100 Interesting Facts about Africa – Part 2

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26 Emperor Menelik II

Emperor Menelik II

Electricity was introduced to Ethiopia in 1896 after Emperor Menelik II ordered two newly invented electric chairs as a form of humane capital punishment and realized they were useless in his country without electricity

27. The record for most passengers ever carried by a commercial airliner is 1,088, by an El Al Boeing 747 during Operation Solomon, which involved the evacuation of Ethiopian Jews from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and started on 24 May 1991. This figure included two babies born on the flight.

28. A regiment in the British Army owns the oldest drum in the world which they took from King Theodore of Ethiopia. Young officers used to wear it while drinking beer as an initiation into the regiment.

29. The article quoting UNICEF that “70% of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction” was in error. UNICEF’s survey says its 7.8% and almost entirely in rural areas.

30. Ethiopia donated $5000 to earthquake victims in Mexico because Mexico supported Ethiopia when Italy invaded in 1935

31 Wham!


Wham! donated all the royalties from “Last Christmas”, released December 1984 to Ethiopia famine aid.

32. Lalibela, Ethiopia is home to 11 monolithic churches carved out of mountains and connected by tunnels. The churches’ roofs are at ground level to make them invisible to raiders from a distance.

33. A 9-year-old Rachel pledge to donate money oh her birthday instead of receiving presents. She didn’t reach her goal. A year later she passed away and her story made people donate $1.2 million which helped change the lives of over 60,000 people in Ethiopia.

34. The last Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile-Selassie-1) was deposed in 1975, almost 1000 years after the first Emperor was crowned.

35. Drunk Driving is legal in many countries, including Indonesia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and many others.

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36 Ethiopian salt ponds

Ethiopian salt ponds

Ethiopia’s salt ponds contain one of the few places life cannot survive on Earth: The Dallol pools are likely so hot, salty and acidic that even extremophile microbes are unable to enter.

37. A famine in Ethiopia from 1983-1985 killed around 400,000-1,000,000 people and that 56,000 tons of food donated by aid efforts from the West through Live Aid was left to rot in a port by the Ethiopian government.

38. Ethiopia was the only African country that was never colonized

39. Using Skype in Ethiopia can get you jailed for 15 years.

40. Ethiopia’s calendar is 7 years behind the rest of the world. In 2007, the country celebrated the new millennium as they changed their calendars from 1999 to 2000.

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41 Kaldi


Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia when the goat herder Kaldi noticed his goats were dancing after eating the beans.

42. Ethiopia adopted Christianity as its state religion in 324 before Rome did in 380.

43. There is a man (Paul Salopek) who is attempting to recreate the migrations of early man by walking from Ethiopia to Patagonia. A journey estimated to take 7 years.

44. Ethiopia is home to the oldest most complete Christian Bible

45. Ethiopia has a celebrity TV (Demeke Girma) chef who believes he can combat his country’s hunger problems by encouraging everyone to eat more diverse foods

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

46 Coffee


Ethiopians cannot enjoy the highest quality coffee produced in their own country, which is the birthplace of coffee. The government only allows lower-quality beans to be sold on the domestic market, in order to promote exports and obtain a harder foreign currency.

47. In Ethiopia, they work on a 12-hour clock instead of the traditional 24 hours one and they have no intention to abolish it

48. Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world, as well as the second most populous in Africa.

49. Millions of people believe that the Arc of the Covenant is located in a small church in Ethiopia

50. In 1870, 10% of Africa was under European control; by 1914 it was 90%, with only Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Liberia still independent.

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