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#56DaysofAfrica - Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the world’s oldest countries

To kickstart our #56daysofAfrica campaign, we are introducing Ethiopia as our first country.

Ethiopia is one of two countries that retained its independence after the Berlin Conference of 1884. With the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. It was one of four African members of the League of Nations (the predecessor of the United Nations).

Ethiopia is one of the 32 independent African states to sign the founding charter for the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Several newly independent African nations took Ethiopia’s colours for their flags.

Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia, means "new flower" in Amharic. It is known as the diplomatic capital of Africa as it headquarters the African Union as well as the centre of other continental and international organizations.

Addis Ababa

In January 2020 #AfricaMatters in collaboration with Sunekoethiopia co-hosted two Youth Leadership Development Program workshops in the National Archives and Library Agency, Addis Abba, Ethiopia. 

It was an impactful two sessions upskilling and empowering Ethiopian youth to lead their communities and to be the change they want to see.

To learn more about the YLDP sessions and its impact, check out Tensae Getu experience here.

For the culture

There are more than 80 different ethnic groups in Ethiopia with just as many languages and over 200 dialects are spoken throughout the country. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa with its own unique script, known as Geʽez.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of 13 months. The celebration of the Ethiopian New Year, Enkutatash (which means “Gift of Jewels” ), is hosted every year on either the 11th or 12th of September.

Ethiopia is also known for its delicious and diverse cuisine and coffee.

Coffee, one of the world's most popular beverages, was discovered in the region of Kaffa. Ethiopia is the seventh-largest coffee producer in the world and the biggest in Africa. 

There are different styles of preparing coffee in Ethiopia. Buna, for example, is the traditional Ethiopian style of coffee, prepared in a clay pot known as a jebena, and served in small espresso cups.

During traditional coffee ceremonies, cups are filled to the brim, representing a wish for "fullness of life" for the guest, and there are three servings, the last of which is called baraka, or blessing.

Ethiopian food is well flavoured with a mixture of different spices and herbs, not extremely spicy in heat, but rather very well seasoned. The national dish features injera alongside stewed meats and vegetables are served on top of injera, and no utensils are used - just scoop the food in the injera and enjoy! Find out more about Ethiopian dishes here.

Notable Landmarks

As one of Africa's most beautiful countries, Ethiopia hosts a plethora of cultural treasures, it is home to more UNESCO World Heritage sites than any other country on the continent. The Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Awash, Aksum, Tiya, Simien National Park, Harar Jugol (the fortified historic town), Lower Valley of the Omo and Fasil Ghebbi are all locations in Ethiopia.

Danakil Depression, located in the North in the Afar region houses numerous sulfur springs, volcanoes, geysers, acidic pools, vast salt pans, and colourful mineral-laden lakes dot the area, which formed above the divergence of three tectonic plates. Volcanic activity heats spring water, bringing sulfur and iron to the surface, leaving behind yellow, green, and orange deposits.

Ethiopia is a country of many wonders when it comes to its history, landmarks, food and culture. We wish to cover even more about its beauty on this blog if time permitted. But worry not, you can learn more via our social media platforms.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to find out more information about Ethiopia in the next few days. Feel free to share your personal experiences in Ethiopia!

Stay tuned for the next country highlight during our #56DaysofAfrica campaign.

"We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For"

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