The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa along with Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, and South Sudan. This landlocked nation is the gateway to the Horn of Africa which is near the Middle East.
With a population of more than 112 million as of 2019, Ethiopia is the 12th-most populated country in the world and the second in the continent.
Ethiopia has the fastest growing economy in East Africa with an average of 9.4% per year from 2010 until 2020. However, it is one of the poorest countries with a per capita income of only about $850. Construction and services are the country’s economic drivers that accounted for most of its growth.
Due to frequent drought and improper cultivation methods, the agricultural sector has been affected however, it made a slight growth in 2020 compared to the preceding year. Coffee is the staple product to the country’s economy with exports of around $360 million in 2006. Ethiopia’s maintained growth has reduced poverty in both urban and rural areas from 30% in 2011 to 24% in 2016.
The Ethiopian birr is the official currency of Ethiopia, subdivided into 100 santim. It is derived from the local word for silver and issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia.
The first birr was introduced in the 18th century and was in use until it was replaced with Italian lira in 1836 when the country was transformed into Italian East Africa. In 1941, the Italian lira was substituted with the East African shilling at the time of the East African Campaign.
In 1945, the birr was reintroduced at a rate of 1 birr to 2 shillings. On the banknotes, the birr is referred to as the Ethiopian dollar. In 1976, the name birr was widely used in all languages.