Addis Ababa: May 22, 2015 – Ethiopia, which holds elections on Sunday, has a history as a nation stretching back to pre-biblical times and is considered one of the birthplaces of humanity.
Here are some key facts about Africa’s second most populous nation, which plays a key continental role as host of the African Union’s headquarters.
– Multiple ethnic groups –
With some 94 million people, according to World Bank figures, the Horn of Africa nation is also home to several hundred thousand refugees fleeing war in neighbouring Somalia and South Sudan.Many Ethiopians live abroad.
There are more than 80 ethnic groups including the Oromos, who are the most numerous, the Amharas, the Tigreans, the Afars and the Somalis.
They speak several languages, the most widely used being Amharic, Oromo, English, Italian and Arabic.
Around two-thirds of Ethiopians are Christian, while Muslims comprise a sizeable minority. Traditional religions account for a very small part of the population.