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ethiopia - Newest pictures
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World> Countries> Ethiopia

Facts & Figures
President:Mulatu Teshome Wirtu (2013)
Prime Minister:Hailemariam Desalegn (2012)
Land area:432,310 sq mi (1,119,683 sq km);total area:435,186 sq mi (1,127,127 sq km)
Population (2012 est.):93,815,992 (growth rate: 3.18%); birth rate: 42.59/1000; infant mortality rate: 75.29/1000; life expectancy: 56.56; density per sq km: 69
Capital and largest city (2009 est.):Addis Ababa, 2,863,000
Monetary unit:Birr
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Geography
Ethiopia is in east-central Africa, bordered on the west by the Sudan, the east by Somalia and Djibouti, the south by Kenya, and the northeast by Eritrea. It has several high mountains, the highest of which is Ras Dashan at 15,158 ft (4,620 m). The Blue Nile, or Abbai, rises in the northwest and flows in a great semicircle before entering the Sudan. Its chief reservoir, Lake Tana, lies in the northwest.
Government
Federal republic.
History
Archeologists have found the oldest known human ancestors in Ethiopia, includingArdipithecus ramidus kadabba(c. 5.8–5.2 million years old) andAustralopithecus anamensis(c. 4.2 million years old). Originally called Abyssinia, Ethiopia is sub-Saharan Africa's oldest state, and its Solomonic dynasty claims descent from King Menelik I, traditionally believed to have been the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. The current nation is a consolidation of smaller kingdoms that owed feudal allegiance to the Ethiopian emperor.
Hamitic peoples migrated to Ethiopia from Asia Minor in prehistoric times. Semitic traders from Arabia penetrated the region in the 7th centuryB.C.Its Red Sea ports were important to the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Coptic Christianity was brought to the region inA.D.341, and a variant of it became Ethiopia's state religion. Ancient Ethiopia reached its peak in the 5th century, then was isolated by the rise of Islam and weakened by feudal wars.
Modern Ethiopia emerged under Emperor Menelik II, who established its independence by routing an Italian invasion in 1896. He expanded Ethiopia by conquest. Disorders that followed Menelik's death brought his daughter to the throne in 1917, with his cousin, Tafari Makonnen, as regent and heir apparent. When the empress died in 1930, Tafari was crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Haile Selassie, called the “Lion of Judah,” outlawed slavery and tried to centralize his scattered realm, in which 70 languages were spoken. In 1931, he created a constitution, revised in 1955, that called for a parliament with an appointed senate, an elected chamber of deputies, and a system of courts. But basic power remained with the emperor.
Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia on Oct. 3, 1935, forcing Haile Selassie into exile in May 1936. Ethiopia was annexed to Eritrea, then an Italian colony, and to Italian Somaliland, forming Italian East Africa. In 1941, British troops routed the Italians, and Haile Selassie returned to Addis Ababa. In 1952, Eritrea was incorporated into Ethiopia.


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