Ethiopia at a Glance

The Country

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE)

Capital City

Addis Ababa, which is also the seat of the African Union (AU) and United nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), among others.

Other main cities

Adama, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Gondar, Harar, Hawassa, Jimma, Mekele and Dire Dawa

Administrative division

There are nine regional states, and two city administrations, including Addis Ababa.

Commercial Language



Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a great variety of languages spoken; out of which 83 have over 2000 dialects. Amharic is the working language of the Federal Government. Oromiffa and Tigrigna are other major languages widely spoken in the country.

English is a medium of instruction in junior and secondary schools, and higher educational institutions; and widely spoken, particularly, in business transactions.


Ethiopia uses the Julian calendar which divides the year into 12 months of 30 days each. The remaining five or six days in a leap year, constitute the short 13th month known as “Pagume”. The calendar is seven years behind the Western or Gregorian Calendar, with the Ethiopian New Year falling on the 11th of September.


Units of currency are the Birr and cents. The Birr is divided into 100 cents.

GDP per Capital

USD550 (2012/13)


Over 84.8 Million (2012/13)

Population Density

74.4 per sq. km (2012/13)

Land Size

1,127,127 km² (935,183 miles²)


Ethiopia is located at the northeastern part of Africa extending 30 to 150 north of the equator and 330 to 480 east of the Greenwich Meridian. Ethiopia enjoys a unique location at crossroad between Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Arable land

513,000 square kilometers (45%)

Irrigated land

34,200 square kilometers (3%)


There are two major seasons encompassing dry and wet seasons. The dry season prevails from October through May. The wet season runs from June to September. Much of Ethiopia has a surprisingly temperate climate by African standards, because of its elevation.


Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height from 2,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level. In the North and centre of the country, there are some 25 mountains whose peaks reach over 4,000 meters.

The most famous Ethiopian river is the Blue Nile or Abay, which flows a distance of 1,450 kms from its source to join the White Nile at Khartoum.


Major religions in the country are Christianity and Islam. But there are a number of traditional religions as well. One prominent feature of Ethiopia is religious tolerance that exists among different religious groups.

Working hours

Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 time zones. The government office hours are 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm from Monday through Thrusday; and 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm on Fridays.

Political system

Federal with multi-party system

Head of State

President: Dr. Mulatu Teshome

Head of Government

Prime Minister: Hailemariam Dessalegn


Data Source: Ethiopian Investment Guide 2014