Map of Ethiopia showing Oromia Region
|Capital||de jure Addis Ababa
de facto Adama
|• Total||284,538 km2 (109,861 sq mi)|
|• Density||95/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||ET-OR|
Oromia (spelled Oromiyaa in the Oromo language; Amharic: ኦሮምያ?) 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 Oromia's 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: Finfinne); other important cities and towns include Adama, Ambo, Asella, Bishoftu, Dembidolo, Fiche, Gimbi, Goba, Jimma, Metu, Negele Boran, Nekemte, Shashamane and Waliso.
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 Ababa's 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."
Oromia shares a boundary with every Region of Ethiopia except for the Tigray Region. This boundary has been disputed with Oromia's 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.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Oromia has a total population of 27,158,471, consisting of 13,676,159 men and 13,482,312 women; urban inhabitants number 3,370,040 or 11.3% of the population. With an estimated area of 353,006.81 square kilometers, this region has an estimated population density of 76.93 people per square kilometer. For the entire region 5,590,530 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 4.8 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.8 and rural households 5.0 people.
In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the region's population was reported to be 18,732,525, of whom 9,371,228 were men and 9,361,297 women; urban inhabitants number 621,210 or 14% of the population.
According to the CSA, as of 2004[update], 32% of the total population had access to safe drinking water, of whom 23.7% were rural inhabitants and 91.03% were urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living for Oromia as of 2005[update] include the following: 19.9% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for men is 61.5% and for women 29.5%; and the Regional infant mortality rate is 76 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is about the same as the nationwide average of 77; at least half of these deaths occurred in the infants’ first month of life.
|Ethnic group||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|Gurage (some of Sebat Bet Gurage, Soddo Gurage, and Silt'e)||0.98%||0.93%|
|other ethnic groups||4.6%||4%|
Figures of full ethnic background are disputed, since many ethnically mixed Ethiopians are difficult to categorize. Particularly, Shewa Oromos and urban Oromos are known to have assimilated with ethnic Amhara and others, while southwestern Oromos have mixed with the Sidama and other ethnicities. The census and the general system of governance has remained controversial and related to the politics of the country. For instance, mixed Ethiopians with an Oromo father and Amhara mother are registered into the census using only their father's ethnic label. Similarly, Ethiopians with an Amhara father (or from another ethnic background) and Oromo mother are registered using only their father's ethnic label, and hence counted as non-Oromo.
Religion in entire region:
|Religion||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|other religious groups||1.6%||1%|
Religion in urban areas:
|Religion||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|other religious groups||-||1.5%|
Oromo (Oromiffa), presently written with Latin characters, is the most commonly spoken language, constituting 83.5% of the spoken language. Other major languages are Amharic (11%) (especially in eastern Welega and northern Shewa), Gurage languages (Sebat Bet Gurage, Soddo, Silt'e), Hadiya, Gedeo (0.98%), especially in western and eastern Shewa; and Tigrigna (0.25%). Omotic languages are spoken by significant minorities in Jimma, Illubabor and western Welega; and some Nilo-Saharan languages (including Komo, Majang, Gumuz, and Berta) are spoken in communities scattered in the west.
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 Ethiopia's 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%).
According to a March 2003 World Bank publication, the average rural household has 1.14 hectares of land compared to the national average of 1.01 hectares, 24% of the population is in non-farm related jobs compared to the national average of 25%.
Presidents of the Executive Committee
- Hassen Ali (OLF)(1992? - 1995)
- Kuma Demeksa (OPDO) (1995 - 24 July 2001)
- Junedin Sado (28 October 2001 - 6 October 2005)
- Abadula Gemeda OPDO (6 October 2005 - September 2010)
- Alemayehu Atomsa OPDO (September 2010 – Feb 2014)
- Muktar Kedir OPDO (March 2014 – Present 
(This list is based on information from Worldstatesmen.org.)
The Oromia is subdivided into administrative zones:
- East Hararghe
- East Shewa
- East Welega
- Horo Gudru Welega
- Kelem Welega
- North Shewa
- South West Shewa
- West Arsi
- West Hararghe
- West Shewa
- West Welega
- Adama (special zone)
- Jimma (special zone)
- Oromia-Finfinne (special zone)
- Kemise (oromia zone)
Oromia is named for the Oromo people, who settled along the edge of the Ethiopian highlands that form this Zone. Oromia Zone is bordered on the southwest by Semien Shewa, on the northwest by Debub (South) Wollo and Argobba special woreda, and on the east by the Afar Region. Kemise is the administrative center of the Zone; other towns include Bati.
