Map of Ethiopia showing Amhara Region
|• President||Temesgen Tiruneh|
|• Total||154,708.96 km2 (59,733.46 sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||ET-AM|
|HDI (2017)||0.443 |
low · 9th
Amhara Region (Ge'ez : አምሐራ, Amharic : አማራ, romanized: ʾÄmara) is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as "Region 3", its capital is Bahir Dar. Ethiopia's largest inland body of water, Lake Tana, which is the source of the Blue Nile river, is located within Amhara. The region also contains the Semien Mountains National Park, which includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. Amhara is bordered by the state of Sudan to the west and northwest, and in other directions by other regions of Ethiopia: Tigray to the north, Afar to the east, Benishangul-Gumuz to the west and southwest, and Oromia to the south.
The government of Amhara is composed of the executive branch, led by the President; the legislative branch, which comprises the State Council; and the judicial branch, which is led by the state Supreme Court.
During the Ethiopian Empire, Amhara included several provinces (such as Dembiya, Gojjam, Begemder, Angot, Wollo, Shewa and Lasta), most of which were ruled by native Ras or Negus. The Amhara Region then incorporated most of the former provinces of Begemder, Dembiya, Angot, Bete Amhara (Wollo), Gojjam and Shewa.With the rise of the so-called Solomonic Dynasty in 1270 under Emperor Yekuno Amlak (born in the Maqdalla region) and until the establishment of Gondar as the new imperial capital around 1600, the Debre-Birhan to Mekane-Selassie region was the primary seat of the roving Wolloye-Shewan emperors. This period is most significant in the formation of the medieval Ethiopian state, the spread and consolidation of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (following the example set by the Zagwe kings in preserving the Axumite heritage) and propagating to the core provinces (besides Tigray/Eritrea, Wolkayt, and Lasta) of Bete Amhara, Gojam, Begemdir, northern Shewa, Gafat, and Damot
The region's recorded history, in fact, goes back to the early second millennium. For example, St. George's Church in the town of Woreilu (whose Tabot is reputed to have been carried by Emperor Menelik at the Battle of Adwa) was established around 1200.
The parish of Mekane Selassie (መካነ ስላሴ), near Neded and the home of the cathedral by the same name, served as a favourite royal playground. The construction of Mekane Selassie (meaning: the abode of the Trinity) was begun by Emperor Naod (1494-1508) and completed by his son Emperor Lebna Dengel. This was a year before the church (along with a large number of monasteries in the region) was sacked and burned down in 1531 by the invasion led by Ahmad bin Ibrahim. Francisco Alvarez, who had earlier visited the church, confirms that its size was some 150 feet by 150 feet — wholly covered in gold leaf, inlaid with gems, pearls and corals
On 22 June 2019, factions of the security forces of the region attempted a coup d'état against the regional government, during which the President of the Amhara Region, Ambachew Mekonnen, was assassinated.A bodyguard siding with the nationalist factions assassinated General Se'are Mekonnen – the Chief of the General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force – as well as his aide, Major General Gizae Aberra . The Prime Minister's Office accused Brigadier General Asaminew Tsige, head of the Amhara region security forces, of leading the plot , and Tsige was shot dead by police near Bahir Dar on 24 June.
Based on the 2007 census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), the Amhara Region has a population of 17,221,976. 8,641,580 were men and 8,580,396 women; urban inhabitants number 2,112,595 or 12.27% of the population. With an estimated area of 154,708.96 km2 (59,733.46 sq mi), this region has an estimated density of 108.2 people per square kilometer. For the entire Region 3, 983,768 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 4.3 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.3 and rural households 4.5 people. The projected population as of 2017 was 21,134,988.
In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the region's population was reported to be 13,834,297 of whom 6,947,546 were men and 6,886,751 women; urban inhabitants numbered 1,265,315 or 9.15% of the population.
According to the CSA, as of 2004 [update] , 28% of the total population had access to safe drinking water, of whom 19.89% were rural inhabitants and 91.8% were urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living for Amhara as of 2005 [update] include the following: 17.5% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for men is 54% and for women 25.1%; and the Regional infant mortality rate is 94 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is greater than the nationwide average of 77; at least half of these deaths occurred in the infants’ first month of life.
