Ethiopia, lying west of Somalia with Sudan and Eritrea to its north and Kenya to its south, boasts a population of more than 80 million from over 80 ethnic groups, including Oromo, Amhara and Tigray.
The landlocked country, unique among African countries, maintained its freedom from colonial rule, with the exception of the 1936-1941 Italian occupation during World War II.
Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for roughly half of its GDP.
The Ethiopian government has increased investment on agricultural production, and efforts have been made to shore up exports and attract foreign investments since 2005, enabling the country a robust 8 percent annual economic growth.
The prime minister of Ethiopia is Meles Zenawi.
Its capital Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the Africa Union, the Nile Basin Commission, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.