Meaning of ETHIOPIA in English

Amharic Ityop'iya landlocked country of eastern Africa, situated on the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered on the north by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west by The Sudan. The capital is Addis Ababa. Area 437,794 square miles (1,133,882 square km). Pop. (1996 est.) 56,713,000. Amharic Ityop'iya, landlocked country on the Horn of Africa. It shares frontiers with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, and The Sudan to the west and northwest. Its total area is 437,794 square miles (1,133,882 square kilometres). Lying completely within the tropical latitudes, the country is relatively compact, with similar north-south and east-west dimensions. The capital is Addis Ababa (New Flower), located almost at the centre of the country. Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world. Its territorial extent has varied over the millennia of its existence. In ancient times it remained centred around Aksum, an imperial capital located in the northern part of the modern state, about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from the Red Sea coast. The present territory was consolidated during the 19th and 20th centuries as European powers encroached into Ethiopia's historical domain. Ethiopia became prominent in modern world affairs first in 1896, when it defeated colonial Italy in the Battle of Adwa, and again in 193536, when it was invaded and occupied by fascist Italy. Liberation during World War II by the Allied powers set the stage for Ethiopia to play a more prominent role in world affairs. Ethiopia 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. These efforts culminated in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, both of which have their headquarters in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia's prominence in Africa and elsewhere faded during the 17-year (197491) rule of the Derg, a Marxist regime that brought the country to the verge of disaster with civil wars aggravated by famine and starvation. With yet another provisional government at the helm, its political future and economic prospects remain uncertain. Additional reading Geography Edward Ullendorff, The Ethiopians: An Introduction to Country and People, 3rd ed. (1973, reprinted 1990), is a comprehensive study, beginning with the early explorers and their impressions of the country's people and culture and including discussions of such topics as geography, anthropology, history, culture, and daily life; although some of the quantitative information is dated, the book makes interesting reading. Mesfin Wolde-Mariam, An Introductory Geography of Ethiopia (1972), is an excellent introduction providing information on the physical attributes, economic activities, population characteristics, and history of the country, and his Rural Vulnerability to Famine in Ethiopia: 19581977 (1986), offers a valuable assessment, attempting to identify the human and natural causes of food insecurity and exploring various ways of detecting vulnerability to famine and the shortcomings of the state in alleviating the danger. Donald N. Levine, Wax & Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopian Culture (1965, reprinted 1986), offers a thorough and detailed study of the culture and ethos of the politically dominant Amhara, and his Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society (1974), explores cultural parallels and connections among the many different ethnic groups of the Ethiopian mosaic. Daniel Teferra, Social History and Theoretical Analyses of the Economy of Ethiopia (1990), combines discussions on the historical geography of Ethiopia's people and on the current challenges in economic development. Jonathan Baker, The Rural-Urban Dichotomy in the Developing World: A Case Study from Northern Ethiopia (1986), treats in detail the urban patterns in parts of the country. Edmond J. Keller, Revolutionary Ethiopia: From Empire to People's Republic (1988), deals with the political transformation of Ethiopia from its monarchist order to a people's republic. Mulatu Wubneh and Yohannis Abate, Ethiopia: Transition and Development in the Horn of Africa (1988), is an excellent survey from a variety of perspectives, with discussions of the geography and history and of the country's social, cultural, political, and economic patterns. Assefa Mehretu History Harold G. Marcus, A History of Ethiopia (1994), is the only modern general history of Ethiopia from Australopithecus afarensis to the fall of the Derg in 1991. Particular periods or events are covered in Taddesse Tamrat, Church and State in Ethiopia, 12701527 (1972), which remains the only scholarly account of the golden years of the Solomonid dynasty; Mohammed Hassen, The Oromo of Ethiopia: A History, 15701860 (1990), the first modern history of the Oromo; Mordechai Abir, Ethiopia: The Era of the Princes: The Challenge of Islam and the Re-unification of the Christian Empire, 17691855 (1968), a dated but still largely accurate synthesis of the Age of the Princes; Bahru Zewde, A History of Modern Ethiopia, 18551974 (1991), a scholarly and authentically Ethiopian view; Sven Rubenson, The Survival of Ethiopian Independence (1976), an account that details the internal reasons for Ethiopia's continued independence during the epoch of modern European imperialism; Christopher Clapham, Haile-Selassie's Government (1969), an analysis of Haile Selassie's highly developed monarchical and authoritarian state; and John W. Harbeson, The Ethiopian Transformation: The Quest for the Post-Imperial State (1988), a detailed account of the Mengistu years (197491) that argues against an Ethiopian revolution but for the notion of transformation. Harold G. Marcus Administration and social conditions Government Ethiopia's ancient system of feudal government experienced significant changes under Haile Selassie I, who carefully grafted onto the traditional governing institutions a weak parliament of appointed and elected legislators, a judiciary with modernized civil and criminal codes and a hierarchy of courts, and an executive cabinet of ministers headed by a prime minister but answerable to himself. The Derg took power in 1974 and promised to bring revolutionary change to Ethiopia. Promulgating itself as the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC) and later as the Workers' Party of Ethiopia (WPE), the Derg instituted a Soviet-style government with a state president and a house of deputies that were answerable to a revolutionary council with a politburo at the top. In May 1991 the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) entered the capital. The EPRDF introduced a temporary constitution called the National Charter, created an 87-member assembly known as the State Council, and proceeded to form a cabinet for the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE). The TGE endorsed the secession of Eritrea, realigned provincial boundaries in an attempt to create ethnic homogenates, demobilized the national armed forces, and suspended the courts and enforcing agencies. Education Ethiopia maintains two educational systems. The traditional system is rooted in Christianity and Islam. Christian education at the primary level is often conducted by clergy in the vicinity of places of worship. Higher education, with emphasis on traditional Christian dogma, is still run by most major centres of worship, the most prominent being monasteries in the northern and northwestern provinces. Graduation from these centres leads to a position within the priesthood and church hierarchy. Modern education was an innovation of the emperors Menilek II (reigned 18891913) and Haile Selassie I (193074), who established an excellent, but limited, system of primary and secondary education. In addition, colleges of liberal arts, technology, public health, building, law, social work, business, agriculture, and theology were opened in the 1950s and '60s. In 1961 Haile Selassie I University (now Addis Ababa University) was created to centralize the administration of higher education in the country. The Derg expanded primary education and gave university designation to the Agricultural College in Alemaya near Harer and to the Medical College in Gonder. Nevertheless, with only about 40 percent of the primary, 15 percent of the secondary, and 1 percent of the tertiary age groups enrolled, Ethiopia's educational system is still grossly inadequate. Cultural life The cultural heritage of Ethiopians 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); however, there are commonalities that form strong and recognizable national traits. Most Ethiopians place less importance on artifacts of culture than they do on an idealized ethos of cultural refinement as reflected in a respect for human sanctity, the practice of social graces, and the blessings of accumulated wisdom. 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 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 influence of the Ethiopian Orthodox church on the national culture has been strong. Easter (Amharic: Yetinsa-e Be-al, or Fassika), Christmas (Yelidet Be-al, or Genna), and the Finding of the True Cross (Meskel) have become dominant national holidays. In an effort to reduce the dominance of the Christian church, both the Derg and the current regime have elevated the status of Isla m. Major Islamic holidays include 'Id al-Fitr (ending the fast of Ramadan) and 'Id al-Adha (ending the period of pilgrimage to Mecca). Assefa Mehretu

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