At 91.47% of the local population, the region is predominantly inhabited by people from the Semitic-speaking Amhara ethnic group. Most other residents hail from other Afro-Asiatic language communities, including the Agaw/Awi, Oromo, Agaw/Kamyr and Argobba.
|Ethnic group||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|Religion||1994 Census||2007 Census|
The predominant religion of the Amhara for centuries has been Christianity, with the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church playing a central role in the culture of the country. According to the 2007 census, 82.5% of the population of the Amhara Region (which is 91.2% Amhara) were Ethiopian Orthodox; 17.2% were Muslim, and 0.2% were Protestant ("P'ent'ay").The Ethiopian Orthodox Church maintains close links with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Easter and Epiphany are the most important celebrations, marked with services, feasting and dancing. There are also many fast days throughout the year, when only vegetables or fish may be eaten.
Marriages are often arranged, with men marrying in their late teens or early twenties.Traditionally, girls were married as young as 14, but in the 20th century, the minimum age was raised to 18, and this was enforced by the Imperial government. After a church wedding, divorce is frowned upon. Each family hosts a separate wedding feast after the wedding.
Upon childbirth, a priest will visit the family to bless the infant. The mother and child remain in the house for 40 days after birth for physical and emotional strength. The infant will be taken to the church for baptism at 40 days (for boys) or 80 days (for girls).
The Amhara Highlands receive 80% 2 metres (6.6 ft) in the last 400 years. According to Manoel de Almeida (a Portuguese missionary in the early 17th century), there were 21 islands, seven to eight of which had monasteries on them "formerly large, but now much diminished." When James Bruce visited the area in the later 18th century, he noted that the locals counted 45 inhabited islands, but wrote he believed that "the number may be about eleven." A mid-twentieth century account identified 37 islands, of which 19 were said to have or have had monasteries or churches on them.of the total rainfall of Ethiopia and is the most fertile and hospitable region of Ethiopia. The Amhara Region is the location of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, at Bahir Dar. The flow of the Blue Nile reaches maximum volume in the rainy season (from June to September) when it supplies about two-thirds of the water of the Nile proper. The Blue Nile, along with the Atbara River to the north, which also flows out of the Ethiopian Highlands, caused the annual Nile floods that contributed to the fertility of the Nile Valley. This supported the rise of ancient Egyptian civilization and Egyptian mythology. With the completion in 1970 of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, the Nile floods ended. Lake Tana has a number of islands, whose numbers vary depending on the level of the lake; it has fallen about
The lake islands were the home of ancient Ethiopian emperors. Treasures of the Ethiopian Church are kept in the isolated island monasteries (including Kebran Gabriel, Ura Kidane Mehret, Narga Selassie, Daga Estifanos, Medhane Alem of Rema, Kota Maryam and Mertola Maryam). The body of Yekuno Amlak is interred in the monastery of St. Stephen on Daga Island; other Emperors whose tombs are on Daga include Dawit I, Zara Yaqob, Za Dengel and Fasilides. Other important islands in Lake Tana include Dek, Mitraha, Gelila Zakarias, Halimun, and Briguida.
In the late 20th century, the scholar Paul B. Henze reported being shown a rock on the island of Tana Qirqos and being told it was where the Virgin Mary had rested during her journey back from Egypt. He was also told that Saint Frumentius, the bishop known for introducing Christianity to Ethiopia, was "allegedly buried on Tana Cherqos."
There are several industrial parks (IP) that are in operation or under construction. The Kombolcha IP was built at a cost of $90 million and employs 20,000 people.Arerti IP and Debre Birhan IP are under construction.
The CSA of Ethiopia estimated in 2005 that farmers in Amhara had a total of 9,694,800 head of cattle (representing 25% of Ethiopia's total cattle), 6,390,800 sheep (36.7%), 4,101,770 goats (31.6%), 257,320 horses (17%), 8,900 mules (6%), 1,400,030 asses (55.9%), 14,270 camels (3.12%), 8,442,240 poultry of all species (27.3%), and 919,450 beehives (21.1%).
The Amhara Region contains Ethiopia's largest inland body of water, Lake Tana, which is the source of the Blue Nile river, and the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dashan (4,543 m (14,905 ft)) in the Semien Mountains. UNESCO has designated the Semien Mountains National Park as part of a World Heritage Site. The mountains consist of plateaux separated by valleys and pinnacles. Other notable heights include Mounts Biuat (4,437 m (14,557 ft)) and Abba Yared (4,460 m). Most of the Amhara Region is mountainous and is covered with large trees and forest. Amhara region has the most world heritage sites of any region in Ethiopia.
