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Ethiopia

  • 1,127,127 kmē
  • 8° 00' N
  • 38° 00' E
  • Addis Ababa
  • ETB
  • 85219109.38
  • 76/km2
  • Amharic, Oromifa
  • Federal Republic
  • 63.44 Billion US$
  • UTC+3
Ethiopia Map
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Ethiopia Map

Ethiopia is a hot and mountainous country with all kinds of wildlife, including giraffes, leopards, antelopes, elephants, rhinoceroses, lions and baboons. The central region consists of a high, rocky plateau which covers about two-thirds of the country. It is mainly rich, fertile grassland rising to craggy(/ng/z, steep, sharp or rugged mass) peaks. This plateau is split in two by the Great Rift Valley, a long scar in the earth's crust that stretches all the way from Syria southwards to Mozambique. The highlands are the coolest part of the country and this is where most of the farming in Ethiopia takes place. The lowland regions that circle the plateau are hot and dry, giving way to scorching deserts along the Djibouti border. Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia.

Most Ethiopians are farmers in the highlands and live in round, wooden houses with conical, thatched roofs. They use wooden ploughs, pulled by oxen to prepare the land for sorghum, teff and maize, which are the main food grains. Crops that are grown for sale or export include coffee, oil-seeds, pulses and sugar-cane. Many farmers struggle to survive because of the severe droughts that plague this hot, dusty country. A number of different peoples live within borders of Ethiopia. Between them they speak about 80 different languages and dialects. The peoples fall into two main language groups. The Semites live in northern and central parts of the country and include the Amhara and Tigre. The Cushites live mainly in southern and eastern areas.Ethiopia has one of the oldest civilizations in Africa. Legends say that Menelik, the son of king Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, ruled here around 1000 BC. A powerful and prosperous Arab nation called Aksum had grown up by AD 100. In AD 330 it became Christian and from the Middle Ages onwards Ethiopia was ruled by Christian emperors.