- Capital city – Addis Ababa
- Located in the tropical zone of North Eastern Africa (Horn of Africa)
- Land size approximately 1.1 million square kilometres
- Borders five countries: Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya and Somalia
- Great Rift Valley is the main geographical feature which makes parts of the country very rugged and isolated
- Dramatic variations in climate due to the topography of the country (eg the altitude of Addis Ababa is between 2,200 and 2,500 meters above sea level)
- Approximately 81,000,000
- 49.7% is female (MOH – Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)
- 85% of the population live in rural areas (MOH)
- High population growth (2.7% p.a.) – around 2 million per year (MOH)
- Low average life expectancy – 47 for males and 49 for females (MOH)
- Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa
- Annual per capita income – approximately US$100 (MOH).
- Around 47% of the population live below the poverty line (MOH).
- Reliant on agriculture – eg. coffee (makes up 55% of Ethiopia’s exports) and Tef (grain used for local consumption).
- Some mining of minerals (mainly salt) as well as limited production of gold and iron ore. These industries remain undeveloped due to a lack of capital to develop the resource deposits and the necessary supporting infrastructure.
- Fresh cut flowers is a growing export industry.
- The main language in Ethiopia is Amharic
- There are a vast number of ethnic groups and around 80 different languages
- Main religions are Christian and Muslim (approximately 50:50)
- Low adult literacy rate of 38% (Men–50% and Women – 26.6%) (WHO – World Health Organisation)
- Gender inequality results in higher enrolment rate of boys than girls in rural areas
- Malaria, HIV and tuberculosis are major causes of illness and mortality
- Floods and droughts create food insecurity that contributes to poor health, malnutrition and starvation
- 27% of women suffer from severe malnutrition (WHO)
- The rural population faces many obstacles regarding access to healthcare e.g. lack of transport to reach healthcare centres and inability to pay for health care
- Limited resources to adequately build and equip medical facilities (eg the Felege Hiwot Hospital in Bahir Dah has 200 beds, 5 specialist doctors and is the referral hospital for 20 million people).
- An ancient country with links back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (1000 BC)
- First country outside the Roman Empire to receive Christianity
- The city of Harar is the 4th most holy city in Islam
- ‘Divine’ kings ruled with the last being Emperor Haile Selassie 1 whose dynastic origins date from the 13th century
- Haile Selassie was Regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was deposed in a communist military coup.
- Current government established in 1991 after overthrowing the Communist Derg.