Ethiopia is one of the world’s oldest countries, its territorial extent having varied over the millennia of its existence. In ancient time it remained centered on Aksum, an imperial capital located in the northern part of the modern state, about 100 miles (160 km) from the Red Sea coast.

The present territory was consolidated during the 19th and 20th centuries as European powers encroached into Ethiopia’s historical domain. Ethiopia became prominent in modern world affairs first in 1896, when it defeated colonial Italy in the Battle of Adwa, and again in 1935–36, when it was invaded and occupied by fascist Italy.

Liberation during World War II by the Allied powers set the stage for Ethiopia to play a more prominent role in world affairs. Ethiopia was among the first independent nations to sign the Charter of the United Nations, and it gave moral and material support to the decolonization of Africa and to the growth of Pan-African cooperation.

 These efforts culminated in the establishment of the organization of African union (since 2002, the African union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, both of which have their headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Economy and politics

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia: it was founded in 1995. The republic’s principle is ‘ethnic federalism’. There are nine regional states (including the city-state of Harar) and two metropolitan regions: Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. The states and regions have their own autonomous councils and hold their own elections. Five of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic groups have their own regional states: the Amhara, Oromo, Tigrayans, Afar, and Somali

Geography and Climate

With a land area of 1,098,000 square kilometers, Ethiopia is five times as big as Britain. Two principal geographical zones can be found in the country: the cool highlands and the hot lowlands that surround them.


Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which comprises twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of five days (or six days in a leap year). The calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar with Christmas being celebrated on January 7 and New Year on September 11, which can be extremely confusing to westerners.


Ethiopian enjoys complete freedom of religion. However, two religions are professed by the great majority: Christianity, as practiced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Islam.

Flora and fauna

Even though Ethiopia does not have the large wildlife numbers of neighboring country Kenya, it nonetheless has a very remarkable flora ánd fauna. Many animals and birds are unique to Ethiopia.