Portal:Ethiopia

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Introduction

Flag of Ethiopia.svg

Ethiopia (/ˌθiˈpiə/; Amharic: ኢትዮጵያ, ʾĪtyōṗṗyā, About this sound listen ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ, yeʾĪtiyoṗṗya Fēdēralawī Dēmokirasīyawī Rīpebilīk About this sound listen ), is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north and northeast, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. It occupies a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi), and its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa.

Some of the oldest skeletal evidence for anatomically modern humans has been found in Ethiopia. It is widely considered as the region from which modern humans first set out for the Middle East and places beyond. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations settled in the Horn region during the ensuing Neolithic era. Tracing its roots to the 2nd millennium BC, Ethiopia's governmental system was a monarchy for most of its history. In the first centuries AD, the Kingdom of Aksum maintained a unified civilization in the region, followed by the Ethiopian Empire circa 1137. During the late 19th-century Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia was one of two nations to retain its sovereignty from long-term colonialism by a European colonial power. Many newly-independent nations on the continent subsequently adopted its flag colours. Ethiopia was also the first independent member from Africa of the 20th-century League of Nations and the United Nations. In 1974, the Ethiopian monarchy under Haile Selassie was overthrown by the Derg, a communist military government backed by the Soviet Union. In 1987, the Derg established the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, but it was overthrown in 1991 by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has been the ruling political coalition since.

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Crater Lake
Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Crater Lake, Debre Zeyt, Ethiopia

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Aksumite currency was the only native currency to be issued in Africa without direct control by an outside culture like the Romans or Greeks. It was issued and circulated from the middle of the height of the Kingdom of Aksum under King Endubis around AD 270 until it began its decline in the first half of the 7th century. No sub-Saharan state would mint coins after Aksum until the Kilwa Sultanate in the tenth century.

Aksum's currency served as a vessel of propaganda demonstrating the kingdom's wealth and promoting the national religion (first polytheistic and later Oriental Christianity), as well as facilitating the Red Sea trade on which it thrived. The coinage has also proved invaluable in providing a reliable chronology of Aksumite kings due to the lack of extensive archaeological work in the area. (Read more...)

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Blue Nile Falls Ethiopia.jpg
Credit: Jialiang Gao

The Blue Nile Falls fed by Lake Tana near the city of Bahar Dar, Ethiopia forms the upstream of the Blue Nile.

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In the news

Wikinews Ethiopia portal
  • August 27: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signs peace deal
  • August 12: Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007
  • September 21: Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as Ethiopia's prime minister
  • August 22: Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi dies at 57
  • October 19: Jailed Swedish journalists tried as terrorists
  • November 8: Haile Gebrselassie announces retirement from athletics
  • March 5: BBC: Ethiopian famine aid 'siphoned off' to buy weapons according to rebels, report
  • February 10: UK loses appeal to conceal Binyam Mohamed torture
  • February 8: "Black box" found near crash site of Ethiopian Airlines flight
  • January 31: Gaddafi loses African Union chair

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Selassie restored.jpg

Haile Selassie I (Ge'ez: ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ, "Power of the Trinity") (23 July 1892 – 27 August 1975), born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. The heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century, and from there by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history.

At the League of Nations in 1936, the Emperor condemned the use of chemical weapons by Italy against his people. His internationalist views led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations, and his political thought and experience in promoting multilateralism and collective security have proved seminal and enduring. His suppression of rebellions among the nobles (mekwannint), as well as what some perceived to be Ethiopia's failure to modernize adequately, earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians.

Haile Selassie is revered as God incarnate among the Rastafari movement, the number of followers is estimated between 200,000 and 800,000. Begun in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafarian movement perceives Haile Selassie as a messianic figure who will lead the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora to a golden age of peace, righteousness, and prosperity.

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