Welcome to Ethiopia

We are Addisu and Habtam. There is so much to know about our country. We think you will be surprised by some of the videos which we have enjoyed making. There are many parts to Ethiopia and while some areas do suffer droughts, most of the country is green and fertile. See for yourself what our lives are like.

History & Politics

A history going way back

Important evidence for man’s evolution has been found in Ethiopia and the country’s earliest civilisations had links with ancient Egypt, Jewish history and the early Christian Church.

Climate & Agriculture

Increasing yields

The highlands of Ethiopia provide a large area of agricultural land and with investment in irrigation and better farming techniques, harvests can be significantly increased.


Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!


Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.


Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Welcome to Ethiopia

Hello and welcome to Ethiopia. We are Addisu and Habtam.

There is so much to know about Ethiopia. We think you will be surprised by some of the videos we have enjoyed making on our much-loved country. There are many parts to Ethiopia and while certain areas do suffer droughts, most of the country is green and fertile. See for yourself what our lives are like.


Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

Poverty & Healthcare

Reaching rural areas

Health extension workers are being trained to bring medical care to rural parts of Ethiopia.

Facts & Figures

A young population

Half of Ethiopia’s population are under the age of 18. Find other facts and figures here.

A proud nation

One of a kind

Addisu and Habtam, like most Ethiopians, are very proud of their cultural and historical roots. Ethiopia is a multi-cultural country and was never colonised by a European power (apart from a five-year occupation by Italy).


Early ancestors

Palaeontologists have found some of the best evidence about how early man evolved in the east African Rift Valley. Dated at around 3.5 million years old, the remains of a small ape-like female were found in Ethiopia. She was given the name Lucy.

Education & Jobs

Working towards universal access

While pupil numbers at primary level are high, only around a quarter of children stay on for secondary school.


The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.


A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Geography & Wildlife

'Rifted' in two

Ethiopia is a mountainous country, with lowlands of desert or semi-desert around its edges. The Great Rift Valley runs through the centre, splitting the highlands in two.

Children's stories

‘Mama Ethiopia’ and ‘SOS saved me’

The children at the SOS Children’s Village in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia were given lessons on film-making by a professional cameraman. They then made their very own films on topics that matter most to them. Watch the films they came up with.

Food & Daily life

A unique place

Ethiopia has its own cuisine, calendar and customs. This is because of the country's history and isolation from outside influences.


‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

People & Culture

Many mother-tongues

Over 70 different languages are spoken across Ethiopia, some with their own unique script.

Teff farm

The importance of teff

Teff is a tiny grain but a very important crop in Ethiopia. It forms the main ingredient for Ethiopians’ staple food – injera. Addisu and Habtam visit a teff farm and meet the farmer.

Tourism & Communications

Sites and scenery

Ethiopia has many important historical sites, as well as some spectacular scenery for those travelling round the country.


Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.


The main event of the year

The Meskel festival, held annually, is a celebration many Ethiopians look forward to. It is a momentous celebration with singing and dancing which is attended by hundreds of thousands of people in Meskel Square and villages all across Ethiopia.

Refugee crisis

A different life

Thousands of Ethiopians living in the southeast have had to leave their homes due to the recent drought which has hit East Africa. It has left millions of people homeless, malnourished and extremely vulnerable. This is a stark contrast to Addisu and Habtam’s life.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Economy & Industry

Poor but growing

Ethiopia has one of the fastest-growing non-oil economies in Africa. But the country still remains one of the poorest.

Ethiopia map

Explore Ethiopia

Discover Ethiopia and explore some of the main cities, towns, wildlife and famous landmarks.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Ethiopian coffee

Ode to coffee

Addisu hates coffee, so a day trip to find out about how coffee is made is not his ‘cup of tea’, or should we say ‘cup of coffee’. But in Ethiopia, coffee is a way of life for most and drunk all through the day.

Ethiopia topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Lucy People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture Teff farm Meskel Welcome to Ethiopia Refugee crisis Economy & Industry Ethiopian coffee Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics A proud nation Ethiopia map Tourism & Communications