INTRO TO COUNTRY
Ethiopia is the oldest independent landlocked country, situated in the Horn of Africa. It is the second most populous country in Africa. Ethiopia shares a border with Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan. The Ethiopian people, regardless of ethnicity or nationality, are often referred to as Habesha. Many people find Habesha identity an important source of pride since it highlights the differences between their culture and other countries in Africa.
Population: 110,871,031 (estimated in July 2021)
GDP: 92.154 billion USD
Official Religion: Christianity - Ethiopian Orthodox (48.3%), Islam (31.8%)
Capital: Addis Ababa
Government Type: Federal Parliamentary Republic
What makes Ethiopia's culture different from other African nations? This is due to the fact that they don't have much contact with Western culture. In addition to Ethiopia's unique language (similar to those of other African countries), Ethiopia retains a unique alphabet, unique time zone where the clock begins at 6 in the morning rather than midnight, and its own calendar. The Ethiopian calendar is seven years behind the Georgian one.
Ethiopians traditionally eat Injera food and fasting is a very important practice. Their favorite sport is track and field, in which they have won several Olympic medals. Moreover, each ethnic community in Ethiopia is associated with a specific type of music, for instance, the Manzuma rhythm is associated with Muslim communities. Some of their popular musical instruments are Aerophones, Chordophones, Membranophones, and Idiophones.
In Ethiopia, COVID-19 resulted in unemployment and reduced household incomes. The survey conducted in April 2020 revealed that due to the pandemic around half of the total households reported reduced income or no income at all.
Politically, Ethiopia faces a number of domestic challenges. Keeping the pandemic in check is a major crisis in itself. However, equally challenging is dealing with the conflict in the Tigray region (North of Ethiopia). Unless there is common ground, solution divides could deepen instability and conflict resulting in widespread suffering.
Ethiopia is a multilingual nation, with around 80 ethnolinguistic groups, the four largest of which are the Oromo, Amhara, Somali and Tigrayans. A majority of the population adheres to Christianity (mainly the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and P'ent'ay), while a third follow Islam, primarily Sunni. The country is the site of the Islamic Migration to Abyssinia and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa, at Negash.