Endemic species of fauna include the gelada baboon, the walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf (or Simien fox). The wide range of altitudes has given the country a variety of ecologically distinct areas, leading to the evolution of endemic species in ecological isolation.
The executive branch is headed by the President of Amhara. The current president is Temesgen Tiruneh, an ANDM member, elected in 8 March 2019.A Vice President of Amhara succeeds the president in the event of any removal from office, and performs any duties assigned by the president. The current vice president is Alemnew Mekonnen. The other offices in the executive branch cabinet are the Regional Health Bureau (Dr. Abebaw Gebeyehu), Educational Bureau (Yilikal Kefyalew), and 20 other officials.
There are three levels of the Amhara state judiciary. The lowest level is the court of common pleas: each woreda maintains its own constitutionally mandated court of common pleas, which maintain jurisdiction over all justiciable matters. The intermediate-level court system is the district court system. Four courts of appeals exist, each retaining jurisdiction over appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts in an administrative zone. A case heard in this system is decided by a three-judge panel, and each judge is elected.
The highest-ranking court, the Amhara Supreme Court, is Amhara's "court of last resort". A seven-justice panel composes the court, which, by its own discretion, hears appeals from the courts of appeals, and retains original jurisdiction over limited matters. The chief judge is called the President of Amhara Supreme Court (Yeneneh Simegn).
The State Council, which is the highest administrative body of the state, is made up of 294 members.
Amhara is represented by 138 representatives in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia House of Peoples' Representatives.
Like other Regions in Ethiopia, Amhara is subdivided into administrative zones.
Amharas are a Habesha Ethiosemitic-speaking ethnic group traditionally inhabiting parts of the northwest Highlands of Ethiopia, particularly in the Amhara Region. According to the 2007 national census, Amharas numbered 19,867,817 individuals, comprising 26.9% of Ethiopia's population and they are mostly Orthodox Christians members of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. They are also found within the Ethiopian expatriate community, particularly in North America. They speak Amharic, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Semitic branch, a member of the Ethiosemitic group, which serves as the official language of Ethiopia.
Tewodros II was Emperor of Ethiopia from 1855 until his death in 1868. He was born Kassa Hailegiorgis. His rule is often placed as the beginning of modern Ethiopia, ending the decentralized Zemene Mesafint.
Shewa, formerly romanized as Shua, Shoa, Showa, Shuwa, is a historical region of Ethiopia, formerly an autonomous kingdom within the Ethiopian Empire. The modern Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is located at its center.
Yohannes IV, born Lij Kaśa Mercha and contemporaneously also known in English as Johannes or John IV, was ruler of Tigray from 1867 to 1871, and Emperor of Ethiopia, King of Zion, and King of Kings from 1872 to 1889. He is remembered as one of the leading architects of the modern state of Ethiopia.
Gojjam is in the northwestern part of Ethiopia with its capital city at Debre Marqos. Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia.
Begemder was a province in the northwestern part of Ethiopia.
Dawit I was Emperor of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the younger son of Newaya Krestos.
The Bashilo River is located in Ethiopia. Known for its canyon, which one source describes as almost as extensive as the canyon of its parent the Abay, also known as the Blue Nile, the river originates just west of Kutaber in the Amhara Region, flowing first to the northwest to where the Tergiya empties into it, then to the southwest to its confluence with the Abay. Its drainage area is about 13,242 square kilometers in size, covering portions of the Semien Gondar, Semien Wollo and Debub Wollo Zones. Its tributaries include the Checheho, and the Walano.
Debre Berhan, formerly spelled Debra-Berhan, is a city and woreda in central Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Shewa Zone of the Amhara Region, about 120 kilometers north east of Addis Ababa on Ethiopian highway 2, the town has an elevation of 2,840 meters, which makes it the highest town of this size in Africa. It was an early capital of Ethiopia and afterwards, with Ankober and Angolalla, was one of the capitals of the kingdom of Shewa. Today, it is the administrative center of the Semien Shewa Zone of the Amhara Region.
North Shewa is one of 10 Zones in the Ethiopian Amhara Region. North Shewa takes its name from the kingdom or former province of Shewa. The Zone is bordered on the south and the west by the Oromia Region, on the north by South Wollo, on the northeast by the Oromia Zone, and on the east by the Afar Region. The highest point in the Zone is Mount Abuye Meda, which is found in Gish Rabel woreda; other prominent peaks include Mount Megezez. Towns and cities in North Shewa include Ankober, Debre Berhan, and Shewa Robit.
