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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Did you know...

Ethiopia is located on the eastern side of Africa, known as "The Horn" of Africa.  The capital city of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa and is the most populous city in the country. 

The country is a land of natural contrasts, with waterfalls and volcanic hot springs. Ethiopia has some of Africa's highest mountains as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof Omar.  Ethiopia has one of the largest number of rivers in the world while the country's northernmost area at Dallol, Afar is the hottest place year-round anywhere on Earth.

Currently, Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey-producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa.

The main sports in Ethiopia are athletics and football (soccer). Ethiopian athletes have won many Olympic gold medals in track and field, particularly distance running.

Ethiopia was the fastest-growing non-oil-dependent African economy in the years 2007 and 2008.  In spite of fast growth in recent years, GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, and the economy faces a number of serious structural problems

In mid 2011, two consecutive missed rainy seasons precipitated the worst drought in East Africa seen in 60 years. Full recovery from the drought's effects are not expected until 2012. 

In Ethiopia, a child's last name is typically the father's first name. There is also a tradition, however, of giving an abandoned child the name of the town where they were found as their last name.

According to the head of the World Bank's Global HIV/AIDS Program, Ethiopia has only 1 medical doctor per 100,000 people.  Ethiopia's main health problems are said to be communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation and malnutrition. These problems are exacerbated by the shortage of trained manpower and health facilities.

1 in 4 women die during childbirth or pregnancy.  4 million children are orphaned, nearly 1 million by AIDS alone.  Only 18% of children reach the 5th grade, if they attend school. 

Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country’s 71 million people live.

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