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Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ
ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ

ye-Ītyōṗṗyā Fēdēralāwī Dīmōkrāsīyāwī Rīpeblīk
Flag of Ethiopia
Location of Ethiopia
and largest city
Addis Ababa
Official languages Amharic[1]
Ethnic groups
  • Oromo 34.5%
  • Amhara 26.9%
  • Somali 6.2%
  • Tigray 6.1%
  • Sidama 4.%
  • Gurage 2.5%
  • Welayta 2.3%
  • Hadiya 1.7%
  • Afar 1.7%
  • Gamo 1.5%
  • Gedeo 1.3%
  • Other 11.3%[2]
  • Demonym(s) Ethiopian
    Government Federal parliamentary republic1
    • President
    Mulatu Teshome
    Hailemariam Desalegn
    980 BC
    • Total
    1,104,300 km2 (426,400 sq mi) (27th)
    • Water (%)
    • 2011 estimate
    82,101,998[3] (14th)
    • 2007 census
    • Density
    74/km2 (191.7/sq mi) (123rd)

    Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It has one of the most well known histories as a country in Africa and the world. Unlike other African countries, Ethiopia stayed together during the Scramble for Africa, except for 5 years when it was ruled by Italians. Ethiopia used to be called Abyssinia. The word "Ethiopia" is from the Greek word Αἰθιοπία meaning sun light burned face. BNP per capita 1370 $ (IMF) (2008).


    The Kingdom of Aksum, the first known kingdom of great power to rise in Ethiopia, rose during the first century AD. The Persian religious figure Mani listed Axum with Rome, Persia, and China as one of the four great powers of his time. It was in the early 4th century that a Syro-Greek castaway, Frumentius, was taken to the court and over time changed King Ezana to Christianity, making Christianity Ethiopia's religion. For this, he received the title "Abba Selama". At different times, including a time in the 6th century, Axum ruled most of modern-day Yemen just across the Red Sea.

    The line of rulers from the Axumite kings was broken a few times: first by the Jewish Queen Gudit around 950, then by the Zagwe dynasty. Around 1270, the Solomonid dynasty came to control Ethiopia, claiming that they were related to the kings of Axum. They called themselves Neguse Negest ("King of Kings," or Emperor), basing their claims on their direct relation to Solomon and the queen of Sheba.

    During the rule of Emperor Lebna Dengel, Ethiopia made its first good contact with a European country, Portugal. This was a good development. When the Empire was attacked by Somali General and Imam, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, Portugal responded to Lebna Dengel's request for help with an army of 400 men, which helped his son Gelawdewos beat al-Ghazi and remake his rule. However, Jesuit missionaries over time offended the Orthodox faith of the local Ethiopians, and in the mid-17th century Emperor Fasilidos got rid of these missionaries. At the same time, the Oromo people began to question the Ethiopian Christian authorities in the Abyssinian territories, and wanted to keep their own religion.

    All of this led to Ethiopia's isolation during the 1700s. The Emperors became figureheads, controlled by warlords like Ras Mikael Sehul of Tigray. Ethiopian isolationism ended following a British mission that made friendship between the two nations; however, it was not until the reign of Tewodros II that Ethiopia began to take part in world matters once again.

    Regions, zones, and districts

    Before 1996, Ethiopia was divided into 13 provinces. Ethiopia now has ethnically based regional countries, zones, districts, and neighborhoods.

    There are nine regions, sixty-eight zones and two chartered cities. Ethiopia is further divided into 550 woredas and several special woredas.

    The nine regions and two chartered cities (in italics) are:

    1. Addis Ababa
    2. Afar
    3. Amhara
    4. Benishangul-Gumuz
    5. Dire Dawa
    1. Gambela
    2. Harari
    3. Oromia
    4. Somali
    5. Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region
    6. Tigray

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