Dawuntna Delant was one of the 105 woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Wollo Zone, Dawuntna Delant was bordered on the south by the Checheho River which separated it from the Debub Wollo Zone, on the west by the Debub Gondar Zone, on the north by Wadla, and on the east by Guba Lafto. The deep valley of the Zhit'a river, which runs through Wadla and along part of the northern border, effectively isolates much of Dawuntna Delant from the rest of Semien Wollo. This woreda was named after two historical districts, Dawunt to the east and Delanta to the west. The major town in Dawuntna Delant was Wegeltena. This woreda was separated for Dawunt and Delanta woredas.
Sayint is one of the districts of Ethiopia in the Amhara Region. It is named after the historic district of Amhara Sayint. Part of the South Wollo Zone, Sayint is bordered on the south by Debre Sina and Mehal Sayint, on the west by the Blue Nile that separates it from the East Gojjam Zone, on the northwest by the Bashilo River that separates it from the South Gondar Zone, on the north by Magdala, on the east by Tenta and on the southeast by Legambo. The major town in Sayint is Sayint Ajebar. Mehal Sayint was created by separating it from Sayint.
Were Ilu, is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. This woreda is named for one of the "Houses" or subgroups of the Wollo Oromo that used to govern the area and is still located there. Part of the Debub Wollo Zone, Were Ilu is bordered on the southwest by Jama, on the west by Legahida, on the northwest by Legambo, on the north by Dessie Zuria, on the east by the Abuko, and on the southeast by the Wanchet which separates it from the Semien Shewa Zone. Towns in Were Ilu include Kabe, Were Ilu and Weyin Amba; a historic landmark is Mekane Selassie, the site of a church destroyed by Imam Ahmad Gragn. The woreda of Legahida was separated from Were Ilu.
Dek Island is the biggest island on Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It is administratively included in the Bahir Dar Zuria woreda of the Mirab Gojjam Zone. To the southeast of Dek is the much smaller Daga Island.
Dengel Ber is a town in western Ethiopia. Located on the south-western shore of Lake Tana in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of. Access to this town includes track roads to both Shawra and Kunzela and weekly service by the Bahir Dar-Gorgora ferry on Lake Tana. While the name of the town is indisputably Amharic, there is some disagreement over the meaning of its name: while "Pass of the Virgin" has been the most common interpretation since at least the days James Bruce visited Ethiopia, Huntingford and Beckingham state that it means "pass of canna plants".
Were Ilu is a town in north-central Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of. From the 1870s, Were Ilu had a Thursday market.
Aliyu Amba is a town in central Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Shewa Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude ofwith an elevation of 1805 meters above sea level.
Semien Achefer is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. It is named for the historic district of Achefer, which was first mentioned in the 16th century. Part of the Mirab Gojjam Zone, Achefer is bordered on the south by Debub Achefer, on the west by the Semien Gondar Zone, on the north by Lake Tana, on the east by Bahir Dar Zuria, and on the southeast by Mecha; the Lesser Abay River defines the Woreda's eastern boundary. The woreda includes Dek Island. The administrative center is liben; other towns in Semien Achefer include Yesmala, Dembola, Sankira, Kunzila and Chimnba. Semien Achefer was part of former Achefer woreda before 1998 E.C. In this woreda Beles hydroelectric power generating station is found at Charman Dusuman kebele( water source of intake is from Lake Tana). Historical places in the woreda are Etege Mintewab Launched Palace( but now is not protected) at Kunzila zuria kebele,Gashola st. George Orthodox monastery at Gashola kebele, Abe Gubegna(the Famous writer of Alwoledm) etc.
Bete Amhara was a region in Ethiopia that existed for centuries. It covered most of modern Ethiopia's south and north Wollo, significant parts of north Shewa, Gojam and Gonder zones. The state had 30 districts, including Ambassel, Melza, Laikueyta, Tatakuyeta, Akamba, Anbasit, Atronsa Mariam, Genete-Giorigis, Feresbahir, Amba Gishen, Gishe Bere, Wasal, Wagada, Mecana-Selasse, Tabor, Tedbaba Mariam, Zoramba, Daje, Demah, Ephrata and Ewarza. The region is the source of much of Ethiopia's clothing culture, eating culture, language, education system.
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