Ethiopia displays a rather diverse country with many aspects to its culture and people. There are at least 77 different languages spoken in Ethiopia. Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia and is the native language of about 30% of the people.
Ethiopia has various indigenous languages to their culture. According to the Ethnologue, there are about 84 different languages. Most of them are Afro-Asiatic (Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic), plus some that are Nilo-Saharan. Tigrinya and Tigray are spoken in the north. Orominga is spoken by roughly 40% of all Ethiopians, mainly in the south. Somali and Afar are spoken in the east and Omotic tongues are spoken in the southwest. Nilo-Saharan native speakers live in the far southwest and along the western border. English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is often taught in schools and universities. English is considered to be the principal second language of the country.
People have many different opinions and outlooks on what problems these indigenous languages pose. In my opinion, by having so many different languages spoken in such a condense area can be overwhelming and cause a great amount of confusion. I personally found Lera Boroditsky’s article, “How does our language shape the way we think?”, to be rather interesting. She digs deep into the actual outcomes of having multiple languages. Boroditsky demonstrates how the use of diverse languages, can alter the meanings of what is actually being spoken. She touches on certain aspects, including color, time, direction, and feminine or masculine words. After engaging in her elaborate descriptions of language in several different cultures, a reader tends to open up their mind to new perspectives. Experiencing the grace of her writings, I came to the conclusion that having various languages tends to cause issues in terms of communicating. What one says in Amharic, can be completely misinterpreted when being translated to English, or any other language.
Ethiopia is a member of the United Nations (UN). The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 by 51 countries. “These countries are committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Ethiopia has been a part of the United Nations since November 13, 1945. The Organization provides a forum for its 192 Member States to express their views, through the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.” I believe that Ethiopia is fortunate to be a part of this widespread, peacekeeping organization that reaches all corners of the globe.
Ethiopia is also a part of the International Monetary Fund, which was created in 1945. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.” Being a member, Ethiopia gets a lot of help and support through this organization.
Ethiopia had plans to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2015. The nation applied to join the body in 2003, in hopes to become a member. At first, United States officials asked Ethiopia to liberalize both segments. The country denied, saying they are “sensitive areas” whose liberalization may harm national interests. Eventually the World Trade Organization lowered the standards for the least developed countries to join by agreeing new membership standards. “They recently added rules now allowing members to open fewer sectors, liberalize fewer types of transactions, and only open up their markets as their economies develops.” The government anticipates the country to grow significantly, possibly as much as 10 percent, within the fiscal year ending next month.
I personally believe that these organizations provide many advantages for Ethiopia. They seek to help ensure stability throughout the country, while still allowing them to have diversity. Due to these organizations, Ethiopia is progressing further and further, and will continue to strive to do so.