16 Facts about Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country which has its own distinct alphabet, located in Eastern Africa. It borders Kenya, South Sudan, Somali, Djibouti and Sudan. Here are interesting facts about this African nation:

1. Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the highest capital city in Africa, at 2,400 metres.

2. Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa, with a population of over 90 million people by 2015. It is second to Nigeria, which had a population of over 174 million people by 2013.

3. Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. The most widely spoken of these are Amharic and Oromo. The official language of Ethiopian Orthodox Church is Geez Luckily for foreign travelers; English and Arabic are also widely spoken. English is the language of instruction in institutions of higher learning.

4. The Ark of the Covenant that holds the 10 Commandments of God is in an Orthodox Church in this country. However, only the guardians, most spiritual priests, are actually allowed to see the ark.

5. Ethiopia is one of only two nations in the world never to have been occupied. This is despite the Italians twice trying and failing to take the country. In case you were wondering, Russia is the other country. It fought against the Scramble for Africa by the Europeans.

6. The oldest fossil skeleton of a human was discovered in Ethiopia. So too was coffee, making Ethiopia the home of mankind and mankind’s favorite wake-up drink. Coffee was discovered in this country, in Kaffa region. A shepherd discovered this famous beverage when his goats ate the leaves and became restless.

7. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa with its own distinct alphabet. Actually it uses an Abugida, also known as an alpha-syllabary, which consists of 209 symbols and 25 letter variants.

8. An Ethiopian Abebe Bikila was the first African won Olympic gold medal, in 1960. He finished the marathon in first place after running the whole race barefoot.

9. About 70% of the mountains of Africa are in this country.

10. Lake Tana, the largest lake in this country, supplies the Blue Nile River, which feeds the White Nile River before joining the Great Nile River.

11. This country has been mentioned severally in the Bible and the Quran.

12. Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. The nine sites are Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Harar, Konso Cultural Landscape, and Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Simien National Park, Tiya, Oromo Errecha Festivality and True Cross Finding Day of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

13. Ethiopian is the only country in the world who have a Calendar of 13 months and it is 7 ½ years behind the Gregorian calendar. New Year in Ethiopia starts on 11th September and a day later in a leap year, Pagumea which is 5 days in the 3 successive years of time and 6 days in the 4th year.

14. Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital of the continent, since it hosts the headquarters of Kenya African and international organizations such as the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO & UNDP.

15. Ethiopia’s main exports are coffee, hides, oilseeds, beeswax and sugarcane. Ethiopia’s main source of income comes from its agricultural economy that is often affected by drought.

16. Ethiopia is one of the main destinations for tourists exploring the Horn of Africa. It has a beautiful blend of cultures and delicious exotic dishes. It has numerous airports to get you to any destination within the country. Among these key points of entry is Addis Ababa Airport, also known as Bole International Airport.