About Ethiopia

Ethiopia is situated in the North-eastern Horn of Africa, equidistant between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn, bordered by Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule and it is the oldest independent country in Africa.

This country is old beyond imagining and plays a formative role in the evolving history of today’s world. The Blue Nile pours out of lake Tana in the Northern Highlands and travels over 400 miles, tumbling down through both tropical and mountainous landscapes before it enters Sudan and meets the White Nile at Khartoum. The first fossil skeleton of early man (Australopithecus) was found at Hadar in the Danakil region of Ethiopia. And coffee, the most widely traded commodity next to oil, originates in this country.

It is believed that coffee originated in Kaffa province, and in the 14th century was taken to Yemen, where the Dutch then found the drink and took coffee seedlings to Indonesia in the 17th century. Coffee is still drunk with ceremonial or ritual significance in many parts of Ethiopia today. The truly diverse population of Ethiopia comprises a number of different ethnic groups (Oromo, Amhara and Tigre, Sidam, Shankella, Somali, Afar, and Gurage), speaking a wide range of different languages. This country has a rich religious diversity as well, with representation from Muslim, Ethiopian Orthodox and animist groups.

Most of Ethiopia’s economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, 85% of exports, and 80% of total employment. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy. Other exports include qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds, and a recently renewed interest in Ethiopia’s cultural and natural history indicates that tourism in the country is due to grow significantly over the next few years.

Looking to source coffee from Ethiopia?

Courtesy of USAID EATradeHub

Ethiopian Coffee

Type of coffee: Arabica
Volume (2014/15 In thousand 60kg bags):2,872
Growing areas: Harar, Limu, Jimma, Irgacheffe, Sidamo
Marketing system: Auction and direct sale
Processing: Wet and dry processing
Harvest season: October – December
Port of shipment: Djibouti
Export destinations: Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia

Did you know…?

Arabica. Balanced medium body, medium acidity and winy sweet flavor. Coffee from Ethiopia can be purchased directly from traders and growers.

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