10th Conference of the African Evaluation Association

About Ethiopia

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the north-eastern part of Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It is strategically proximate to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade. It is bordered by the Sudan in the west, Somalia and Djibouti in the east, Eritrea in the north and Kenya in the south. The country covers 1,112,000 square kilometres (472,000 sq. miles) making it roughly as large as France and Spain combined and is five times the size of the UK.

From the north and running down the center are the Abyssinian highlands. To the west of the chain the land drops to the grasslands of Sudan, to the east to the deserts of the Afar. South of Addis Ababa, the land is dominated by the Rift Valley Lakes.

Ethiopia’s central plateau varies in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and center of the country there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4,000 meters (13,200ft), the highest being Ras Dashen at 4,543 meters (14,538ft).

About Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, also spelled Addis Abeba, capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is located on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains, in the geographic centre of the country.Only since the late 19th century has Addis Ababa been the capital of the Ethiopian state. Its immediate predecessor, Entoto, was situated on a high tableland and was found to be unsatisfactory because of extreme cold and an acute shortage of firewood. The empress Taitu, wife of Emperor Menilek II (reigned 1889–1913), persuaded the emperor to build a house near the hot springs at the foot of the tableland and to grant land in the area to members of the nobility.

The bulk of the export and import trade of Ethiopia is channeled through Addis Ababa on its way to or from the ports of Djibouti, on the Gulf of Aden, or Asseb, Eritrea, on the Red Sea. The city is also the collection and distribution centre for much of the country’s internal trade. The Mercato, located in the western part of the city, is one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. The Piazza in the central city and Bole Road to the southeast feature more-expensive European-style shopping centres.

Addis Ababa is the hub of the nation’s transportation network. Several roads connect it to other major cities; the only railway runs to Djibouti. The city is also served by an international airport.

Formally designated recreational areas are limited, but there are many open spaces suitable for recreational purposes. A small zoo is located in a park near the university, and the lake region, which is a short drive to the south, has facilities for boating, waterskiing, bathing, and bird-watching. The most popular spectator sport is football (soccer). Basketball, volleyball, and other sports are also played, chiefly by school teams. Pop. (1994) 2,112,737; (2006 est.) 2,973,000