Country tip of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Located in the Eastern part of the African Region, Ethiopia is a country endowed with vast historical and natural resources of sparkling and contrasting physical features. It covers an area of about 1.14 million square kilometers. In the East and the South East it is bordered by the Republic of Djibouti, Somalia borders it to the East and South East, Eritrea to the North, Sudan and South Sudan to the West and South West, and Kenya to the South.
The country’s topography features high and rugged mountains, flat-topped plateaus, deep gorges, valleys, vast rolling plains and low lands. Its altitude ranges from 148 meters below sea level at the Dallol Depression in the northeast, to 4620 meters above sea level at Mount Ras Dashen-the highest peak found in the northwestern part of the country
The country’s fascinating major geographical features among others include, the Great Rift Valley - that divides the country into western and eastern highlands; and different canyons, gorges and river basins. The major rivers of the country are:-Abay, Awash, Baro, Omo, Tekeze, Genale and Wabe Shebele. They are used as sources of power generation, irrigation and transportation.
The Country climate
Ethiopia’s climate varies from cold to temperate and from tropical to sub-tropical from one part of the country to other. Although the country lies within 150onorth of the equator, owing to the influence of high altitude, significant part of its landscape enjoys a temperate and pleasant climate with average temperature rarely exceeding 200 0C.
Further to this reality, sub-tropical and tropical climates are evident in the sparsely populated lowlands of the country. At approximately 850 mm, the average annual rainfall for the whole country is considered to be moderate by global standards. In most of the highlands, rainfall occurs during two distinct seasons: These seasons are the ‘small rains’ that come during February and March, and the season of the ‘big rains’ that rain continuously from June to September every year.
Ethiopians enjoy a three century-old diverse culture and deep-rooted values. Major anthropological findings have proven this truth. This is further attested by among many others by the finding of the 3.5 million year old Australopithecus skeleton otherwise known as ‘Lucy’ discovered in the Afar Region at a particular place called Hadar including by the 4.4 million year old remains of an Australopithecus Remides which is envisaged to be man’s anthropoid ancestor. Various earliest hand tools unearthed around the same area and in some other parts of the country also signify the truth that the country is endowed with ancient history that has also made it to become one of the few preferred tourist destinations in Africa.
The people of Ethiopia are considered exclusive in the face of the world because of their ethnic and cultural diversity. About 90 million people make up the population of the country and they are represented by 80 ethnically diverse nations, nationalities and peoples who are living together in harmony; each having its own cultural identity one of the most daring attraction that most tourists consider the country a ‘must to be visited destination.’ The peoples’ unity is exemplified by their history of togetherness that has been evidenced for more than three millennia.
Amharic is the official working language of the Federal Government. Other indigenous languages i.e. Tigirigna, Oromigna, Sidamigna, Wolaytigna, Guragina, Afarigna and Somaligna are also spoken by substantial number of people. English and Arabic and French are amongst the foreign languages spoken widely.
The two major faiths that constitute significant number of followers are Coptic Christianity and Islam. The other faiths that have also substantial followers are the Catholic and Protestant faiths.
The Structure of the Government
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) is structured constituting nine regional states and two chartered cities based on the country’s Constitution promulgated in 1995. The parliament is bicameral and comprises the House of the People’s Representatives and the House of the Federation. The House of the People’s Representatives is the upper authority of the Federal Government while the House of the Federation represents the interest of the nations, nationalities and peoples of the different regions.
Elections are held every five years at which people freely elect their representatives for the seats of the Federal House of People’s Representatives (members of parliament) and members of the regional councils.
The country is administered by a Bi-Cameral Parliament
The Bi-Cameral parliament has three branches namely:- The Executive: The President, the Council of State, the Council of Ministers.
Official Name of the Country
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE)
Nine regions and two chartered city administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa) constitute the country’s administrative sub-divisions
Regional Government of the FDRE
The following Regional States are embraced under the Federal government.
1. The Regional State of Tigray
2. The Regional State of Amhara
3. The Regional State of Oromyia
4. The Regional State of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples
5. The Regional State of BenshangulGumuz
6. The Regional State of the Gambella Peoples
7. The Region State of the Harari Peoples
8. The Regional State of Afar
9. The Regional State of the Somali Peoples
Principal Government Officials
H.E. Ambassador Doctor MulatuTeshome - President
H.E. Mr. HailemariamDesalegn – Prime Minister
H.E. Mr. AbadulaGemeda, Chairman of the House of the Peoples’ Representative
H.E. Mr. KassaTeklebirhan - Chairman of the Federation Council
Type of Government
The Birr note is the monitory unit of the Ethiopian currency. The coins are minted and circulated in values of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents. The currency notes are printed in denominations of Birr 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100.
The exchange rate of the Birr is determined in the daily inter-bank market monitored by the National Bank of Ethiopia as may be necessary. Foreign currency exchanging facilities are available at the airport on arrival and at public and private banks, or licensed hotels. There are official and legal financial entities (banks) that change foreign currency both at the airport and at different parts in Addis Ababa and in many other major cities of the country.
The Julian calendar is the origin from which the Ethiopian Calendar is derived. A year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and with the remaining 5 days (or 6 days in a leap year) constituting the 13th month or otherwise known as Pagumen. The Ethiopian New Year falls on September 11th each year or on the 12thof September every leap year.
The country is located in the GMT+3 time zones. The official working hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.in the morning and 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday. Working hours for government offices on Fridays starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. and in the afternoon starts at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. The Friday morning working hour ends at 11:30 to allow the Muslim population conduct their usual prayer called Jumma. Private and some public owned businesses are often open on Saturdays.
The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela are one of the wornders of our that significant number of tourists visit each year.