2021 South West Region referendum

A referendum on the creation of a South West Region was held in the Keffa, Sheka, Bench Sheko, Dawro, West Omo Zones, and Konta special district of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia on 30 September 2021 in conjunction with the 2021 Ethiopian general election.[1]

Referendum on the creation of a South West region, 2021
30 September 2021


It was the second referendum on a new regional state held in Ethiopia since Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in 2018.[2]


Choice Votes %
 Y For 1,221,092 98.07
Against 24,024 1.93
Blank or invalid 17,563 -
Total 1,262,679 100
Voter turnout 1,344,622 93.91
Source: Addis Standard Nebe


On 9 October 2021, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) released the results of the referendum. In a turnout of nearly 94%, voters decisively approved the proposed new regional state.[1]

The result meant that South West Ethiopia Peoples' Region became the country's 11th regional state, after it was approved by the House of Federation. It has its own regional council and constitution, enjoying a degree of autonomy enshrined in Ethiopia's constitution.[3]

After being approved on 30 October by the House of Federation,[4] the new region was established on 23 November 2021, and Negash Wagesho appointed to lead it.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "News Alert: Ethiopia gets eleventh state with more than 96% approval for South West referendum". Addis Standard. 9 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Vote on breakaway region as Ethiopia faces tests to unity". France 24. 28 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Ethiopians in three regions vote in delayed election". Reuters. 30 September 2021.
  4. ^ "House of Fed Approves Formation of Ethiopia's 11th Regional State – Ethiopian Monitor".
  5. ^ "Ethiopia: South West Ethiopia Peoples State Officially Established". 24 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Negash Wagesho Appointed to Lead Newly Formed South West Ethiopia Peoples Region – Ethiopian Monitor".