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Goba/Bale is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Coordinates: 7°0′N 39°59′E / 7.000°N 39.983°E / 7.000; 39.983Coordinates: 7°0′N 39°59′E / 7.000°N 39.983°E / 7.000; 39.983
Elevation2,743 m (8,999 ft)
Population (2005)
 • Total32,025
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Goba is a town and separate woreda in south-central Ethiopia. Located in the Bale Zone of the Oromia Region approximately 446 km southeast of Addis Ababa, this city has a latitude and longitude of 7°0′N 39°59′E / 7.000°N 39.983°E / 7.000; 39.983 and an elevation of 2,743 meters above sea level.

The town is known for its Wednesday market and for honey, basketry and cotton shawl making; Bale National Park is 10 km to the southwest. A few kilometers outside of Goba are the remains of an old rock church.[1] Goba shares Robe Airport (ICAO code HAGB, IATA GOB) with neighbouring Robe.

Ethiopian Airlines has a scheduled flight four times a week connecting Goba to the capital Addis Ababa and to the southern city Arba Minch.


Arnold Weinholt Hodson visited Goba while he was the British resident in southern Ethiopia (1914-1923), briefly describing it as a "large garrison town."[2]

Goba was the capital of the former Bale Province, until the province was abolished with the adoption of the new constitution in 1995. A telephone line connected Goba to Addis Ababa at least as early as 1936.[3] During the Bale revolt, rebels attacked the capital twice between November 1965 and March 1966.[4] In 1970 the town had the only high school in Bale Province; that year the school had 682 students, of whom 86 were Muslims in a province where Islam claimed over 90 per cent of the population.[3] As Gebru Tareke grimly concludes, "Between February 1970, when the revolt ended, and February 1974, when the imperial regime collapsed, precious little had changed in Bale, as indeed in the rest of Ethiopia."[5]

According to the third edition of the Lonely Planet guide to Ethiopia, "Goba is in a state of decline and Ethiopian Airlines has even cancelled its flights here."[6]

Starting from 1 September 2014, Ethiopian Airlines has announced a scheduled service four time per week to Robe Airport connecting Goba to Addis Ababa and Arba Minch.[7]


The 2007 national census reported a total population for Goba of 32,025, of whom 15,182 were men and 16,843 were women; 4,797 or 6.13% of its population were urban dwellers. The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 69.84% of the population reporting they observed this belief, while 23.12% of the population were Muslim and 5.84% were Protestant.[8]

The 1994 national census reported this town had a total population of 28,358 of whom 13,155 were men and 15,203 were women.


  1. ^ Camerapix, Spectrum Guide to Ethiopia (Brooklyn: Interlink, 2000), p. 154
  2. ^ Arnold Hodson, "Southern Abyssinia", Geographical Journal, 53 (1919), p. 73
  3. ^ a b "Local History in Ethiopia"[permanent dead link] (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 16 November 2007)
  4. ^ Gebru Tareke, Ethiopia: Power and Protest: Peasant Revolts in the Twentieth Century (Lawrenceville: Red Sea, 1996), p. 145
  5. ^ Gebru Tareke, Ethiopia, p. 158
  6. ^ Matt Philips and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Ethiopia and Eritrea, third edition (n.p.: Lonely Planet, 2006), p. 190
  7. ^ Ethiopian Airlines, [1], Accessed 02/09/14
  8. ^ 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Oromia Region, Vol. 1 Archived 13 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Tables 2.1, 2.5, 3.4 (accessed 13 January 2012)