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Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa. Linguistically, the country is a mosaic of about 100 languages that can be classified into four groups – Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilotic. Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy between 1936 and 1941, it was never colonised. Ethiopia continues to experience ethnic conflict, including in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is home to the African Union. Ethiopia was a founding member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); and is a member of the Intergovernmental Development Authority (IGAD).

Trade between Australia and Ethiopia is small, but Ethiopia is endowed with mineral resources.

The Hamlin Fistula Hospital and the Fred Hollows Foundation, both set up by Australians, have had long relationships with Ethiopia, delivering much needed medical services.

Australia moved into a new chancery in Addis Ababa in July 2014, having opened a mission in 2010. Ethiopia is represented by an Ambassador in Canberra.

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