General Provisions


We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia:
Strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a lasting peace, guaranteeing a democratic order, and advancing our economic and social development;

Firmly convinced that the fulfillment of this objective requires full respect of individual and people's fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the basis of equality and without any sexual, religious or cultural discrimination; Further convinced that by continuing to live with our rich and proud cultural legacies in territories we have long inhabited, have, through continuous interaction on various levels and forms of life, built up common interest and have also contributed to the emergence of a common outlook;

Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests;

Convinced that to live as one economic community is necessary in order to create sustainable and mutually supportive conditions for ensuring respect for our rights and freedoms and for the collective promotion of our interests;

Determined to consolidate, as a lasting legacy, the peace and the prospect of a democratic order which our struggles and sacrifices have brought about;

Have therefore adopted, on 8 December 1994 this constitution through representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual commitment to fulfill the objectives and the principles set forth above.

Chapter One General Provisions

Article 1: Nomenclature of the State

This Constitution establishes a Federal and Democratic State structure. Accordingly, the Ethiopian state shall be known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Article 2: Ethiopian Territorial Jurisdiction

The territorial jurisdiction of Ethiopia shall comprise the territory of the members of the Federation and its boundaries shall be as determined by international agreements.

Article 3: The Ethiopian Flag

1. The Ethiopian flag shall consist of green at the top, yellow in the middle and red at the bottom, and shall have a national emblem at the center. The three colors shall be set horizontally in equal dimension.

2. The national emblem on the flag shall reflect the hope of the Nations, Nationalities, Peoples as well as religious communities of Ethiopia to live together in equality and unity.

3. Members of the Federation may have their respective flags and emblems and shall determine the details thereof through their respective legislatures.

Article 4: National Anthem of Ethiopia

The national anthem of Ethiopia, to be determined by law, shall reflect the ideals of the Constitution, the Commitment of the Peoples of Ethiopia to live together in a democratic order and of their common destiny.

Article 5: Languages

1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition.

2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.

3. Members of the Federation may by law determine their respective working languages.

Article 6: Nationality

1. Any person of either sex shall be an Ethiopian national where both or either parent is Ethiopian.

2. Foreign nationals may acquire Ethiopian nationality.

3. Particulars relating to nationality shall be determined by law.

Article 7: Gender Reference

Provisions of this Constitution set out in the masculine gender shall also apply to the feminine gender.