I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies in this brief summary of recent Ethiopian history. The Derg was the communist government that deposed Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 and held power until 1991. I believe the same Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, has been in power ever since then.
In general the Derg regime was not a pleasant time. In Tigray Region and Eritrea (which was then part of Ethiopia) there was unrest and agitation for independence, which the government responded to with military repression and, during the droughts of the early 1980s, with the withholding of food aid. The effect was the infamous Ethiopian famines of 1984.
The current government is relatively and generally stable (except for the 100 000 soldiers killed in the war with Eritrea, ongoing conflict in Beneshangul Gumuz and Gambella Regions, repression of Somalis in Somali Region and last year’s protests over election irregularities; still all these issues have remained isolated and contained and Ethiopia as a whole is enjoying relatively stability, compared to its history and compared to many African countries). However, it has taken people some time to adjust to the stability and freedom: for example, during the Derg Regime, people could not travel within the country, and it’s only in recent years that people are starting to feel comfortable enough to travel and visit historical sites within Ethiopia.
In Canada, U.S., Australia, England, and many Arab countries, there are significant populations of Ethiopians who left as refugees during the Derg Regime, and because Tigray was one of the areas most badly treated by the Derg, many of them are from the Tigray region. The positive (I think) effect that’s been felt in the past few years is that now that things are stable in Ethiopia, some of these people are returning to places like Adwa and Mekelle to invest their money and build high-end homes.