Ethiopia was the first independent African nation. The red, green and yellow of Ethiopia's flag have been adopted as the Pan-African Colors and symbols of African unity.Cars line the sides of a street in central Addis Ababa (photo of Tom Re)

Located in the Horn of East Africa, Ethiopia is a land-locked nation surrounded by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and Sudan to the west. Ethiopia is home to an estimated 50 million people today, most of whom are peasants or villagers (United Nations). Eleven percent of the population lives in urban areas of more than 2000 people while 89% lead an agrarian lifestyle (United Nations). Consequently, Ethiopia's economy is largely based on agricultural exports. The nation's major exports include coffee, wheat, corn, millet, cattle, sheep, goats, as well as gold and platinum (Ethiopia: A Country Study 146).