Explore Artisans by Country
Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country. Apart from a five-year occupation by Mussolini's Italy, it has never been colonized. Ethiopia has been better known, however, for its periodic droughts and famines, its long civil conflict and a border war with Eritrea. These crises brought millions to the brink of starvation in the 1970s and 1980s. It is also one of Africa's poorest states, with two-thirds of its population being illiterate. Ethiopia's current economy revolves around agriculture, and is one of the world's leading coffee producers. Culturally, Ethiopia is multi-faceted, reflecting the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the country. Its more than 80 ethnic groups each have their own language, culture, customs and traditions.