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Country Profile

Ethiopia

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a developing country in East Africa.  It is comprised of nine states and two city administrations (Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa). The capital is Addis Ababa. Tourism facilities can be found in the most populous regions of Ethiopia, but infrastructure is basic. National elections held in May 2005 returned the ruling EPRDF party and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to power. Although the opposition gained a significant number of seats in Parliament, some of its leaders protested election irregularities, which lead to public protests and a clamp-down on political activity. While political tensions persist, stakeholders are refocusing on building national institutions and combating poverty. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Ethiopia for additional information.

Ethiopia

           
 

Image of Ethiopia
 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Ethiopia
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Addis Ababa
Boundary Countries:

Dijbouti, Entrea, Kenya, Somalia,Sudan

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

St. Gabriel General Hospital (Addis Ababa)

Main Cities:

Addis Ababa, Gonder, Bahir Dar, Dese, NAzret ,Awasa, Jima, Dolo ODo, Werder, Moyale

Country Size: 1,127,127 sq km
Population: 76,511,887

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Amarigna 32.7%, Oromigna 31.6%, Tigrigna 6.1%, Somaligna 6%, Guaragigna 3.5%, Sidamigna 3.5%, Hadiyigna 1.7%, other 14.8%, English (major foreign language taught in schools)

Currency: birr (ETB)
Predominant Religions:

Christian 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other 1.8%

National Holidays: National Day (defeat of MENGISTU Regime),28 MAy (1991)
Economic Status:

Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, accounting for almost half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment.

Security:

Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force
note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy; following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained in Eritrean possession

US Presence:

The US Embassy is located at Entoto Avenue, PO BOX 1014, in Addis Ababa, Tel:251-11-124-2424, Emergency after hours tel: 251-11-124  

Document Requirements:

To avoid possible confusion or delays, travelers are advised to obtain a valid Ethiopian visa at the nearest Ethiopian Embassy prior to arrival, and must do so if entering across any land port-of-entry.  For example: travelers wishing to enter Ethiopia from Kenya at the land border at Moyale, must obtain an Ethiopian visa first.  Ethiopian visas ARE NOT available at the border crossing point at Moyale.  Travelers should apply for Ethiopian visas at the Ethiopian Embassy in Nairobi or at other Ethiopian embassies in other countries.  Ethiopian visas are available to U.S. citizens upon arrival at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa.  U.S. citizens may obtain one-month or three month, single-entry tourist visas or 10-day single-entry business visas upon arrival at Bole International Airport.  This service is available only at Bole International Airport and is not available at any other ports of entry in Ethiopia.  The visa fee at Bole International Airport is payable in U.S. dollars.  Such visas can be extended by applying at the Main Immigration Office in Addis Ababa.  Business visas of up to three-months validity can also be obtained at Bole International Airport upon arrival if the traveler has a sponsoring organization in Ethiopia that has made prior arrangements for issuance through the Main Immigration Office in Addis Ababa.  Travelers whose entry visa expires before they depart Ethiopia, must obtain a visa extension and pay a monthly penalty fee of $20 USD per month.  Such travelers may also be required to pay a court fine of up to 4000 ETB (USD $435) before being permitted to depart from Ethiopia.  Travelers are required to pay the penalty fee before they will be able to obtain an exit visa (USD $20) permitting them to leave Ethiopia.
 
Individuals intending to stay in Ethiopia for a prolonged period of time are advised to contact the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington prior to traveling.  The Ethiopian Embassy is located at 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone (202) 364-1200; fax (202) 587-0195.  For the most current visa information, visit the Embassy’s web site at www.ethiopianembassy.org.  Inquiries by Americans located overseas may be made at the nearest Ethiopian embassy or consulate. 

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  84, Airports w/paved runways:  14

Addis Ababa – Bole International Airport (ADD/HAAB)
Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia, PO Box 978, Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Tel: +251 (0)1 180454
Fax: +251 (0)1 612533
Customs, hours: Mon-Sat 08:00-12:00 & 13:00-16:00
Tel: +251 (0)1 181205

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept. of State issued a Travel Alert for Ethiopia on April 13, 2010
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_ethiopia.html

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia before and after national parliamentary elections scheduled for May 23, 2010, and recommends against all but essential travel to Ethiopia during this period. This Travel Alert expires on July 1, 2010.

Past elections in Ethiopia have featured violence in Addis Ababa and other areas of the country throughout the campaign season, the election, and especially in the days and weeks following the announcement of election results.  Election results are scheduled to be announced June 21, 2010. 

U.S. citizens should be aware that even peaceful gatherings and demonstrations can turn violent.  U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Ethiopia during this period are reminded to maintain a high level of security awareness at all times and avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind.  U.S. citizens should avoid polling places on election day, and be aware that authorities will strictly enforce specific prohibitions such as photography at polling stations.  U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the situation via local media sources and the Internet.  Significant traffic congestion, shortages of lodging availability, and large crowds throughout the country, particularly in Addis Ababa, are likely to inconvenience travelers.  In addition, telephone services may be disrupted, as occurred during the 2005 elections.  

Travelers also are reminded that extremists from Somalia and the heavy military buildup along Ethiopia’s northern border pose risks to safety and security, particularly along Ethiopia’s borders and in the Somali region.  In southern Ethiopia along the Kenyan border, banditry and incidents involving ethnic conflicts are also common.  Travelers should exercise caution when traveling to any remote area of the country, including the borders with Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan.  Ethiopian security forces do not have a widespread presence in those regions.  For additional information, please see the most recent Country Specific Information for Ethiopia on our web site at www.travel.state.gov

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ethiopia are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration web site to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ethiopia.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. Embassy Ethiopia 
Entoto Avenue, P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa 
Telephone: 251-11-124-2424 
Emergency after-hours telephone: 251-11-517-4000 ext. 0 
Email: consacs@state.gov 

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. 

For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens may also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Ethiopia as well as The Worldwide Caution located on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  91.92 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 49.23 years  (male 48.06/female 50.44)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: Yellow Fever
Recommended: Hep A & B, Malaria, Meningococcal, Rabies, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT, polio

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Malaria is prevalent in Ethiopia outside of the highland areas. Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and Rift Valley fever are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. African sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis), which is transmitted through the bite of an infected tsetse fly, can be found in distinct areas of East Africa except Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, and the island countries of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region. Schistosomiasis is found in fresh water in the region, including Lake Malawi. Polio has also resurfaced in Ethiopia since 2003. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from the region) include tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Health facilities are limited in Addis Ababa and completely inadequate outside the capital.  Although physicians are generally well trained, even the best hospitals in Addis Ababa suffer from inadequate facilities, antiquated equipment, and shortages of supplies (particularly medicines).  Emergency assistance is limited.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 3
Referrals: 17
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Polio has also resurfaced in Ethiopia since 2003.
Ethiopia is a mountainous country and the high altitude may cause health problems even for healthy travelers. Travelers to Ethiopia should also avoid swimming in any lakes, rivers, or still bodies of water.  Most bodies of water have been found to contain parasite

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  +251    
Internet Country Code:  .et

 



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