya Hizboch (Southwest Ethiopia Peoples), Southern 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 and Minister of Foreign Affairs 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 Zewde reelected president during joint session of Parliament, vote - 659 (unanimous); ABIY confirmed Prime Minister by House of Peoples' Representatives (4 October 2021)

2018: SAHLE-WORK Zewde 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 in October 2026)
House of People's Representatives - last held in two parts on 21 June 2021 and 30 September 2021 (next expected in June 2026)

election results: House of Federation - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - NA; composition as of February 2024 - men 102, women 43, percentage women 29.7%

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - Prosperity Party 454, NAMA 5, EZEMA 4, Gedeo People's Democratic organization 2, Kucha People Democratic Party 1, independent 4; composition as of February 2024 - men 275, women 195, percentage women 41.3%; note - total Parliament percentage 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 [n/a]
Kucha People Democratic Party 
National Movement of Amhara or NAMA [BELETE Molla]
Prosperity Party or PP [ABIY Ahmed Ali]

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, BRICS, COMESA, EITI, 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, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNOOSA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (accession candidate)

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 Ervin MASSINGA (since 4 October 2023)

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: 11 (9 cultural, 2 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); Gedeo Cultural Landscape (c)

Economy

Economic overview

growing Horn of Africa construction- and services-based economy; port access via Djibouti and Eritrea; widespread but declining poverty; COVID-19, locust invasion, and Tigray crisis disruptions; public investment increases; second largest African labor force

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$293.788 billion (2022 est.)
$278.956 billion (2021 est.)
$264.059 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 57

Real GDP growth rate

5.32% (2022 est.)
5.64% (2021 est.)
6.06% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 65

Real GDP per capita

$2,400 (2022 est.)
$2,300 (2021 est.)
$2,300 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 198

GDP (official exchange rate)

$126.783 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

33.89% (2022 est.)
26.84% (2021 est.)
20.36% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 211

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: B (2014)

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B (2014)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 34.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 21.6% (2017 est.)

services: 43.6% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 200; industry 134; agriculture 12

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

Industrial production growth rate

4.9% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 65

Labor force

59.752 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 11

Unemployment rate

3.42% (2022 est.)
3.93% (2021 est.)
3.91% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 54

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 5.7% (2021 est.)

male: 4.4%

female: 7.2%

comparison ranking: total 183

Population below poverty line

23.5% (2015 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

35 (2015 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 99

Average household expenditures

on food: 56.6% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 3.8% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 28.5% (2015 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

0.4% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.38% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $11.308 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $13.979 billion (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 139

Public debt

31.45% of GDP (2019 est.)
32.53% of GDP (2018 est.)
30.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 167

Taxes and other revenues

6.2% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 206

Fiscal year

8 July - 7 July

Current account balance

-$5.16 billion (2022 est.)
-$4.507 billion (2021 est.)
-$2.719 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 175

Exports

$10.971 billion (2022 est.)
$9.496 billion (2021 est.)
$7.715 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 109

Exports - partners

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

Exports - commodities

coffee, gold, sesame seeds, vegetables, cut flowers, aircraft parts (2021)

Imports

$24.187 billion (2022 est.)
$20.859 billion (2021 est.)
$17.17 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 88

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

$3.046 billion (2020 est.)
$2.993 billion (2019 est.)
$3.987 billion (2018 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 115

Debt - external

$27.27 billion (2019 est.)
$26.269 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 87

Exchange rates

birr (ETB) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
51.756 (2022 est.)
43.734 (2021 est.)
34.927 (2020 est.)
29.07 (2019 est.)
27.429 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

population without electricity: 59 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 54.1% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 94.3% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 42.7% (2021)

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.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 89; transmission/distribution losses 152; imports 201; exports 61; consumption 102

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.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 142

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 161

Refined petroleum products - imports

69,970 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 67

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.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 92

Energy consumption per capita

3.219 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 181

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 862,157 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2021 est.) less than 1

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 75

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 65 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 54 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 27

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Ethio telecom is the major provider, but no longer has a complete monopoly on all telecom services; a consortium led by Kenyan Safaricom launched service in October 2022; 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 (2023)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions less than 1 per 100 while mobile-cellular stands at a little over 54 per 100 people (2021)

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)