The Oromia Zone was created in the late summer of 1994, according to one account in response to pressure from the Oromo Liberation Front, which was actively agitating for autonomy for Afaan Oromo-speaking populations during late 1991 and early 1992. Four woredas were taken from Debub Wollo—Bati, Dewe, Esseya Gulla and Artuma—and two woredas from Semien Shewa—Fursi and Senbete—and appointing Kemise to be the Zonal capital. The new zone was organized into five woredas by combining Artuma and Fursi into one, and renaming Esseya Gola to Chefa Gola. The numbers and areas of the constituent woredas have since changed. Demographics
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this Zone has a total population of 457,278, a decrease of -1.23% from the 1994 census, of whom 227,328 are men and 229,950 women; with an area of 3,470.04 square kilometers, Oromia has a population density of 131.78. While 51,728 or 11.31% are urban inhabitants, a further 2,005 or 0.44% are pastoralists. A total of 101,442 households were counted in this Zone, which results in an average of 4.51 persons to a household, and 97,957 housing units. The two largest ethnic groups reported in Oromia Zone were the Oromo (86.07%), and the Amhara (12.54%); all other ethnic groups made up 1.39% of the population. Afaan Oromo was spoken as a first language by 82.13%, and 16.99% spoke Amharic; the remaining 0.88% spoke all other primary languages reported. 97.07% were Muslim, and 2.4% of the population said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this Zone of 462,951 in 97,025 households, of whom 232,461 were men and 230,490 women; 39,666 or 8.57% of its population were urban dwellers at the time. The three largest ethnic groups reported in Oromia Zone were the Oromo (65.34%), the Amhara (31.79%), and the Argobba (2.29%); all other ethnic groups made up 0.58% of the population. Afaan Oromo was spoken as a first language by 65.08%, and 34.29% spoke Amharic; the remaining 0.63% spoke all other primary languages reported. 98.01% were Muslim, and 1.92% of the population said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.
According to a May 24, 2004 World Bank memorandum, 5% of the inhabitants of Oromia Zone have access to electricity, this zone has a road density of 23.9 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers (compared to the national average of 30 kilometers), the average rural household has 0.6 hectare of land (compared to the national average of 1.01 hectare of land and an average of 0.75 for the Amhara Region) and the equivalent of 0.5 heads of livestock. 10.9% of the population is in non-farm related jobs, compared to the national average of 25% and a regional average of 21%. 25% of all eligible children are enrolled in primary school, and 3% in secondary schools. 100% of the zone is exposed to malaria, and none to Tsetse fly. The memorandum gave this zone a drought risk rating of 565. Notes
Sarah Vaughan, "Ethnicity and Power in Ethiopia" (University of Edinburgh: Ph.D. Thesis, 2003), p. 240 n. 259 "Field Trip to North Shewa, Oromo and South Welo Zones of Region 3 (Amhara) 31 August - 3 September 1994" UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, dated September 1994 (accessed 13 January 2009) Census 2007 Tables: Amhara Region, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4. 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Amhara Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Tables 2.1, 2.11, 2.14, 2.17 (accessed 6 April 2009) "Ethiopia - Second Road Sector Development Program Project", p.3 (World Bank Project Appraisal Document, published 19 May 2003) Comparative national and regional figures comes from the World Bank publication, Klaus Deininger et al. "Tenure Security and Land Related Investment", WP-2991 (accessed 23 March 2006). World Bank, Four Ethiopias: A Regional Characterization (accessed 23 March 2006)
- "FDRE States: Basic Information, Oromia". The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
- 2009 CIA map marks Nazrēt (Adama) as an administrative (regional) capital. Eritrea and Ethiopia (Map). 1:5,000,000. Central Intelligence Agency. 2009. Map #803395.
- 2011 National Statistics (accessed 7 May 2012).
- gurage muslim kingdom in shawa
- shawa pre-somali conquest
- Hameso, Seyoum and Tilahun Ayanou Nebo (2000). "Ethiopia: A New Start?". The Sidama Concern. Retrieved February 25, 2006.
- Mosisa, Abraham T. (January 13, 2004). "Letter to U.N. Secretary-General". Oromo Studies Association. Retrieved February 25, 2006.
- "Nazareth Selected as Oromiya's Capital". Walta Information Center. July 13, 2000. Retrieved February 25, 2006.
- "Chief Administrator of Oromia says decision to move capital city based on study". Walta Information Center. 2005-06-11. Archived from the original on 2005-06-13. Retrieved February 25, 2006.
- "Somali-Oromo border referendum of December 2004", Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre website (accessed 11 February 2009)
- "Regional Overview: Oromiya Region", Focus on Ethiopia (April 2005), p. 5 (accessed 11 February 2009)
- "Regional Update: Oromiya", Focus on Ethiopia (May 2005), p. 5 (accessed 11 February 2009)
- "Households by sources of drinking water, safe water sources" (PDF). CSA Selected Basic Welfare Indicators. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Macro International Inc. Ethiopia Atlas of Key Demographic and Health Indicators, 2005 (PDF). Calverton: Macro International, 2008. 2008. pp. 2, 3, 10. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- Census 2007 Tables: Oromia Region, Table 3.3.
- "CSA 2005 National Statistics - Tables D.4 - D.7." (PDF).
- Klaus Deininger et al. "Tenure Security and Land Related Investment, WP-2991". Retrieved 23 March 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oromia Region.|
- Oromia State Government
- Map of Oromia Region at UN-OCHA (PDF file)
- Map of Oromia Region at DPPA of Ethiopia (PDF file)
- FDRE States: Basic Information - Oromia