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ETHIOPIA – “THE BIRTHPLACE”

In the morning of the world when the finger of love swept aside the curtains of time, our dusky mother, Ethiopia held the stage. it was she who wooed civilization and gave birth to nations.

Ethiopia, a country on the Horn of Africa, is one of the world’s oldest countries and the oldest in sub-Saharan Africa. The capital is Addis Ababa (“New Flower”), located almost at the center of the country. Ethiopia is the largest and most populated country in the Horn of Africa. And the second-most populous country in Africa.

It’s Solomonic dynasty, also known as the House of Solomon, is the former ruling dynasty of the Ethiopian Empire. That claims lineal descent from the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.

Tradition asserts that the queen conceived from King Solomon during her visit to Jerusalem, and gave birth to Menelik I, who became King in Ethiopia Empire.

Ethiopia is bounded by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and South Sudan and Sudan to the west. It is mountainous, separated from the Red Sea by hot lowland deserts; with serval high mountains such as Mount Bale, Mount Ras Dashen, Mount Bwahit, Mount Tullu Dimtu, amongst others. Ethiopia is home to over 20 lakes, the Blue Nile and Tekeze river, Lake Tana is the main reservoir for the Blue Nile River, which is located northwest into Sudan.

There is four natural biomes vegetation in Ethiopia. The Savana, the mountain vegetation; the tropical thickets and wooded steppe, and the desert steppe vegetation.

Ethiopia has an extraordinary range of rich variety of wildlife, such as Lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses,  wild buffalo, and many others, with 242 listed mammal species, 28 of which are endemic.

Archaeologically, East Africa particularly Ethiopia is the birthplace for humankind.  In 1974, a 3.2 million-year-old fossil, skeleton of a human ancestor (Lucy), was discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia.

Ethiopia was not colonized by any western power, it became prominent in modern world affairs first in 1896, when it defeated colonial Italy in the Battle of Adwa, and again in 1935–36, when it was invaded and occupied by fascist Italy.

Its contribution during World War II set the stage for Ethiopia to play a more prominent role in world affairs and was among the first independent nations to sign the Charter of the United Nations, and it gave moral and material support to the decolonization of Africa and to the growth of Pan-African cooperation.

Ethiopia is one of the world’s fastest-growing economy, with a growth of  9.5% and 9.8% in the most recent period. Ethiopia’s economic growth is concentrated on Industry,  Services (hospitality and transportation), and mostly Agriculture. Also not to forget the aviation sector, which is now the biggest in Africa.

Industrialization is a major focus in Ethiopia today, promoting the growth in food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, chemicals, metals processing, cement, and most especially the energy sector.

Its principal crops include coffee, pulses (e.g., beans), oilseeds, cereals, potatoes, sugarcane, and vegetables. Exports are almost entirely agricultural commodities, Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, the only country/region where coffee is endemic, it is the largest foreign exchange earner. Ethiopia is also Africa’s second-biggest maize producer.

Ethiopia is populated with over 109.2 million people with over 80 different ethnic groups. The Oromo (34.6%) Amhara (27.1%) Somali (6.1%) and Tigrayan (6.1%) are the major ethnic groups. There are three major linguistic families in Ethiopia, the Cushitic, Semitic, and Nilo-Saharan, with over 100 languages that can be classified into four groups. The two most widely spoken languages in the country are Afro-Asiatic languages, which are mainly the Cushitic and the Semitic.

The Oromo (formerly called Galla), is the largest ethnolinguistic group of Ethiopia, constituting more than one-third of the population, speaking a language of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The “Oromo” ethnic category is composed of a number of linguistically related groups including the Boran, Shewa, and Welega. They occupied all of southern Ethiopia, with some settling along the Tana River in Kenya; most of the central and western Ethiopian provinces, including the southern parts of the Amhara region; and, farther north, the Welo and Tigre regions near Eritrea.

The Amhara is the second-largest ethnolinguistic but the oldest group in Ethiopia. They constitute more than one-fourth of the country’s population, Speaking an Afro-Asiatic language belonging to the Southwest Semitic group.

The Amhara ethnic group long dominated the history of Ethiopia, and (Amharic) is the official language of the country. The Amhara are primarily agriculturists, producing corn (maize), wheat, barley, sorghum, and teff (Eragrostis tef), a cereal grass that is grown for its grain and is a staple of the region.

The most typical dishes in Ethiopia are wats and Alechas, stews redolent with spices, and aromatic vegetables. vegetarian dishes are  Legumes such as lentils or chickpeas. Other popular dishes include kitfo, chopped raw beef served with berbere.

Ethiopia is multicultural and multiethnic with the most important differences on the basis of linguistic categorization.

Religions beliefs have been a major influence in Ethiopia, nearly half of its population attends the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (called Tewahdo in Ethiopia)  Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia in the 4th century.

Islam was introduced in the 7th century and is now practiced by about one-third of Ethiopians. It is most important in the outlying regions, particularly in the Eastern Lowlands, but there are local concentrations throughout the country.

Only a small fraction of Ethiopians are animists who worship a variety of African deities. The majority of these traditionalists are speakers of Nilotic languages, such as the Kunama, and are located in the Western Lowlands.

Ethiopia’s cultural heritage resides in their religions, languages, and extended families. All major language and religious groups have their own cultural practices which also vary by geographic location. Its religion provides the basic tenets of morality. The invocation of God is often all that is needed to seal agreements, deliver on promises, and seek justifiable redress. Hospitality is reckoned with the ultimate expression of grace in social relations. Old age earns respect and prominence in society, especially because of the piety, wisdom, knowledge, prudence, and altruism that it is supposed to bestow.

The name Ethiopia invokes a unique identity incongruent with Africa. The name was coined by outsiders, who lavished Ethiopians with praises and ‘blamelessness,’ thereby, in the process, extrapolating an external source for the origin of Ethiopia’s history and culture. According to Ethiopia’s tradition, the term Ethiopia is derived from the word Ethiopis, the name of the twelfth king of Ethiopia.

 

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