Broadcast media

10 public/state broadcasters; 9 public/state radio stations; 13 commercial FM radio stations; 18 commercial TV stations; 45 community radio stations; 5 community TV stations (2023)

Internet users

total: 20.4 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 17% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 44

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 212,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.2 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 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

57 (2024)

comparison ranking: 79

Heliports

1 (2024)

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

comparison ranking: total 104

Roadways

total: 180,000 km (2023)

comparison ranking: total 30

Merchant marine

total: 12 (2023)

by type: general cargo 10, oil tanker 2

comparison ranking: total 156

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) (2023)

note 1: national and regional police forces are responsible for law enforcement and maintenance of order, with the ENDF sometimes providing internal security support; the Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP) report to the Prime Minister’s Office

note 2: the regional governments control regional security forces, including "special" paramilitary forces, which generally operate independently from the federal government and in some cases operate as regional defense forces maintaining national borders; local militias also operate across the country in loose and varying coordination with these regional security and police forces, the ENDF, and the EFP; in April 2023, the federal government ordered the integration of these regional special forces into the EFP or ENDF; in some cases, the regional governments have maintained former members of the special forces for “crowd control/Adma Bitena” as a separate unit within their security structures

note 3: 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; in 2018, Ethiopia established a Republican Guard military unit responsible to the Prime Minister for protecting senior officials


Military expenditures

0.6% of GDP (2023 est.)
1.7% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 155

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; prior to the 2020-2022 Tigray conflict, approximately 150,000 active-duty troops (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ENDF's inventory is comprised mostly of Russian and Soviet-era equipment; in recent years, the ENDF has received arms from a variety of countries, including China, Israel, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates; Ethiopia has a modest industrial defense base centered on small arms and production of armored vehicles (2023)

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 (2023)

Military deployments

approximately 5-8,000 in Somalia (up to 4,000 for ATMIS; the remainder under a bilateral agreement with the Somali Government; note - foreign troop contingents in Somalia under ATMIS are drawing down towards a final departure in December 2024); 1,500 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2024)

Military - note

the ENDF has traditionally been one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest, most experienced, and best equipped militaries, but it suffered heavy casualties and equipment losses during the 2020-2022 Tigray conflict; the Ground Forces are estimated to have more than 20 infantry divisions, including several that are mechanized, along with at least one division of commandos/special forces; the Air Force has combat squadrons of multipurpose fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, and armed unmanned aerial vehicles; ENDF operations are often supported by sizeable regional state paramilitary units 

the ENDF is focused on both external threats emanating from its neighbors and internal threats from multiple internal armed groups; since 1998, the ENDF has engaged in several conventional and counterinsurgency operations, including border wars with Eritrea (1998-2000) and Somalia (2006-2008) and internal conflicts with the Tigray regional state (2020-2022), several insurgent groups and ethnic militias (including the ethnonationalist Amhara Fano), and the al-Shabaab terrorist group (see Appendix T); as of 2024, the ENDF was conducting counterinsurgency operations against anti-government militants in several states, including in Oromya (Oromia) against the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an insurgent group that claims to be fighting for greater autonomy for the Oromo, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group; in 2022, militants from the Somalia-based al-Shabaab terrorist group launched an incursion into Ethiopia's Somali (Sumale) regional state, attacking villages and security forces; the Ethiopian Government claimed that regional security forces killed hundreds of al-Shabaab fighters and subsequently deployed additional ENDF troops into Somalia’s Gedo region to prevent further incursions (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Ethiopian Space Science and Geospatial Institute (ESSGI; formed in 2022 from the joining of the Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute or ESSTI and the Ethiopian Geospatial Information Institute or EGII) (2023)

Space program overview

has a small space program with a focus on acquiring and operating satellites, as well as research and astronomy; jointly builds satellites with foreign partners and operates and exploits remote sensing (RS) satellites; developing the ability to manufacture satellites and their associated payloads; involved in astronomy and in the construction of space observatories; cooperates on space-related issues with a variety of countries, including China, France, India, Russia, and multiple African countries, particularly Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda; shares RS data with neighboring countries (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 167,391 (Eritrea) (2023); 420,502 (South Sudan), 314,976 (Somalia), 111,778 (Sudan) (refugees since 15 April 2023) (2024)

IDPs: 4.385 million (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) (2023)

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