Your guide to being an expatriate in Ethiopia

Caffeinate Your Ethiopia Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It borders Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as sharing a large border with Kenya. With a population of over 110 million people, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world. It is also home to over 80 ethnic groups and around 200 languages, making it a diverse and culturally rich country. Ethiopia has a fascinating history, with a strong traditional culture that is truly unique. It is also known for its role in the development of coffee and its commitment to promoting African union and independence.


Expat destinations in Ethiopia

Demographics of Ethiopia:

Ethnic groups

Kamas: 1.1%

Oromo: 34.4%

Other: 23.5%

Silte: 1%

Amhara: 27%

Gurage: 2.5%

Somali: 6.2%

Tigray: 5.7%

Hadiyya: 1.1%

Welaita: 1.2%

Wolaytta: 2.3%


Kamas: 1.3%

Oromo: 33.8%

Other: 23.2%

Silte: 1.2%

Gurage: 2.2%

Somali: 4.5%

Amharic: 29.3%

Hadiyya: 1.3%

Welaita: 1.9%

Tigrinya: 5.1%

Wolaytta: 1.5%

Religion Overview

Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Ethiopia, making up around 43% of the population. Additionally, 33% of the population practices Islam, with Sunni Islam being the largest denomination. Around 17% of the population follows traditional African religions, while around 2% practice Protestantism and 1% practices Catholicism.

Major Religions


Ethiopia has a varied climate, with wet and dry seasons. The highlands, where the capital city of Addis Ababa is located, have a temperate climate, with cooler temperatures and frequent rainfall. The lowlands, which border Somalia and Kenya, have a hot and dry climate, making agriculture a challenge. The coastal areas have a tropical climate, with high humidity and rainfall.

Economy Overview

Ethiopia's economy is predominantly agricultural, with over 80% of the population working in agriculture. Coffee is a major export, accounting for around 30% of the country's exports. Textiles, leather products, and food products are also important exports. The country is rich in natural resources, including gold, platinum, and oil, but has struggled with corruption and lack of investment in infrastructure, making it a challenging environment for foreign investment.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Energy
  • Transportation

Major Companies

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA)
  • Ethiopian Construction and Engineering Industry Development Corporation (CEIDC)
  • Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEP)
  • Ethiopian Mining, Petroleum and Natural Gas Corporation (EMPC)
  • National International Transport (NIT)

Culture and Language Overview

Ethiopian culture is rich and diverse, with over 80 ethnic groups contributing to the country's heritage. Music, dance, and storytelling are important parts of many traditional cultures. Coffee ceremonies are also an important part of Ethiopian culture, with elaborate ceremonies involving roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee in traditional pots. The country is also known for its contribution to the development of Christianity and Islam in Africa.

Cultural Highlights

  • Coffee ceremonies
  • Traditional music and dance
  • Orthodox churches and monasteries
  • House of Representatives and Senate
  • National Museum of Ethiopia
  • Adris Ababa International Stadium
  • Addis Ababa Stadium

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa, with a diverse terrain that includes highlands, lowlands, and plateaus. The Simien Mountains, located in the highlands, are a UNESCO World Heritage site and feature unique landscapes and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, is home to numerous historic and religious sites, such as the monasteries of Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam. In addition, the country is home to several historic cities, such as Axum, Gondar, and Harar, which are known for their impressive architecture and cultural significance.

Notable Landmarks

  • Simien Mountains
  • Lake Tana
  • Axum
  • Gondar
  • Harar
  • The Blue Nile Falls
  • Alula Engida Memorial

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Ethiopian Christmas Day (January 7)
  • Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) (January 19)
  • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
  • Massacre of the Holy Innocents (December 29)
  • Ethiopian Good Friday (mounting Friday before Easter Sunday)
  • Ethiopian Easter Sunday (Foritnight before Ash Wednesday)

Political Stability

Ethiopia has experienced political instability in recent years, with violent protests in 2015 and the resignation of the Prime Minister in 2018. The country transitioned to a federal parliamentary republic system in 1994, and has ongoing peacekeeping missions in Somalia and South Sudan. The country is also a key player in regional affairs, with a focus on promoting African union and independence. Issues related to human rights, corruption, and political freedom continue to be areas of concern for the country's stability.

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