Ethiopia Population

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Addis Ababa (New Flower)

With a increasing population of 4 million people, Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa is located at the geographic center of the nation and is the political and cultural center of Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa, which means “New Flower” in Amharic, is an interestingly indigenous African city. Founded in 1896 by Emperor Menelik II, Addis Ababa is the last in a succession of capitals of the great Abyssinian Empire dating back to the pre-Christian Axum.

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Ethiopia in Africa

Ethiopia is the oldest of the independent states grouped in the OAU (which now AU), and has provided the seat of the headquarters of the Organization in her capital city, Addis Ababa.

The capital is also the home of the Unite Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and of several other regional offices of the UN system and other inter-governmental organizations such as the Desert Locust Control for Eastern Africa.

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Ethiopia’s policy of anti-imperialism and African liberation

As a result of their direct armed confrontation with the allied international forces of imperialism, the people and government of Ethiopia became the most persistent and uncompromising anti-imperialist conscience and spirit of Africa.

In this respect, in his famous letter of 1891 to the European Heads of State, Menilik II declared that he “cannot tolerate the partition of Africa among the alien governments”.

After the Adwa victory of 1896 over the Italian imperialists, the Ethiopian leaders called upon the Mahdist rulers of the neighbouring Sudan to create an African alliance against the European imperialists as their common enemies.

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Semitic language group

Within the Semitic language group, Amarinya, Tigrinya, Tigre, Guraginya, and Aderinya are the most important. Regarding their spatial distribution, the Amharas are found predominantly in Gonder, Gojam, Welo and northern Shewa. Next to the Oromos, they are found in significant numbers in most of the administrative regions especially in Arsi, Harerge, Sidamo and Welega. The Tigray/Tigrians are found in Tigray administrative regions.

The Gurages live in south-west Shewa. The Falashas, although Cushitic by origin, speak Semitic languages. They speak Amarinya in Gonder and Tigrinya in Tigray administrative regions.

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The Cushitic group

The Cushitic group is very diverse and contains a large number of components. It is desirable to group them in relation to their distribution.

The Cushitic of the north, the Agew, Bilen, as well as the Kemant, are in the area west of Tekeze and north of Lake Tana. The Bejas are found in the extreme north.

The Sahos, who are nomads in the coastal depression between Mitsiwa in the north and the Gulf of Zula in the east and in the western escarpment of Akeleguzay are of this stock.

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The Omotic language

The Omotic language family has a very great diversity within itself like the Cushitic group. Most languages in this family are spoken in the vicinity of the Omo river system from which the name is derived. Two regional sub-families of the Omotic family are the Northern and the Southern Omotic. The Northern Omotic includes Welayita, Gamo Gofa, Malo, Zala, Kulokonta, Zayse, Dorze, Koyra, Gidicho, Kachamo, Basketo etc. The southern Omotic family includes the Ari, Dime, Banna-Hamer, the Maji languages, (Maji, Sheko and Mao), and the Gimira and Janjero as well as the Ometo clusters. The Omotic languages are found only in Ethiopia.

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The Nilotic language family

The Nilotic language family are scattered north-south along the western border with the Sudan. Some of the main sub-groups included are the Shankila and Gumuz in western Gonder and Gojam; Mekan, Mao (Guenza) and Jeblawi in western Welega; Nuer in western Ilubabor, and Me-en in southern Kefa administrative region. With the exception of some muslim Kunamas Nara and the whole of Benishangul, the rest are animists.

(Source: National Atlas of Ethiopia)

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Geographical and historical factors have a great influence on the distribution of ethnic groups and languages.

With a population of over 44 million, Ethiopia has an area of 1.2 million Km2., and exhibits diverse climatic, soil and vegetation conditions.

The country is situated in one of the transitional zones between the Middle East and Africa south of the Sahara, and in its long history it has been a meeting place of ancient cultures.

Its location along the Red Sea, one of the most important trade and strategic routes both in the past and at present, has had a clear impact on the religious, ethnic and language composition of its people.

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The great ethnic migrations (ca. 1520-1660)

The Adalite Wars of 1524-1543 accelerated the era and events of the Great Ethiopian Ethnic Migrations of the period 1520 to 1660, during which the following vast and diverse tribal and ethnic groups of Ganz, Gudela, Wetogira, Gadabicho, Alaba, Kabena, Ulbarag, Silti, Sheshago, Malge, and Bushe (the Hadiya-Sidama people) ; of Itu, Arsi, Kereyu, Wollo, Tulama, and Mecha (Baretuma-Borana Oromo people); of Derasa, Damot, Gafat, Enariya, Bosha, Adal, and of Somali peoples partially or totally moved from earlier positions in Southern Ethiopia.

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Housing for expatriates in Ethiopia

After the nationalization of urban land and extra houses in 1975, housing for expatriates was only from the Public Housing and Rental Administration of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

This unit has set up separate housing pools for various organizations and groups employing foreign personnel, including:

• Embassies
• UNDP and UN Agencies
• ECA and

Each of these bodies manages the allocation of housing within its own pool according to its own regulations. Housing rules have now facilitated and foreign residents are now allowed to seek housing on the open market.

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