The poor rich country

The eastern African nation of Ethiopia has a history spanning thousands of years. The country is considered the cradle of humanity and the original home of coffee. Even today, Ethiopian foreign trade consists largely of the export of coffee. Ethiopia borders Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti, and crosses three climate zones. It has a population of almost 80 million people, who belong to around 90 ethnic groups. More than 70 different languages are spoken there. With Addis Ababa as its capital, the country is around three and a half times bigger than Germany.

Today, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries on earth. Despite the progress being made, countless people there still live in appalling conditions. Statistically speaking, there is just one doctor for every 42,000 people, a mere 40 per cent of people who live in rural areas have access to clean water, 57 per cent of the population is illiterate and 40 per cent of children do not have the opportunity to go to school. The severe droughts of the 1970s and 1980s caused enormous suffering in Ethiopia and massive damage to the environment. During this time, the forests were cleared, which is something the country is still paying a high price for: even today, around two million tonnes of vital soil are washed away every year.


Picture credit:
Top row: Rainer Kwiotek/Zeitenspiegel
Bottom row: Rainer Kwiotek/Zeitenspiegel, map: Huber Kartographie München