Lifestyle Travel

10 Interesting Facts about Ethiopia

Written by Wamiq Ali

Ethiopia is an ancient country. Africa itself hosts evidence of one of the ancient precursors of the homo-sapiens; the fossils remains found in the modern day prove this fact. It’s a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa; surrounded by Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan. Capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa and among the other 55 countries in Africa (the number 55 is a liberal estimate based on African Union, as Western Sahara is sometimes recognised a disputed territory) Ethiopia shares a pretty old history just like Egypt. The country is sometimes underrated, but these facts would instil a different kind of importance in the mind of the reader about Ethiopia.

1. Ethiopia is a home to one of the ancient civilisations

Since everyone knows that Ethiopia was once known as Abyssinia (as used by Arab writers); therefore people know the importance of this place in theology. D’MT is one of the ancient kingdoms of Ethiopia, in times around 1000BC – 400BC. It had contacts with the Egypt such as trade and others. Ethiopians claim that this was the time when Queen Sheba converted due to the preaching of Prophet Solomon. Further, it’s claimed that during that particular period, the Ark of Covenant was brought in the church present in Ethiopia.

In Around 1st century BC, Aksum empire started to take shape in Ethiopia, since D’MT had fallen. The expansion of this empire took place till around 940 AD. Gold currency was used for trading. The theological shift in Ethiopia took place when King Ezana converted his religion to Christianity in 2nd century AD. He attempted to further expand the Ethiopia. The influence of the Kingdom spread to the present day Yemen, until the Arabs Muslims due to the spread of Islam reclaimed the space in around 7th century. Resultantly, the Kingdom of Aksum started to decline.

The recent dynasty ruled Ethiopia between 13th and 20th century, and it claimed to be a descent from the Solomonic blood line.

2. Ethiopia along with Liberia were two countries in Africa which didn’t get colonised

Africa has a long history of colonisation, on the contrary, Ethiopia was the only country along with Liberia which were never colonised. Definitely, Liberia was protected by the Americans as Monroe created it for sending back Africans. On the contrary, Ethiopia survived on its own. It was colonised for a couple of years when Italy attacked the territory under Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, in year 1936, yet as the period of occupation was small so it’s not effectively regarded as being colonised. An earlier attempt of Italy to take control of the Ethiopia in 1880s was foiled. US and Russia accepted Ethiopia as a free country and allowed for its joining of the League of Nations, on the contrary Italians didn’t like such claims. In 1941, it was finally independent.

3. Ethiopia is second most populous country in Africa

As of 2020, Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa. The most populous country is Nigeria. The census held in 2007 indicates that around 73.7 million people live in Ethiopia. The capital of the Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is the most populous city in the country with around 2.7million people, according to one estimate.

4. According to a Legend, coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia

Coffee, which holds a special place in the morning routine of many people was first discovered in Ethiopia. The heritage of coffee plants go back to the ancient coffee plants on the Ethiopian plateau. The legend says that an ancient goat herder found that when his goats ate berries from a certain tree, they weren’t sleeping at night and proved to be more fresh and active. The ancient herder reported his findings and eventually found that after making a drink out of those berries and later consuming it made a person harder to fall asleep. Later the word spread out and Arabs learned about the berries. Later, it was introduced to Europe by 17th century. Eventually it came to the new world, the America.

5. Ethiopia has thirteen months to the year and calendar

It’s not uncommon to find that different cultures have different types of calendars. Ethiopia uses a 13 months per year calendar. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a major influence on the system. On September 12, 2012, Ethiopians welcomed the year 2012. The following of the calendar and different dates is actually based on the religious beliefs of the people in Ethiopia. Orthodox Church of Ethiopia suggests that the world had listened about the Prophet Jesus birth around 8 years later as compared with Ethiopia; therefore, their calendar is 8 years behind the world. Upon further explanation, it appears that Ethiopia uses 30 uniform days months, therefore the remaining extra days are placed in 13th month.

6. Ethiopians use a different sort of clock as compared with the world

The time telling of Ethiopians is different when compared with the rest of the world. They use the technique as first used by the ancient Africans. So, 7am is considered the first hour of the day while 7pm is considered the first hour of the night. Keeping up with the counting 12pm becomes the 6th hour and 1am becomes the 7th hour. So, their clock is divided into 12 hours, first 12 hour is about the sun while the next 12 hour which starts again is about the absence of the sun.

7. Addis Ababa holds the Headquarter of African Union and important United Nations Office

Addis Ababa is pretty important when it comes to becoming the home of the African Union. African Union was founded in 2002, currently African Union is attempting to create a free trade region in order to revive the economy of the continent. It contains 55 countries as its member. Regionalism finds home in Addis Ababa.

Further, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is also situation in the same city. Addis Ababa as we know is also the capital of the Ethiopia. The meaning of the word Addis Ababa is New Flower in Amharic language.

8. Ethiopia is one of the least calorie consuming countries and mostly vegetarian

Due to the Orthodox Church, Ethiopians mostly consume vegetarian diet. There are a variety of vegan foods and dishes available in Ethiopia. Many locals claim that Ethiopia offers the true essence of the ancestors culture of the hominids. Further, according to the Huffpost and other sources, Ethiopia is one of the least calorie consuming countries. Ethiopia ranks 7 on the scale of those countries which consume least calories. United States of America along with Austria tops the list of the most calorie consuming countries.

9. Abebe Bikila – the world record holder of twice Olympic marathon winner is from Ethiopia

Abebe Bikila was the first African to win a gold medal in the Olympic Marathon which was held in the year 1960. Reports suggest that he ran bare footed. Later, to everyone’s surprise, after four years he won the Olympic Marathon again, setting up a new record of its own kind. Abebe Bikila became the first person to win the race twice. He was a back-to-back Olympic Marathon winner.

10. Ethiopia is one of the world’s poor countries with less economic prosperity

The country faces several economic challenges, as Africa itself is pretty much backward once it comes to economic competition in the capitalist lead order. Poverty is Africa is pretty much prevalent, and in the past we explored some causes of the poverty. In 2017-18 the GDP growth rate of Ethiopia was 7.7%, according to the World Bank estimates. The population living below the poverty line is 24% as per the 2016 stats.

Political disruptions and an under-developed private sectors are one of the major impediments in the economic growth of the Ethiopia. In 2018, Ethiopia has a GDP of 84.3 billion. Ethiopia has a yearly exports of around $3bn, while having imports of $15bn, as shown by thew 2018 stats. The data shows a trade deficit. The currency of Ethiopia is Ethiopian Birr which amounts to 1USD = 32 Ethiopian Birr in year 2020.

GDP per capita of Ethiopia is around 700USD whereas comparing it with the developed world especially the US, which stands at an average of 59,000USD shows the petty state of affairs.

About the author

Wamiq Ali

Programmer, Blogger and an Entrepreneur trying to make this web a better place by making others learn for free.

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