The course Geography of Ethiopia had been offered to all freshman students of Ethiopian Universities until 2005. However, it was interrupted with the curricula revision that ended up making the duration of study for a University degree for most disciplines to be three years. This trend continued for more than a decade and a half. In response to the changing national and global dynamism, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) had conducted assessment for a curriculum revision. The assessment included gathering evidence from international experiences and domestic practices in proposing courses for the freshman program. The results of the assessment revealed that the Ethiopian education curriculum had not properly addressed national unity among graduates, critical thinking, important non-cognitive skills, employability skills, communication skills, global outlook, and digital literacy to cite few. One of the recommendations of the curriculum revision team was that the curriculum/program need to have components that highlight the necessities of Ethiopian Geography, society, cultures as well as the dynamic interrelationship of people and natural environments over time. As a result, to fill the existing gaps, common courses such as the Geography of Ethiopia and the Horn and others were identified to be offered for all first year students of higher education institutions.
The Geography of Ethiopia and the Horn is, therefore, intended to familiarize students with the basic geographic concepts particularly in relation to Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. It is also meant to provide students a sense of place and time (geographic literacy) that are pivotal in producing knowledgeable and competent citizens who are able to comprehend and analyze spatial problems and contribute to their solutions. To be geographically illiterate is to deny oneself not only the ability to comprehend spatial problems but also the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the development of policies for dealing with them. As such, the course provides an opportunity for the reader to understand the implications of the location, shape and size of Ethiopia, as well as the country‟s physical and human resources diversity and abundance on its socioeconomic development.
The course consists of four parts. The first part provides a brief description on the location, shape and size of Ethiopia as well as basic skills of reading maps. Part two introduces the physical background and natural resource endowment of Ethiopia and the Horn which includes its geology and mineral resources, topography, climate, drainage and water resources, soil, fauna and flora. The third part of the course focuses on the demographic characteristics of the
country and its implications on economic development. The fourth component of the course offers treatment of the various economic activities of Ethiopia and the Horn which include agriculture, manufacturing and the service sectors. Moreover, Ethiopia in a globalizing world is treated in the perspectives of the pros and cons of globalization on its natural resources, population and socio-economic conditions.
This teaching material is compiled to meet the urgent needs of freshman students of Ethiopian Universities, who take the course “Geography of Ethiopia and the Horn (GeES 1011)”. It is our fervent belief that the material