The State of
Oromia sprawls over the largest part of the country and at present
comprises of 12 administrative zones and 180 woredas. Of the 12
zones, Bale and Borena account for 45.7% of the State's total area
but only about 14% of the state's population. The Council of the
State of Oromia is the highest body of its administration.
The capital city
of the State of Oromiya is Finfine (Addis Ababa)
The State of
Oromia borders Afar, Amhara and the State of Benshangul/Gumuz in the
north, Kenya in the south, The State of Somali in the east, the
Republic of the Sudan and the state of Benishangul/gumuz in the
west, the State of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' and
the state of Gambella in the south.
Based on the
political map (1994 Population and Housing Census Commission, CSA),
the estimated area of the State of Oromia is about 353,690 Km2, and
accounts for almost 32% of the country.
According to the
1994 census result the total population was 18,732,525 of which
9,371,228 were males and 9,361,297 females. The rural residents of
the State accounts for 89.5% of the total.
composition of the population of the State indicated that 44.3% were
Muslims, 41.3% Orthodox Christians, 8.6% Protestants, and 4.2%
followers of traditional religions. The remaining 1.6% constitutes
other religious groups. In urban Oromia Orthodox Christians
constitute 67.8% of the population, followed by Muslims 24.0% and
According to the
1994 census result, the major ethnic groups within the State include
85% Oromo, 9.1% Amhara and 1.3% Gurage (some of Sebatbet Guragie,
Sodo Gurage and Siltie). The remaining 4.6% constitute other ethnic
presently inscribed with Latin characters, is the official language.
It consitutes 83.5% of the spoken language. Other major languages
are Amharic 11%, Guragigna (Sebatbet, Sodogna, Siltigna and
Hadiyigna together), 0.98%, Gedeogna 0.98% and Tigrigna 0.25%.
MAJOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Over 90% of the
people of Oromia live in the rural area, and agriculture has
remained the source of livelihood for the overwhelming majority of
the people. The main agricultural crops include maize, teff, wheat,
barely, peas, bean and various types of oil seeds. Coffee is the
main cash crop in the region. Oromia accounts for 51.2% of the crop
production, 45.1% of the area under temporary crops and 44% of the
total livestock population of Ethiopia.
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Oromia is a
region of great physiographic diversity. Its landscape includes high
and rugged mountain ranges, undulaling plateaus, panoramic gorges
and deep incised river valleys, and rolling plains. Rising from less
than 500 meters above sea level to high ranges that culminate into
Mt. Batu (4607 m)- the highest peak of the region. Oromia is endowed
with varied relief features which inturn accentuate varied and
amiable climatic condition and other rich natural resource
bases.Oromia is a remnant part of the high and extensive
Afro-Arabian plateau formed from contunued uplift, rifting and
subsequent volcanic piles. High relief of over 1500m is dominant.
The climatic types prevailing in the region may be grouped into 3
major categories: the dry climate, tropical rainy climate and
temperate rainy climate. The dry climate is characterized by poor
sparse vegetation with annual mean temperature of 270c to 390c, and
mean annual rainfall of less than 450 mm. The hot semi-arid climate
mean annual temperature varies between 180c and 270c. It has a mean
annual rainfall of 410-820 mm with noticeable variability from year
to year. Highlands of Oromiya experience temperate climate of
moderate temperatutre, (mean temperature of the coolest month is
less than 180c) and ample precipitation (1200-2000mm).
RIVERS AND LAKES
Wabe-Shebele, Genale, Gibe, Baro, Dedessa and Guder are major rivers
in the region. River Awash, which is the longest river inside
Ethiopia is a source of great agroindustrial and hydroelectric
The crator lakes
Green lake (true to its name), Bishoftu, Kuriftu, Bishoftu-Gudo,
Hora-Kilole, Horsa Arsedi, and the rift-valley lakes Ziway, Abiyata,
Shala, and Langano are found in this region. They have immense
potential for recreation and fishery development.
There are around
800 bird species and more than 100 wild animals in the region.
Endemic wild animals such as the mountain Nyala, the Semien Red Fox
and Menelik Bushbuck inhabit the Bale mountains national park.
National Park, the oldest and most developed game reserve of its
kind in Ethiopia, consists most of the Eeast African plain games
except Giraffe and Buffalo. It is home to the Oryx, Kudu, Caracal,
Aardavark, Colobus Monkey, Green Monkeys, Baboons, Leopard,
Klipspringer, Hippo, Seemering's Gazelle, Grevy's Zebra and
The Awash National Park is also a natural sanctuary of numerous
bird-species, some of which include Limburger, Wattle Crane, Angur
Buzzard, Verreaux Eagle and long eared owls. Water Fowls, Shore
Birds and the colorful Ruddy Shelled Duck as well as the endemic
Blue-winged Goose are common in the marshy areas of the park.
mineral deposits of the region include: gold, platinum, nickel,
iron-ore, soda ash, diatomite, limestone, feldspar, silica sand,
dolomite, kaolin, granite and other non-metallic construction
Gold mines at
Adola and Laga Dambi (Borena zone) Nejo and Birbir river Valley (Wollega),
and platinum at Yubdo (Wellega) are being exploited. Mining
activities that are already underway include:gold (Borena and West
Wellega), soda ash in the Rift Valley, limestone, gypsum and clay
soil (Muger), tantalum (at Kenticha) ornamental and construction
minerals (in Hararghe and Wellega) and ceramic in Borena.
Oromia has high potential for hydropower development. Untouched
energy in geothermal, natural coal, and solar are found in the
region. At present, the greatest percentage of the hydroelectric
power of Ethiopia comes form Koka, Fincha, Melka-Wakena and Sor
power stations of the region.
installed capacity of Integrated Circial System hydro electricity
generating stations in the region amounts to 367,120 kW of which
360,200 (98.1%) and 6920 (1.9%) are hydro and thermal respectively.
On the other hand, the total installed capacity of self contained
system (SCS) in 1993/94 is 12,759 kw of which 5,510 (43.2%) and
7,249 (56.8%) are hydro and thermal respectively. Gilgel Gibe
another hydroelectric power source is under construction. Generally,
most of the rivers in the state have immese hydroelectric power
TOURISM AND HERITAGE
large and endemic varieties of fauna and bird species of the Awash
and the Bale Mountains National Park, the Rift-Valley lakes of the
region are places where sports, sunbathing and bird watching tours
could be accomplished.The hot springs in Walliso and Sodere (about
114 km south west and east of the capital respectively) are popular
attraction sites for their medicinal and recreational value.
The Sof-Omar caves in central Bale, with their galleries of polished
white cone and chamber of columns are the incredible natural
phenomena of great interest and beauty. The palace of Aba Jifar in
Jimma is another historical attraction. Moreover, topographical
spectacles of the region add up to make Oromiya a perfect tourist
There are more
than 761 investment projects in the region. These projects have a
capital of 3.4 billion Birr and will provide employment opportunity
for above 51,728 employees. With its vast and varied natural
resources the region has ample opportunity for investment.