Ethiopia is situated in the Horn of Africa, and is the most populated land-locked country in the world, with 100 million inhabitants. It is also the second most populated African country, after Nigeria. Ethiopia was the only African country to defeat a European colonial power in the late 19th century and maintain its sovereignty at that time.

The Nile finds it source in Ethiopia, though there is an enormous range of climate and topography within the country. A country of jungles, mountains, rivers, and fertile areas, it has also regularly undergone extreme times of famine. Famine, combined with civil war and political unrest has resulted in intense experiences of poverty.

About 60% of Ethiopians identify as Christians, and 30% identify as Muslim. There is a great need for the gospel to go out through Christian schools, to continue to shape this country’s young hearts to live into Gospel reality, transforming communities into places where God’s peace is experienced.


Prior to 1974, education in Ethiopia was one of the lowest of all African countries, with the illiteracy rate being higher than 90%. Since then, more priority has been placed on education, with the result that currently over 90% of 7 year olds are enrolled in school, and education is offered for free across the country. Many, however, do not complete primary school, and only about 25% enter high school. In addition, many more girls than boys do not complete their education due to gender stereotypes, violence, and early marriage. Class sizes are very high, and teacher pay is very low. Teacher training is beginning to improve, but universities are ill-equipped, so it is hard to provide quality training.

Ethiopia Statistics

  • Language:

    Oromo, Amharic and English (in schools)
  • Area:

    1,100,000 km
  • Capital:

    Addis Ababa
  • Currency:

    Ethiopian Birr
  • Life Expectancy:

    60.75 (male 58, female 63)
  • Agriculture:

    Mostly subsistence farming, plagued by famine/drought; coffee, beans, oilseeds, potatoes, sugarcane, cereals (Africa’s second biggest maize producer)
  • Terrain:

    Mountains, elevated plateaus, rivers, jungle
  • Climate:

    Moderate on the plateaus, extreme heat in the lowlands with many severe droughts
  • Economy:

    Mostly agriculture, employment rate at 85%; one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as result of fast growing population.
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