Ethiopia Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Ethiopia Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

OfficialState Name: Ethiopian Federal Democratic Republic (EDFR)

President: Sahle-Work Zewde (in office since 25/10/2018)

Political tendencies: In the course of 2021, Ethiopia was preparing for landmark parliamentary elections, which were to take place in August 2020. Voting took place in most constituencies in June 2021, in others in September 2021. The current ruling Prosperity Party, which was formed under under the baton of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from the former EPRDF and its five regional counterparts. The new government, once appointed in October 2021, has pledged to continue the liberalization and reform agenda. However, security, social and political certainties are reduced as a result of liberalization. There is an escalation of ethnic tensions, local armed conflicts and clashes between paramilitary groups and federal and state security forces. Due to the absence of a real opposition and its weakening (the main characters were in prison until January 2022), the Prosperity Party dominated the elections. Check cancermatters to learn more about Ethiopia political system.

Composition of the government: Executive power in Ethiopia rests in the hands of the Council of Ministers, which has the following composition as of April 1, 2022:

Prime Minister – Abiy Ahmed

Deputy Prime Minister – Demeke Mekonnen

Ministry of Finance – Ahmed Shide

Ministry of Health – Lia Tadesse

Ministry of Education – Berhanu Nega

Ministry of Agriculture – Omar Hussein

Ministry of Defense – Abraham Belay

Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Demeke Mekonnen

Ministry of Irrigation and Lowlands – Aisha Mohammed

Ministry of Women and Social Affairs – Ergoge Tesfaye

Ministry of Transport and Logistics – Dagmawit Moges

Ministry of Labor and Skills – Muferait Kamil

Ministry of Justice – Gedion Temotios

Ministry of Tourism – Naressesa Chali

Ministry of Planning and Development – Fitsum Assefa

Ministry of Peace – Benalf Andualem

Ministry of Industry – Melaku Alabel

Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration – Gembremeskel Challa

Ministry of Innovation and Technology – Belete Molla

Ministry of Culture and Sports – Kejela Merdassa

Ministry of Water and Energy – Habtamu Etafa

Ministry of Mines – Takele Uma

Ministry of Revenue – La´ke Ayalew

Ministry of Urban Development and Construction – Chaltu Sani

Foreign policy of the country

USA, EU, international community

Ethiopia has distanced itself politically from the Western international community in the period following the outbreak of the conflict in the north of the country (November 2020). Not only the events preceding the Ethiopian elections, the hopes that the majority of the democratic world placed in Prime Minister Abiy were definitively extinguished. The democratization of Ethiopian society has been replaced by the strengthening of ethnic-clientelistic ties and the consolidation of the current regime. On the other hand, the Ethiopian political space does not offer enough other alternatives. The situation escalated in the fall of 2021 in connection with the successful campaign of the TPLF towards the capital. In particular, the US narrative favored the rebels. Western countries often did not respond adequately to the situation and further deepened the trenches that Ethiopia had drawn in the previous months. Shortly after the June elections and before the results were announced, Ethiopia made travel to the country significantly more difficult. The next step was the announcement of the closure of 30 Ethiopian offices around the world, which corresponds to their reduction practically by half. The restriction of visa services was supposed to be temporary, but by the end of the year, Ethiopia practically closed itself off to Western countries. The government launched the #NoMore campaign to protest foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs. This initiative, which received an extraordinary response in Ethiopia, criticized in particular the US and CNN’s unbalanced reporting. The EU was right to draw attention to human rights violations, but its position in Ethiopia was significantly weakened by its proposals for unrealistic solutions. Check prozipcodes for Ethiopia defense and foreign policy.

Russia, China, Turkey, UAE

Ethiopia interpreted the mood in the international political space as meaning that the EU will not help it through its statements in the fight against the TPLF and that the US would prefer to see the TPLF directly in power. Thus, Ethiopia strengthened relations with, for example, Russia. Their main content is primarily military cooperation and supplies of weapons. In July 2021, Ethiopia signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia, opening the door to the use of Russian services in solving the Tigray problem. Supplies of military material also flowed from Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and China. Important trips in 2021 undoubtedly include President Erdogan’s reception of Prime Minister Abiy in Turkey and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Addis Ababa at the height of the crisis in early December.

Egypt, Sudan, GERD

The filling of the GERD dam remains an important foreign policy topic, causing tension throughout the region. For the second year, Ethiopia continues to fill the dam; it is not interested in making a breakthrough in negotiations on the management of Nile water and continues to unilaterally inject. In 2021, it reached a state where the dam can be used to a limited extent for the production of electricity, and in February 2022, the first turbine was ceremonially started. Egypt is interested in the internationalization of the dispute and international attention, as it cannot otherwise effectively prevent the unilateral filling of the dam by Ethiopia. On the contrary, it argues for the local dimension of the problem, which should be resolved between the countries concerned and should not be influenced by foreign states. In July 2021, the dispute escalated in the meeting of the UN Security Council, to which Egypt turned with a request for help. The Security Council supported the resolution of the problem at the level of the African Union, thus de facto supporting Ethiopia’s position. Against the background of the conflict over the filling of the GERD dam, Ethiopia is also resolving a territorial dispute with neighboring Sudan. The latter took advantage of the weakening of Ethiopia due to the ongoing conflict in Tigray and occupied the disputed area of ​​al-Fashaga. It is a fertile area of ​​260 km2 on the eastern border of Sudan, traditionally farmed by both Sudanese and Ethiopian farmers, and the border is a subject of dispute in this area. Since 2007, a special regime has operated here, which confirmed the current status quo, when the territory was not under the direct control of either country, and both states participated in its management together. With this unilateral move, Sudan brought the territory fully under its control, prompting a military response from Ethiopia. Several soldiers paid for the conflict with their lives or health,

Population

Population: EIU estimate in 2022: 120.8 million.

average age: 19.5 years

12th most populous country in the world

21% of the population lives in cities; Addis Ababa: million in the city itself (5 million with suburbs), Adama, Gondar and Mekele each have 330,000, Hawassa 302,000

Average annual growth rate: 3.02% (2020 estimate); one of the fastest growing countries in the world – a child is born every 9 seconds, a person dies every 44 seconds; if current growth is maintained, the country will have approximately 210 million inhabitants in 2060

Demographic composition: 49.9% male, 50.1% female; 0-24 years make up 64% of the population

Ethnic composition: over 70 ethnic groups (nations, nationalities and tribes), the most important ethnic groups (census 2010): Oromo 34.4%; Amhara 27.0%; Somali 6.2%; Tigray 6.1%; Sidama 4.0%

Religious composition: 43.5% Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church (Amharas, Tigreans, part. Oromos), 34% Sunni Islam (Oromos, Afars, Somalis); the share of Muslims is gradually increasing, 18.5% Protestant Church, 3% traditional African religions (animism), 0.7% Catholics