State of Benishangul Gumuz
The State of Benishangul Gumuz
comprises 3 administrative zones, made up of 19 woredas out of which
two are special woredas (Pawi and Tongo) and 33 Kebeles. Amharic is
the working language of the State.
Assosa is the capital
city of the State
The State of Benishangul Gumuz is
located in the north-western part of Ethiopia. The State shares
common boundaries in the west with the Sudan, in the north-east with
the State of Amhara, in the east and south with the State of Oromia.
The State of Benishangul Gumuz has an
estimated area size of 51,000 square kilometers.
According to the 1994 census, the
population was estimated at 460,459 of which 233,013 were males and
227,446 were females. Rural population was 424,432, while the urban
population was 36,027.
MAJOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Farming and cattle breeding are
predominant occupations in the State. Millet, Sorghum, Teff, Coffee
and Mango are among the major agricultural products. Primitive gold
mining, which requires intensive labor and non-sustainable forest
dependent activities such as charcoal and fire wood production are
other means of livelihood for the region's population.
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
The State has three types of climatic
zones: "kola", "dega", and "woyna dega". About 75% of the State
classified as "kola" (law lands) which is below 1500 meters above
sea level. The altitude ranges form 550 to 2,500 meters above sea
level. The average annual temperature reaches from 20-250C.
During the hottest months (January - May) it reaches a 28 - 340C.
The annual minimum and maximum mean temperature registered at Asosa
for the last 26 years is 12.40C and 27.80C
respectively. The annual rainfall amount ranges from 500-1800mm. The
amount of rain fall registered at Assosa is 1056.2 mm. The rainy
season spreads through May to October.
RIVERS AND LAKES
There are two river basins, Abay and
Baro Akobo. The rivers found in these basins include Dabus, Yabus,
Dura, Juila and Beles. These rivers have potentials for irrigation,
water supply, and mini-hydro electric power generation. These rivers
are the main tributaries of the Blue Nile. Dubus river is studied
for its utilization as a source of hydro-electric power.
According to 1996/97 censusration
conducted by the State's agricultural bureau, the State has 253,703
cattle, 24,318 pack animals (donkey, mule, horse), 102,290 sheep,
240,848 goat, and 505,412 poultry.
Wild animals such as lion, cheetah (Abo
Shemane) elphant, antelope, bufflao, warthog, bushbuck, and duiker
are found in the State. Even though there is high potential there is
no reserved hunting area, wild life sanctuary or park in the state.
The State is rich in gold, copper,
zink, base metal, marble resources. Artisan mining is considered as
part of the natives of the region.
From November 1994 up to now
(November 1998), 39 investment certificates with a capital of 332
million Birr have been awarded in the region. Of these 30 have
started functioning. The 332 million Birr have been awarded in the
State. Of these 30 have started functioning. The remaining are in
construction and preparatory phases. Agriculture is the sector,
which attracted 30 investors with the biggest share of the total
capital. The other investment sectors include hotel, mining
(marble), natural gum and incense, and metal and wood works. Two
investors are involved in the production of natural gum and incense
on an area of more than 80,000 hectares. Two modern hotels and one
metal and woodworks industry have begun work in Assosa town. The
investment projects will create a job opportunity for 23,126 persons
in the region.