The African country of Ethiopia enjoys the distinction of being the continent’s oldest independent country. The country could have also laid claim to the distinction of never being colonized if it wasn’t for Mussolini, who reigned over the country for a brief period of five years. Apart from being known for the above mentioned facts, Ethiopia is also known for its prolonged civil conflicts, droughts and famines. The country is also putting up with an issue in the form of a border war with neighboring Eritrea. Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in the continent of Africa. In terms of geographical area occupied (1,100,000 square kilometers), it is the tenth largest country in Africa. Ethiopia is surrounded by Sudan in the west, Somalia in the east, Kenya in the South and a hostile Eritrea in the north. The country, compared to its ‘peers’, is relatively old and can trace its roots back to the 10th century BC. It, in fact, is one of the oldest countries in the world. Read on to know more about this strong-willed African country, Ethiopia.
Interesting & Fun Facts About Ethiopia
- The country of Ethiopia is located west of Somalia, in Eastern Africa. The country, in size, is almost twice as big as the state of Texas.
- Ethiopia experiences a tropical weather, with changes in weather depending on the topography of a particular location in the country.
- The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is the official name of the country of Ethiopia. Addis Abba is the Capital of Ethiopia.
- The official monetary unit of Ethiopia is known as the Birr. A single Birr is valued at a hundred cents.
- Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali, and Amharic are the languages spoken all over Ethiopia.
- Almost half of the Ethiopian population is believed to be Christian. Ethiopia was the first country to declare Christianity as its national religion and also the first country to mint coins with a Cross on them.
- Ethiopia’s chief exports include sugarcane, beeswax, coffee, hides, and oilseeds.
- After Christianity, the other major religion in Ethiopia is Islam. So that makes Christianity and Islam as the country’s two main religions.
- Ethiopia is one of Africa’s faster growing non-oil economies and thrives on the success of its agriculture industry. The agriculture industry, however, is often dented by frequent droughts.
- Meles Zenawi is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. He owes his loyalties to the People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front and won the May 2010 elections to become the Prime Minister. This is Meles Zenawi’s fourth term in office.
- Ethiopia, in the past, for many years was headed only by female rulers. A legend has it that even Alexander the Great stopped at the borders of Ethiopia because he did not want to risk being defeated by a woman.
- Ethiopia has a unique way of counting the hours of the day, and even functions within the limits of a thirteen-month calendar.
- The town of Dallol in Ethiopia has the world's highest average annual temperature of 34 °C.
- The Mursi tribe, one of the fiercest tribes in Africa calls Ethiopia its home. The women of the tribe are famous for wearing lip plates. This was done to appear less attractive to slave traders, who were known to sell them in Western countries!