ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia  -   Land of Contrasts                         
The country is a land of natural contrasts, with waterfalls and volcanic hot springs. Ethiopia has some of Africa's highest mountains as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar. Ethiopia has one of the largest number of rivers in the world while the country's northernmost area at Dallol, Afar is the hottest place year-round anywhere on Earth. Ethiopia is a Multilingual,Multicultural and Multiethnic society of around 80 groups, with the two largest being the Oromo and the Amhara, both of which speak Afro-Asiatic languages. The country is also famous for its Olympic gold medalists, rock-hewn churches and as the place where the coffee bean originated. Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey-producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa. The Ethiopian Aksum region was the first major empire in the world to convert to Christianity and it was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century. Ethiopia has a Christian majority and a third of the population is Muslim. Ethiopia is the site of the first hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash. Until the 1980s, a substantial population of Ethiopian Jews resided in Ethiopia. The country is also the spiritual homeland of the Rastafari religious movement.

Wildlife of Ethiopia
Ethiopia has 31 endemic species of mammals. The African Wild Dog prehistorically had widespread distribution in Ethiopia; however, with last sightings at Fincha, this canid is thought to be potentially extirpated within Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Wolf is perhaps the most researched of all the endangered species within Ethiopia.

Historically, throughout the African continent, wildlife populations have been rapidly declining owing to logging, civil wars, pollution, poaching and other human interference. A 17-year-long civil war along with severe drought, negatively impacted Ethiopia's environmental conditions leading to even greater habitat degradation. Habitat destruction is a factor that leads to endangerment. When changes to a habitat occur rapidly, animals do not have time to adjust. Human impact threatens many species, with greater threats expected as a result of climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions.

Ethiopia has a large number of species listed as critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable to global extinction. To assess the current situation in Ethiopia, it is critical that the threatened species in this region are identified. The threatened species in Ethiopia can be broken down into three categories (based on IUCN ratings); Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable. ( Reference to Wikipedia )            



More Information

Ethiopia                                                       
Officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million people[citation needed], and the tenth-largest by area, with its 1,100,000 km². The capital is Addis Ababa.

Modern Ethiopia and its current borders are a result of significant territorial reduction in the north and expansion in the south toward its present borders, owing to several migrations and commercial integration as well as conquests, particularly by Emperor Menelik II and Ras Gobena. In 1974, the dynasty led by Haile Selassie was overthrown as civil wars intensified. Since then, Ethiopia has seen a variety of governmental systems. Ethiopia is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), G-77 and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Today, Addis Ababa is still the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI) an UNECA. The country has one of the most powerful militaries in Africa and Addis Ababa is the headquarter of the continental African Standby Force (ASF). Ethiopia is one of a few African countries where an indigenous alphabet is still used. Ethiopia also has its own time system and unique calendar, seven to eight years behind the Gregorian Calendar. It has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.


Capital
Addis Ababa   (and largest city) 
Official language(s)
-  Amharic, English 
Recognised regional languages
-  Other languages official amongst the different ethnicities and their respective regions.
Ethnic groups
-  Oromo 34.49%,
-  Amhara 26.89%,
-  Somali 6.20%,
-  Tigray 6.07%; - 
-  Sidama 4.01%,
-  Gurage 2.53%,
-  Welayta 2.31%
-  and around eighty other small ethnic groups.
Demonym
-  Ethiopian
Government
-   Federal parliamentary republic1 
-   President Girma Wolde-Giorgis 
-   Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Establishment 
-  Traditional date 980 BC  
-  Current constitution 1991 
Area 
-  Total 1,104,300 km²   (27th)     426,371 sq mi  
-  Water (%) 0.7
Population 
-  2011 estimate 82,101,998  (14th) 
-  2007 census 73,918,505  
-  Density 74/km2 (123rd)  194/sq mi  
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate 
-  Total $86.123 billion[5]  
-  Per capita $1,015[5] 
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate 
-  Total $29.717 billion[5]  
-  Per capita $350[5]  
Currency
-  Birr (ETB)
Time zone
-  EAT (UTC+3) 
-  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives
-  On the right
ISO 3166 code
-  ET
Internet TLD
-   .et
Calling code
-  251 

( Reference to Wikipedia )
 
More Country Information from Foreign & Commonwealth Office.