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In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea late in the 1990's ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. Final demarcation of the boundary is currently on hold due to Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia. Location: Eastern Africa, west of Somalia land: 1,119,683 sq km Area comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Texas Land boundaries: total: 5,328 km border countries: Djibouti 349 km, Eritrea 912 km, Kenya 861 km, Somalia 1,600 km, Sudan 1,606 km Coastline: 0 km (landlocked) Maritime claims: none (landlocked) Climate: tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation Terrain: high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley Elevation extremes: lowest point: Denakil Depression -125 m highest point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m Natural resources: small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower Natural hazards: geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts Environment current issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management Geography - note: landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean Population of Ethiopia Population: 74,777,981 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 43.7% (male 16,373,718/female 16,280,766) 15-64 years: 53.6% (male 19,999,482/female 20,077,014) 65 years and over: 2.7% (male 929,349/female 1,117,652) Median age: 17.8 years Growth rate: 2.31% Infant mortality: 93.62 deaths/1,000 live births Life expectancy at birth: total population: 49.03 years male: 47.86 years female: 50.24 years Fertility rate: 5.22 children born/woman Nationality: noun: Ethiopian(s) adjective: Ethiopian Ethnic groups: Oromo 40%, Amhara and Tigre 32%, Sidamo 9%, Shankella 6%, Somali 6%, Afar 4%, Gurage 2%, other 1% Religions: Muslim 45%-50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35%-40%, animist 12%, other 3%-8% Languages: Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools) Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 42.7% male: 50.3% female: 35.1% if we talk about economy Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $156 million in 2002, but historically low prices have seen many farmers switching to qat to supplement income. The war with Eritrea in 1998-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular coffee production. In November 2001, Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, and in December 2005 the International Monetary Fund voted to forgive Ethiopia's debt to the body. Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. Drought struck again late in 2002, leading to a 2% decline in GDP in 2003. Normal weather patterns late in 2003 helped agricultural and GDP growth recover in 2004-05.


Edited bymicco on 21.11.2006 blienassefa on 19.11.2006 water001 on 31.08.2006 blienassefa on 17.06.2006

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