Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometers, and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.
Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond.Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BC, Ethiopia’s governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history.
Ethiopia and Eritrea use the ancient Ge’ez script, which is one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. The Ethiopian calendar, which is approximately seven years and three months behind the Gregorian calendar, co-exists alongside the Borana calendar. A majority of the population adheres to Christianity (mainly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and P’ent’ay), whereas around a third follows Islam (primarily Sunni). The country is the site of the Migration to Abyssinia and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash. A substantial population of Ethiopian Jews, known as Bete Israel, also resided in Ethiopia until the 1980s.
Ethiopia is a multilingual nation with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the four largest of which the Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigran’s.
Ethiopia is a land of natural contrasts, with its vast fertile west, its forests, and numerous rivers, and the world’s hottest settlement of Dallol in its north. The Ethiopian Highlands are the largest continuous mountain ranges in Africa, and the Sof Omar Caves contains the largest cave on the continent. Ethiopia also has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.
Its capital city Addis Ababa serves as the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Standby Force, and many of the global NGOs focused on Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ethiopia experienced civil conflicts and communist purges, which hindered its economy. The country has since recovered and now has the largest economy (by GDP) in East Africa.
Ethiopia has 31 endemic species of mammals. The African wild dog prehistorically had widespread distribution in the territory. However, with last sightings at Finicha’a, this canid is thought to be potentially locally extinct. The Ethiopian wolf is perhaps the most researched of all the endangered species within Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is a global center of avian diversity. To date more than 856 bird species have been recorded in Ethiopia, twenty of which are endemic to the country.