Ethiopia at a Glance


Official Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE)

Political system: Federal State with multi-party system.

Capital City: Addis Ababa, which is also the seat of the African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Location: Ethiopia’s location gives it strategic dominance as a jumping off point in the Horn of Africa, close to the Middle East and Europe markets.

Area: 1.104 million square kilometers

Arable land: 513,000 square kilometers (45%)

Irrigated land: 34,200 square kilometers (3%)

Population: Appx. 105 million (2018)

Population density: Appx. 90.5 per square kilometer (2017)

GDP per capita: US$ 846 (2017)

Language: Ethiopia is a multiethnic state with more than 80 languages and 200 dialects. Amharic is the working language of the Federal Government, while Oromiffa and Tigrigna are widely spoken. English is taught in schools and is the main business language.

Climate: Temperate in the highlands, ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) and hot in the lowlands, often reaching 45°C (113°F). Rainfall ranges from 200 mm to 2000 mm.

Rainy Seasons: Abundant rain in June through August; mild rains in February and March.

Topography: Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height from 2,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level. In the North and center of the country there are some 25 mountains whose peaks reach over 4,000 meters. The most famous Ethiopia river is Blue Nile or Abbay, which flows a distance of 1,450 kilometers from its source to join the White Nile at Khartoum.

Economy: More than 70% of the population earns a living from the land mainly as substance farmers. Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy, and the principal exports from this sector are coffee, oil seeds, pulses, flowers, vegetables, sugar and food stuffs for animals. There is also thriving livestock sector, exporting cattle, hides and skins.

Currency: The units of currency are the birr and cents. Notes are 100,50,10 and 5 birr.

Time: Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 time zone. It follows the Julian calendar, which consists of 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of five (or six days on a leap year).

Working hours: Government office hours are 8:30 am - 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm - 5:30 pm from Monday through Thursday; and 8:30 am to 11:30 and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm on Fridays.