Ethiopia is located in the Eastern part of Africa, bordering with Eritrea in the North, Djibouti and Somalia in the East, Sudan in the west and Kenya and Somalia in the South. It covers a total land area of about 1.2 million km2. Presently, according to the central statistical authority, the population of Ethiopia is estimated to be 63.5 billion, 85% of which live in rural areas. The country is one of the oldest nations in Africa and is distinguished for its long history and varied cultural heritages.
However, it is a fresh memory that in spite of the remarkable glorious historical and cultural heritage of the country the decades proceeding 1991 were periods of relentless suppression and subjugation for the Ethiopians.
The protracted internal conflict, drought and short sighted economic policies of the past dictatorial regimes deepened the socio-economic crisis of the country.
After the defeat of the military regime in 1991 by the EPRDF forces, Ethiopia entered a new chapter in its history.
The rights of nation, nationalities and people to self determination to the extent of secession have been recognized and decentralization of decision-making has become a reality. With the promulgation of the new constitution, Ethiopia has now become a Federal Democratic Republic.
Accordingly, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has 11 administrative units out of which 9 are regional national states. These regional national states enjoy a constitutional right of self government with legislative, executive and judicial powers.
This complete reversal of the situation has brought a new era – an era that unshared in, inter alias, a new life, a new insight and initiative of social development, which called for prompt national rehabilitation and reconstruction.