Ethiopian History  |  Demographic  Geographic

Geographic
Location and Map:   
Ethiopia, situated in   the horn  of East Africa, lies between latitudes 3 degrees and 15 minutes and18 degrees north of the  equator; and  between  33 degrees and 48 degrees to the  east. It   is  bounded   by   the   Sudan  on  the  West, Somalia  and  Djibouti  on   the East,  Eritrea on the North and Kenya on the South.

   
Topography & Area:

Ethiopia is a huge tableland, thousands of meters high, with steep  slopes  or  escarpments  that  forms the sides of the Rift Valley  which  rise abruptly to the Central Plateau on the  northwest   and  the  Eastern Plateau on the southeast. These   rugged,   high   tablelands   slope   away  from the axis   to   the   Eastern   Plains   and   the  Indian Ocean. The southwestern part of the Rift Valley is marked by the Rift  Valley  Lakes,  the  largest of which is Lake Abbaya. The    present  Ethiopia,  as  large  as  France    and Spain combined,  has  an  area  of    approximately  1.14  million square  kilometers  (444,000   squares  miles).  About  65 percent  of  the  land  is  arable, with 15 percent presently cultivated.

Capital City:

Addis Ababa, the capital, is a gateway to all regions, a political, commercial and industrial heart of the country. Now, a city of about 4 million people, was founded by Emperor Minilik in 1887. It is the host of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and several other international and regional organizations which have their headquarters and branch offices here in the capital.

Some of the major cities of the country are Dire Dawa, Bahir Dar, Mekele and Nazareth.

Climate & Time Zone:

Although Ethiopia lies within 15 degrees north of the equator, owing to the moderating influence of high altitude, the central highlands, where the vast majority of Ethiopian peoples live, generally enjoy temperate and pleasant climate, with average temperatures rarely exceeding 20 degree centigrade. The sparsely populated low lands, on the other hand, typically have sub-tropical and tropical climates. At approximately 850mm (34 inches), the average annual rainfall for the whole country is considered to be moderate by global standards. In most of the highlands, rainfall occurs in two distinct seasons: the "small" rains during February and March and the "high" rains from June to September.

Ethiopia is in the GMT+3 hours time zone. Ethiopian time goes by 12- hours cycles of day and night. One cycle starts with 'one' at 0700(morning) and goes on to 'twelve' which is 1800; another cycle starts at 1900 ('one' evening) and goes through to 0600 ('twelve' dawn).

 
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