(pronounced "MELL-ez zeh-NAH-wee")
"We are now able to make the transition to a fully democratic government which will satisfy the wishes of our peoples and their centuries-old longing for such a system."
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is situated in northeastern Africa. To the north lies Eritrea and the Red Sea; to the east, Djibouti and Somalia; to the south, Kenya; and to the west, Sudan. Its total area is 1.1 million sq km (435,186 sq mi) and consists of high plateaus, mountains, and dry lowland plains.
The population of Ethiopia was estimated at 67,673,031 in 2002. Ethnically, the country is comprised of 40% Oromo, 32% Amhara and Tigre, and 9% Sidamo, with the remainder made up of other groups. Religiously, about 40% of the population is Ethiopian Orthodox; about 45% is Muslim; and the remainder practice indigenous beliefs. Amharic is the official language; Tigrinya, Orominga, Arabic, and English are also spoken.
Ethiopia's economy is among the least developed in the world. Its per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at US $600 in 2000. The chief source of livelihood is agriculture. About 90% of Ethiopians are subsistence farmers. Coffee is the country's primary cash crop; other exports include hides and skins, pulses (vegetables and legumes), and live animals. The Ethiopian unit of currency is the birr .
Office of the Prime Minister
PO Box 1013
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia