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Ethiopia is a federation subdivided into ethno-linguistically based Regional States (plural: kililoch; singular: kilil) and chartered cities (plural: astedader akababiwach; singular: astedader akabibi). This system of administrative regions replaced the provinces of Ethiopia in 1992 under the Transitional Government of Ethiopia and was formalised in 1995 when the current Constitution of Ethiopia came into force.

Regions and chartered cities of Ethiopia
Also known as:
Ethiopia regions english.png
LocationFederal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Number9 Regions
2 Chartered Cities (as of 2004)
GovernmentRegion government
SubdivisionsDistrict (woreda)

The regions are each governed by a regional council whose members are directly elected to represent districts (woreda). Each council has a president, who is elected by the council. The regions also have an executive committee, whose members are selected by the president from among the councilors and approved by the council. Each region has a sector bureau, which implements the council mandate and reports to the executive committee.[1]

There are currently nine regional states and two chartered cities, the latter being the country's capital Addis Ababa, and Dire Dawa, which was chartered in 2004. Being based on ethnicity and language, rather than physical geography or history, the regions vary enormously in area and population, the most notable example being the Harari Region, which has a smaller area and population than either of the chartered cities. When they were originally established in 1992, there was a larger number of regions, but five regions were merged to form the multi-ethnic Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region later in 1992, following the first elections of regional councils on 21 June 1992.[2]

The word "kilil" more specifically means "reservation" or "protected area".[3] The ethnic basis of the regions and choice of the word "kilil" has drawn fierce criticism from those in opposition to the ruling party who have drawn comparisons to the bantustans of apartheid South Africa.[4]

List of regions and city administrationsEdit

The nine regions and two city administrations
Map Flag Name Population[5] Area (km2)[6] Population
per km2
1   Addis Ababa (city) 3,273,000 526.99 5,198.49 Addis Ababa
2   Afar Region 1,723,000 72,052.78 19.58 Semera
3   Amhara Region 20,401,000 154,708.96 111.28 Bahir Dar
4   Benishangul-Gumuz Region 1,005,000 50,698.68 13.23 Asosa
5   Dire Dawa (city) 440,000 1,558.61 219.32 Dire Dawa
6   Gambela Region 409,000 29,782.82 10.31 Gambela
7   Harari Region 232,000 333.94 549.03 Harar
8   Oromia Region 33,692,000 284,537.84 95.45 Finfinne[7]
9   Somali Region 5,453,000 279,252 (est.) 15.90 Jijiga
10   Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region 18,276,000 105,476 142.06 Hawassa
11   Tigray Region 5,056,000 53,638 94.26 Mek'ele

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yilmaz, Serdar; Venugopal, Varsha (2008). Local Government Discretion and Accountability in Ethiopia (PDF). Working Paper 08-38. International Studies Program, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University. pp. 4–5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  2. ^ Lyons, Terrence (1996). "Closing the Transition: The May 1995 Elections in Ethiopia". Journal of Modern African Studies. 34 (1): 135. doi:10.1017/S0022278X00055233. JSTOR 161741.
  3. ^ "kilil". Amharic Dictionary. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019.
  4. ^ Demaret, Luc (29 October 2002). "'They knew I would rather die than give up the fight': Interview with Taye Woldesmiate (Ethiopia)". International Labour Organization. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2012. 'Since 1993, the education system has been substantially decentralised, with responsibility passing to the provincial authorities.' ... as Taye Woldesmiate went on to point out, the government 'decided to use education policy to promote its own political agenda, meaning its ethnic policy to divide the country'. At the time, teachers denounced this shift. 'The regime created apartheid-type Bantustan states called "killils", or homelands. Citizens are confined within their "killils" never to seek education or jobs outside their homeland', they said.
  5. ^ "Ethiopia". City Population.
  6. ^ "2011 National Statistics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
  7. ^ "Oromia Regional State". Government of Ethiopia. 2018. Archived from the original on 2014-08-15.

External linksEdit