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Goba is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Coordinates: 7°0′N 39°59′E / 7°N 39.983°E / 7; 39.983
Country Ethiopia
Region Oromia
Zone Bale
Elevation 2,743 m (8,999 ft)
Population (2005)
 - Total 50,650
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Goba is a town 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°N 39.983°E / 7; 39.983 and an elevation of 2743 meters above sea level. It is the administrative center of Goba woreda.

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, from which Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to Addis Ababa.


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]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this town has an estimated total population of 50,650 of whom 24,256 are men and 26,394 are women.[7] 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" (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. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4


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