As a nation in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is among the oldest countries in the world that was founded around 980 B.C. Furthermore, unlike most African countries it was the first to gain independence alongside other powerful nations in the world because of its resistance to being over-powered by the Italians who had occupied a magnitude area of the Ethiopian land and had an interest in colonizing it. At that times, Ethiopia was known as Abyssinia, and its ability to resist the Italian efforts twice had placed it on the books of history that it was never colonized like Liberia or some other countries of African continent.
As a landlocked country, its landscape is mostly made up of plateaux and mountains that are almost 13,000 feet. Its plateaux have been separated by the Great Rift Valley resulting in the existence of the Western and Eastern highlands that are mostly wet due to frequent rains alongside the lowlands that are mostly dry and hot. Consequently, most of its citizens reside in the Western Highlands where also the capital of the country is – Addis Ababa.
Its climate is mild with temperatures of under 20˚c in the Western Highlands and above 30˚c in the lowlands. Annually, the country experiences favorable climate from March to October.
Population, Culture, and Religion
According to the estimates made by the United Nations recorded in the Worldometers (2017), Ethiopia currently has a population of 85 mln individuals. On the contrary, despite its population number, the country is identified as one with a lower life expectancy across the world because the estimated life span of Ethiopian women is 50 years, whereas that of the men is 48. Like most of the African countries, Ethiopia has a diverse culture and ethnicity. Their distinctions in culture practices are influenced mostly by the religious faith and practices of the people in question. A great number of the population are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, but there are also some people who are Christian Protestants and Roman Catholics. Besides, Islam is one of the major religions practiced in the country. Alongside Christianity and Islam is Judaism which was adapted from the ancient days. Also, Ethiopians practice traditional faiths which are not in line with the main religious practices. The religious practices are very strict in their doctrines up to extended restricting of some meals like pork in both the Islamic and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Moreover, there is no liberty in choosing a sexual orientation, since it is obligatory to practice heterosexuality in the country. Therefore, the practice of homosexuality is unaccepted, since it is considered illegal and evil.
While Amharic is the national language, there are many other languages that are spoken by the tribes found in the country. These are the Oromo people who make up 32% of the population, the Amara, Tigraway, Somalia, Gurage, Sidama, and the Welaita among others. In reference to the 1994 census, as recorded by the Commisceo Global Consultancy Ltd (2017), Ethiopia had close to 84 indigenous languages with English as the most spoken foreign language. In reference to their social systems, Ethiopians value their families which are mostly extended with the paternal parents being a central part of the nuclear families. Furthermore, respect for the elderly is a mandate with various courteous practices even in the greetings. Their traditional dress-code is mostly woven cotton attires that are embroidered with various colorful designs. These traditional clothes are referred to as the Netella, Kemis, and Gabbi with distinct designs for men and women.
As recorded by the World Bank (2017), Ethiopia is among the most populated countries in the Sub-Saharan parts of Africa. Besides, it is among the poorest nations considering that its economy is a transitive one and mixed with a large public sector. Despite the economic status of the Ethiopian people, it is the African country that produces the most massive amount of coffee (the 5th country in the world by the scale of this industry). The currency used in the country is referred to as the Ethiopian Birr (22.98 ETB = 1 USD). To deal with the issue of poverty and poor economic status of the country, its government is looking into privatizing most of the public sector businesses. Some of the natural resources found in Ethiopia besides land are gold, copper, natural gas, platinum and potash which are found in minimal reserves (National Geographic, 2017).
As affirmed by Aseffa (1993), Ethiopia experiences outbreaks of viral diseases which are the contributors of morbidity among infants in the country. Some of the most prevalent diseases observed in Ethiopia include measles, poliomyelitis, yellow fever, rabies, and rubella. Moreover, there are high infection rate and transmission of such illnesses as Hepatitis E, C, and A, including the transmission of HIV/AIDS which is also on the rise. To handle these diseases, the country needs to invest in an organized and efficient national laboratory for purposes of analyzing the roots which cause these diseases and health conditions of the population while finding ways to control and prevent the diseases from spreading.
The diverse ethnicity and cultural practices in Ethiopia are among the great contributors of the uniqueness of the country. Its ability to resist the Italians has ensured that it is considered a powerful nation in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. From its social and economic aspects, Ethiopia is seen as a distinct country which is impacted by the diversity of its people, languages, religions, and traditions.
A, Aseffa. (1993). Viral Diseases in Ethiopia: A Review. East African Medical Journal, vol 70, no. 10, 2017, 624-626.
National Geographic. (2017). Ethiopia Facts. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from National Geographic: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/ethiopia-facts/
The World Banl. (2017, April 17). Ethiopia Economic Overview. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/ethiopia/overview
Wordometers. (2017, May). World Populations. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from Worldometers: http://www.worldometers.info/