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Sidama is a Zone in the Ethiopian Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR). It is named for the Sidama people, whose homeland is located in this zone. Sidama is bordered on the south by the Oromia Region except for a short stretch in the middle where it shares a border with Gedeo, on the west by the Bilate River which separates it from Wolayita, and on the north and east by the Oromia Region. The administrative center for Sidama is Awasa; other towns include Irgalem and Wendo.

Sidama has 879 kilometers of all-weather roads and 213 kilometers of dry-weather roads, for an average road density of 161 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers.[1]

The Central Statistical Agency (CSA) reported that 63,562 tons of coffee were produced in Sidama and Gideo combined in the year ending in 2005, based on inspection records from the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea authority. This represents 63% of the SNNPR's output and 28% of Ethiopia's total output.[2]


Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the CSA, this Zone has a total population of 2,954,136, of whom 1,491,248 are men and 1,462,888 women; with an area of 6,538.17 square kilometers, Sidama has a population density of 451.83. While 162,632 or 5.51% are urban inhabitants, a further 5,438 or 0.18% are pastoralists. A total of 592,539 households were counted in this Zone, which results in an average of 4.99 persons to a household, and 566,926 housing units.[3]

In the 1994 Census Sidama had a population of 2,044,836 in 439,057 households, of whom 1,039,587 were men and 1,005,249 women; 143,534 or 7.02% of its population were urban dwellers. The four largest ethnic groups reported in this Zone were the Sidama (88.6%), the Amhara (4.15%), the Oromo (2.97%), and the Welayta (1.84%); all other ethnic groups made up 2.44% of the population. Sidamo is spoken as a first language by 88.6% of the inhabitants, 4.15% speak Amharic, 2.97% Oromiffa, and 1.84% Welayta; the remaining 2.44% spoke all other primary languages reported. 62.54% of the population said they were Protestants, 13.64% observed traditional religions, 8.24% practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, 8% were Muslim, and 4.24% embraced Catholicism.[4]

According to a May 24, 2004 World Bank memorandum, 8% of the inhabitants of Sidama have access to electricity, this zone has a road density of 137.4 kilometers per 1000 square kilometers (compared to the national average of 30 kilometers),[5] the average rural household has 0.3 hectare of land (compared to the national average of 1.01 hectare of land and an average of 0.89 for the SNNPR)[6] and the equivalent of 0.5 heads of livestock. 15.4% of the population is in non-farm related jobs, compared to the national average of 25% and a Regional average of 32%. 68% of all eligible children are enrolled in primary school, and 18% in secondary schools. 72% of the zone is exposed to malaria, and none to Tsetse fly. The memorandum gave this zone a drought risk rating of 329.[7]



  1. "Detailed statistics on roads", SNNPR Bureau of Finance and Economic Development website (accessed 3 September 2009)
  2. CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table D.2
  3. Census 2007 Tables: Southern Peoples, Nations and Nationalities Region, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4.
  4. 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.11, 2.15, 2.19 (accessed 30 December 2008)
  5. "Ethiopia - Second Road Sector Development Program Project", p.3 (World Bank Project Appraisal Document, published 19 May 2003)
  6. 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).
  7. World Bank, Four Ethiopias: A Regional Characterization (accessed 23 March 2006).

Coordinates: 6°40′N 38°30′E / 6.667°N 38.500°E / 6.667; 38.500

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