Sneha Girap (Editor)

Oromia Region

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Country  Ethiopia
Area  284,538 km2
Capital  Addis AbabaAdama
Population  27,158,471
Colleges and Universities  Haramaya University (Dire Dawa), Jimma University (Jimma), Adama Science and Technology University (Adama), Wollega University (Nekemte), Rift Valley University College (Adama)

Oromia (spelled Oromiyaa in the Oromo language; Amharic: ?) is one of the nine ethnically-based regional states of Ethiopia, covering 284,538 square kilometers. It is bordered by the Somali Region to the east; the Amhara Region, the Afar Region and the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to the north; South Sudan, Gambela Region, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region to the west; and Kenya to the south. The 2007 census reported Oromias population at over 27 million, making it the largest state in terms of both population and area. It includes the former Arsi Province along with portions of the former Bale, Hararghe, Illubabor, Kaffa, Shewa, Sidamo, and Welega provinces. Its current capital is Addis Ababa (Oromo: ); other important cities and towns include Adama, Ambo, Asella, Bishoftu, Dembidolo, Fiche, Gimbi, Goba, Jimma, Metu, Negele Boran, Nekemte, Shashamane and Waliso.


Map of Oromia Region


Oromia Region in the past, History of Oromia Region

The region of Oromia was inhabited by different ethnic communities for centuries. The earliest people to live in northern Oromia are believed to be Muslim Gurage people from southern Abyssinia. The sultanate of Showa, dominated by the gurage settled in what is today shewa many centuries before the Somali speaking Sultanate of Ifat annexed the region. Other accounts however suggest Aksum/Abyssinian control of both Shawa and bale for centuries until the rise of the Somali Imam Ahmed.

Prior to 2000, the regional capital of Oromia is [Adama], The relocation of the regional capital to Adama sparked considerable controversy and this forced the government to bring back the capital to Addis Ababa. Critics of the move believed the Ethiopian government wished to de-emphasize Addis Ababas location within Oromia. On the other hand, the government maintained that Addis Ababa "has been found inconvenient from the point of view of developing the language, culture and history of the Oromo people."

On June 10, 2005, the Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization, part of the ruling coalition, officially announced plans to move the state capital back to Finfinne.

Oromia shares a boundary with every Region of Ethiopia except for the Tigray Region. This boundary has been disputed with Oromias neighbors in a number of cases, most notably between Oromia and the Somali Region. One attempt to resolve the dispute between the two Regions was the October, 2004 referendum held in about 420 kebeles in 12 woredas across five zones of the Somali Region. According to the official results of the referendum, about 80% of the disputed areas have fallen under Oromia administration, though there were numerous allegations of voting irregularities in many of them. The results led over the following weeks to minorities in these kebeles being pressured to leave. In Oromya, estimates based on figures given by local woreda and kebele authorities suggest that a total of 21,520 people have been displaced in different border woredas, namely Mieso, Doba, and Erer in the Mirab and Misraq Hararghe Zones. On the other hand, Federal authorities believe that this number may be overstated by as much as 11,000. In Doba, the Ministry of Federal Affairs put the number of IDPs at 6,000. There are also more than 2,500 displaced persons in Mieso. In addition, there were reports of people being displaced in the border area of Moyale and Borena zones due to this conflict.


The CSA reported that for 2004-2005 115,083 tons of coffee were produced in Oromia, based on inspection records from the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority. This represents 50.7% of the total production in Ethiopia. Farmers in the Region had an estimated total of 17,214,540 cattle (representing 44.4% of Ethiopias total cattle), 6,905,370 sheep (39.6), 4,849,060 goats (37.4%), 959,710 horses (63.25%), 63,460 mules (43.1%), 278,440 asses (11.1%), 139,830 camels (30.6%), 11,637,070 poultry of all species (37.7%), and 2,513,790 beehives (57.73%).


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