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 from 1935-1940, it was never colonised.
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) which has developed a strong focus on early warning systems for conflict and disaster in the region.
Trade between Australia and Ethiopia is small but Ethiopia is endowed with mineral resources and is keen on bilateral investment and sharing expertise.
Ethiopia is consistently one of the largest recipients of official development assistance. Australia provides training delivered through scholarships and study tours to Ethiopia, with a focus on extractives and agriculture. 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 has been represented by an ambassador in Canberra since December 2013.
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