While People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is the official name, its former name is Abyssinia which means hybrid. Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and Sudan to the west border its territory of which more than half consists of high land, about a quarter of its land, where it is cooler and most of Ethiopians live at over 2,000m above the sea level. The people tend to populate higher grounds. Its capital, Addis Ababa, is located in Central Ethiopia and although it is at about 9° latitude and close to the Equator, it has a cool climate, one of the best in the world, because it is 2,400m above sea level.
Forests remain in the southern part of the country, which is believed to be where coffee originated, mainly due to its long rainy season. There used to be lots of wild life including elephants and lions, but the elephants are near extinction because of ivory exports and lions are seldom seen.
Having so many different peoples (about 90 types) living in Ethiopia, it is often called ‘the Museum of Peoples'. Tribal conflicts often cause social unrest. Its social environment has degraded continuously in the last 20 years so much so that the chronic shortage of food supplies has placed about 50% of its people in danger of starvation.