Previous name: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa.
Date of independence: Ethiopia is an independent country which has never been colonised.
Languages spoken: There are four official languages: Amharic, Somali, Oromo, and Tigrigna.
Population: Approximately 108,113,150.
Flag: Ethiopia’s flag is red, yellow, and green with a yellow pentagram on a blue disk with emerging light rays. Green symbolises hope and richness of the land, blue signifies hope, red is for the struggle of the people, and yellow is for fairness and coordination.
Key facts: Ethiopia is one of the oldest independent countries in Africa with over 2,000 years of history; some of the oldest human skeletons in the world have been found there. It is located in the east of Africa and is bordered by Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, and South Sudan. The majority of the population is below 54 years with many below 25 years. The country is mainly a high plateau with a central highland and the Great Rift Valley passing through it. It is home to the Blue Nile, the River Nile’s largest tributary. Ethiopia is governed using a parliamentary system which elects a prime minister to oversee government business.
Symbols and culture: The Abyssinian lion and the yellow pentagram with five light rays on a blue background are Ethiopia’s national symbols. Due to cultural diversity in Ethiopia, numerous cultural practices are observed. An interesting fact about Ethiopia is that time is counted differently; the day ‘begins’ at 6am, rather than midnight, as in most countries.
Natural resources: Small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas.