Rebirth Logo

Federal Republic of Ethiopia

Ethiopia Flag

Capital city: Addis Ababa

Area: 1100756 square km

National day: 28th May (defeat of the Mengistu regime) 1991.

Independence: Ethiopia gained independence in early times

Population: 64 million as of 2000

Leader: Negaso Gidada, non-executive president as at the year 1995. Meles Zenawi

Language: Amharic (official), Afar, Oromo, Sidamo, Somali, Tigrinya and English

Currency: Birr

Historical Fact: Ethiopian nomadic mountain peoples of the Galla tribe was the first coffee producers in the world. Coffee beans was collected from trees in the region, grounded and mixed them with animal fat, the mixture was carried as rations on trips. Other indigenous tribes of Ethiopia ate the coffee beans as a porridge or drank it as a wine.

Early in the 13th century, coffee's restorative powers were well known to Islam. Coffee was considered a potent medicine, as well as a religious potion that helped keep people awake during prayers. Pilgrims of Islam spread the coffee throughout the Middle East and by the end of the 15th century, coffeehouses had replaced mosques as favored meeting places.

Arab traders introduced the qahwah seeds from two well known coffee regions namely Kaffa and Buno, Ethiopia began the first true cultivation of the plants in the Arabian Peninsula at least 200 years ago.

For many years Ethiopians enjoyed the drink whilst entertaining visiting relatives or neighbors from the region. Traditionally visitors would sip up to three cups of the now world famous brew.

The main center of Gahwah production was in the port city of Mocha, Yemen. Qahve (coffee) imported from Yemen was a popular brew amongst the Turks who in turn served the drink to visiting Italian merchants.

As the drink spread around the world, it was given more names. The Japanese named it koohii, Malay kopi, Mayan kaape, Thai gafae, Tagalog (Philippine) kape, Punjabi (India) kaafii, Hindi kofii, Hopi kaphe, and Navajo gohwh--all phonetic derivations from the Arabic qahwah.

The world believed that coffee came from Arabia, as the Arabian name appears to have been for the origin however, it originally came from the Kaffa district of Ethiopia.

Map Of Africa