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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nickname(s): The Hidden Diamond[citation needed]
Motto: We rise like our sun.[citation needed]
Hawassa is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Coordinates: 7°3′N 38°28′E / 7.05°N 38.467°E / 7.05; 38.467
Country Ethiopia
Region Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
Zone Sidama
District Awassa
 - Type Democratic
 - Mayor Biruk Elias(PhD)
 - Urban 50 km2 (19.3 sq mi)
Elevation 1,708 m (5,604 ft)
Population (2008)
 - City 162,179
 Density 3,243/km2 (8,399.3/sq mi)
 - Urban Density 3,243/km2 (8,399.3/sq mi)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
Area code(s) 46

Awasa (also spelled Awassa or Hawassa) is a city in Ethiopia, on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley. Located in the Sidama Zone 270 km south of Addis Ababa via Debre Zeit, 130 km east of Sodo, 75 km north of Dilla and 1125 km north of Nairobi, Awasa is the capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region. The city lies on the Trans-African Highway 4 Cairo-Cape Town, with a latitude and longitude of 7°3′N 38°28′E / 7.05°N 38.467°E / 7.05; 38.467Coordinates: 7°3′N 38°28′E / 7.05°N 38.467°E / 7.05; 38.467 and an elevation of 1708 meters. It is the largest settlement in Awasa woreda.

Map of Awassa Town

Awassa was capital of the former Sidamo Province from about 1978 until the province was abolished with the adoption of the 1995 Constitution. This city is home to Hawassa University (which includes an Agricultural College, a Main Campus and a Health Sciences College), Awasa Adventist College, and a major market. The city is served by Awasa Airport (ICAO code HALA, IATA AWA), opened in 1988. Postal service is provided by a main branch; electricity and telephone service are also available.[1] Important local attractions include the St. Gabriel Church and the Awassa Kenema Stadium. Fishing is a major local industry.



In September 1994 alone, 194 members of the Sidama Liberation Movement (commonly known as SLM1 to distinguish it from the pro-government SLM2) were arrested and held in Awasa prison. The chairman of SLM1, Woldeamanuel Dubale, had fled to the United Kingdom after an unsuccessful attempt in 1992 to assassinate him.[2]

Awassa Regional map

The Addis Tribune reported 31 May 2002 that government security forces in Awasa on Friday, 24 March, killed 38 farmers who were attempting to demonstrate against the government decision to move the capital of the Sidama Zone from Awasa and make it a chartered city, similar to Dire Dawa. Three thousand demonstrators of the Sidama people, the ethnic group that so far had control of the regional capital, had taken to the streets when police declared their demonstration illegal and opened fire. The regional government recently announced their decision to move the administrative center to Aleta Wendo.[2] Human Rights Watch had documented the deaths of 25 protesters, 12 of whom were children, and identified 26 more injured. These deaths came shortly after police shootings in Shambu, Ambo, and other towns in Oromia, resulting in five acknowledged student deaths. Rapid deployment forces of the federal and regional police also killed two at a meeting in Seraro the previous year.[3]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia published in 2005, Awasa has an estimated total population of 125,315, of whom 63,267 are men and 62,048 women.[4] The 1994 census reported this town had a total population of 69,169 of whom 35,029 were men and 34,140 were women.


Soccer is the most played game in Awassa, but recently basketball is also becoming popular among the youth. Biking and running comptetions are also rarely held on the main streets of the town.


Hawassa University, established in 1999 through the merger of a number of higher education institutions, is based in the city.

External links


  1. ^ "Detailed statistics on infrastucture", Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region, Bureau of Finance and Economic Development website (accessed 27 September 2009)
  2. ^ a b "Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 18 December 2007)
  3. ^ "Ethiopia: Police Firing on Unarmed Protesters", Human Rights Watch website, published 10 June 2006 (accessed 7 July 2009)
  4. ^ "2005 National Statistics, Table B.4" (pdf). Central Statistical Agency. Retrieved February 10 2006. 


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