Ethiopia is located in the horn of East Africa and is bordered on the North and northeast by Eritrea, on the East by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan.
Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa that has never been colonized. It is also the home of "Lucy" and "Selam", one of our oldest ancestors of over 3.5 million years ago.
The earliest evidence of Ethiopian history was in pre 1000 BC when Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. The Greek historian Herodotus, of the fifth century BC, describes ancient Ethiopia in his writings, while the Bible's Old Testament records the Queen of Sheba's visit to Jerusalem where "she proved Solomon with hard questions". Matters clearly went further than that because legend asserts that King Menelik - the founder of the Ethiopian Empire - was the son of the Queen and Solomon.
Remains of the Queen of Sheba's palace can still be seen today in Axum, in the province of Tigray, northern Ethiopia.
Axum Is also home to many other extensive historical sites, including the home of the Ark of the Covenant, brought there from Jerusalem by Menelik.
Population: 85.8 million (UN, 2009)
Capital: Addis Ababa
Area: 1.13 million sq km (437,794 sq miles)
Major languages: Amharic, Oromo, Tigrinya, Somali
Major religions: Christianity, Islam
Life expectancy: 54 years (men), 56 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 Birr = 100 cents
Main exports: Coffee, hides, oilseeds, beeswax, sugarcane
Man working at home in Debre Markos, Ethiopia