Ethiopia is an interesting country with an interesting past. While it is currently suffering much turmoil as a result of HIV/Aids, it has always been a country rich with African culture. Many associate Ethiopia with the coffee bean, as it forms the main economic drive of the country. Others associate Ethiopia with their affiliation to Rastafarianism and deification of Haile Selassie. This essay will explore the economy of coffee plantations in Ethiopia, their current challenges with HIV/Aids, and their past establishment of Rastafarianism.
HIV and the orphan crisis
Ethiopia is one of the worse-affected nations of the HIV/Aids epidemic that hit Africa in the eighties. The epidemic resulted in thousands of Aids orphans being left without homes or families. Fortunately, there have been a number of humane organizations that have helped alleviate this problem. Now that anti-retro viral drugs are accessible within the country, the crisis has taken a large dip in the last ten years. Still, the devastation the epidemic left in its wake is still evident all over.
Establishment of a new religion
Haile Selassie was a regent of Ethiopia during 1916 to 1930. While he never claimed divinity, he did not discourage his people from hailing him as “The king of kings and lord of lords.” Subsequently, a religion has stemmed from this belief that he was divine. Rastafarianism still proclaims Haile Selassie as the “Lion of Judah” as depicted in the Old Testament of the Bible. Marijuana smoking is also synonymous with this religion, but not as a rule.
Famous for the coffee bean
Ethiopia is famous for exporting hundreds of coffee variants and flavours. Their coffee is also considered to be the best in the world because the climate makes for the perfect conditions in which to grow the coffee bean. Ethiopia exports more coffee than any other country in the world. Coffee exports make up a large percentage of their economy and it has been estimated that without this commodity, the country’s economy would capitulate.
Like any country, Ethiopia has had its challenges. Yet they continue to thrive as a country that has done so throughout their history. Their successes are mainly due to their coffee bean resources which have kept them economically afloat for decades. Their religious beliefs may seem a bit strange to us, but probably no stranger than ours seem to them.