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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Ethiopia

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Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of the 1936-41 Italian occupation during World War II. 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 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission in November 2007 remotely demarcated the border by geographical coordinates, but final demarcation of the boundary on the ground is currently on hold because of Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender territory considered sensitive to Ethiopia. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for almost 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 $350 million in 2006, 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 imf voted to forgive ethiopia's debt to the body. under ethiopia's constitution, the state 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 3.3% decline in gdp in 2003. normal weather patterns helped agricultural and gdp growth recover during 2004-07.

Environmental Issues

Deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management

Government Type

Federal republic


82,544,840 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Eastern africa, west of somalia


Total: 1,127,127 sq km land: 1,119,683 sq km water: 7,444 sq km

Slightly less than twice the size of texas

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: federal democratic republic of ethiopia conventional short form: ethiopia local long form: ityop'iya federalawi demokrasiyawi ripeblik local short form: ityop'iya former: abyssinia, italian east africa abbreviation: fdre


Name: addis ababa geographic coordinates: 9 02 n, 38 42 e time difference: utc+3 (8 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; theoretically, no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct call-ups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2008)

International Disputes

Eritrea and ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 eritrea-ethiopia boundary commission's (eebc) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the november 2006 eebc demarcation statement; un peacekeeping mission to ethiopia and eritrea (unmee), which has monitored the 25-km-wide temporary security zone in eritrea since 2000, is extended for six months in 2007 despite eritrean restrictions on its operations and reduced force of 17,000; the undemarcated former british administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within ethiopia's ogaden and southern somalia's oromo region; ethiopian forces invaded southern somalia and routed islamist courts from mogadishu in january 2007; "somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in berbera and trade ties to landlocked ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with ethiopia

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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