Ethiopia :Profiles of Least Developed Countries

Medeshi April 25, 2009
Profiles of Least Developed Countries
Region: Eastern Africa
Capital: Addis Ababa
Population: 77,000,000 (2008)
Surface area: 1 104 300 square km
Currency: birr
Background:Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule. One exception was the Italian occupation of 1936-41. In 1974 a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995.
Economy – overview:Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $156 million in 2002, but historically low prices have seen many farmers switching to qat to supplement income.
Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. The government estimates that annual growth of 7% is needed to reduce poverty.
United Nations Membership date: 13 November 1945
New York Mission:Permanent Mission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the United Nations

866 United Nations Plaza, Third Floor, New York, N.Y. 10017

Telephone: 212-421-1830Fax: 212-754-0360