Ethiopia is strategically located in the Horn of Africa. Its proximity to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade. Covering an area of approximately 1.14 million square kilometers (444,000 square mile), Ethiopia is bordered by the Sudan on the west, Somalia on the south-east, Djibouti on the east, Eritrea on the north and Kenya on the south.
Although Ethiopia lies within 15 degrees north of the equator, owing to the moderating influence of high altitude, the central highlands, where the vast majority of Ethiopian peoples live, generally enjoy temperate and pleasant climate, with average temperatures rarely exceeding 20 degree centigrade. The sparsely populated low lands, on the other hand, typically have sub-tropical and tropical climates. At approximately 850 mm (34 inches), the average annual rainfall for the whole country is considered to be moderate by global standards. In most of the highlands, rainfall occurs in two distinct seasons: the “small” rains during February and March and the “high rains from June to September.