The Sidama region is one of the regional states (kililoch) of Ethiopia. It was formed on 18 June 2020 from the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) and transformation of the Sidama Zone after a 98.52% vote in favour of increased autonomy in the 2019 Sidama Referendum.
Sidama is the name of both Sidama People and Sidama land. 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 zone), on the West by the Bilate River, which separates it from Wolayita zone, and on the north and east by the Oromia region. Towns in Sidama include Awasa, the capital of Sidama and SNNPRS, Yirgalem, Wondogenet, Chuko, Hula, Bona, Bursa, Bensa, and Aleta Wendo.
Sidama has a population of around 3.2 million in 2017 who speak the Cushitic languages Sidama (also known as Sidaamu Afoo).
Sidama has 879 kilometres of all-weather roads and 213 kilometres of dry-weather roads, for an average road density of 161 kilometres per 1,000 square kilometres.
Sidama region is the leading coffee producing region in Ethiopia, which contributes greatly to the foreign exchange of the federal government. The Central Statistical Agency (CSA) reported that 63,562 tons of coffee were produced in Sidama and Gedeo 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.
The region is also rich in water resources, which are underutilized. The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in SNNP region are mostly attributable to lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation, and low public awareness of environmental health and personal hygiene practices.
There is a high value attached to livestock by the Sidama, among whom a person without cattle is not regarded as a fully-grown social person, but as an outcast. Cattle numbers are good indicator of wealth, and gives chief popularity for the farmer who owns more cattle.