The Amhara National Regional State is composed of 10 administrative zones, one special zone, 105 woredas and 78 city centers. Amharic is the working language of the region.
Bahir Dar is the capital of the Amhara National Regional State.
The Amhara National Regional State is located in the northwestern and central parts of Ethiopia, bordering the Tigray region to the north, the Afar region to the east, the Oromia region to the south, the Benishangul-Gumuz region to the southwest, and the Republic of Sudan to the south.
The Amhara National Regional State covers an area of 170,5752 square kilometers.
According to the 1994 census, the Amhara National Regional State had a population of 13,834,297, of which 6,947,546 were males and 6,886,751 females. However, 1,265,315 live in urban areas and 12,568,982 live in rural areas of the region, covering 90 percent of the total population. Religiously, 81.5% are Orthodox Christians, 18.1% are Muslims, and 014% are Protestants. In terms of ethnic composition, there are 91.2% Amhara, 3% Oromo, 2.7% Agwu / Awi, 1.2% Kemant and 1% Agwo / Kamir.
Major economic activities
Eighty-five percent of the population in the Amhara National Regional State is engaged in agriculture. The region is one of the main producers of Teff, with the exception of barley, wheat, oilseeds, sorghum, nuts, chickpeas and beans.
Sugarcane crops such as cotton, sesame, wool, and sugarcane are also grown in the vast and virgin lowlands of the region. Water resources from large basins such as Lake Tana and the Nile River contribute significantly to the region’s irrigation agriculture.
About 450,000 hectares of the region’s land resources are suitable for agriculture and irrigation, especially for fruit and flower production.
Topography and climate
In terms of topography, the Amhara region is divided into two main parts: the highlands and the lowlands. The highlands are more than 1,500 meters above sea level and cover the northern and eastern parts of the region. These peaks are surrounded by mountain ranges. At 4,620 meters, Mount Dejen is the largest mountain in Ethiopia. Mount Guna, 4,620 feet [4,204 m], Mount Choke, 4,484 feet [4,84 m], and 1,490 feet [4190 m] are located in the same area.
The lower part of the region mainly covers the western and eastern parts; It is 500 to 1,500 meters above sea level. There are 31% lowland, 44% highland and 25% highland areas with different climatic zones in the region.
The average annual temperature in most parts of the region ranges from 15 oc to 21oc. The region accounts for up to 80% of the country’s rainfall. The highest rainfall is recorded during the winter months; This period lasts from mid-June to early September.
RIVERS AND LAKES
The State of Amhara is divided mainly by three river basins, namely the Abbay, Tekezze and Awash drainage basins. The Blue Nile (Abbay) river is the largest of all covering approximately 172,254 Km2. Its total length to its junction with the white Nile in Khartoum is 1,450 Km, of which 800 km is within Ethiopia. The drainage-basin of the Tekeze river is about 88,800 km2. In addition, Anghereb, Millie, Kessem and Jema are among the major national rivers, which are found in this region.
Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia is located at centre of the region. It covers an area of 3,6000 km2. Besides, other crater lakes like Zengeni, Gudena Yetilba, Ardibo (75km2) and Logia (35 km2) are small lakes that are found in the region.
The rivers and lakes of the region have immense potential for hydroelectric power generation, irrigation and fishery development.
The estimated livestock population of the region is 9.1 million cattle, 8.4 million sheep and goats, 1.6 million equines, and 8.5 million poultry. About 40% of the livestock population of the country are found in this region. The huge livestock potential of this region gives ample opportunity for meat and milk production, food processing as well as leather and wool production.
Walia ibex, Semien fox, Gelada-baboon, Grey Duiker, Klipspringer, Hyenas and Corocodile are among the twenty-one species (three endemic) that are found in the region, especially at the Semien mountain national park. Wild fowls, Francolins, Pelicans, Cranes, Ibises, and Stocks are among the birds that are found in the region.
The Sate of Amhara has mineral resources such as coal, shell, limestone, lignite, gypsum, gemstone, silica, sulfur and bentonite. Hot springs and mineral water are also found in the region.
TOURISM AND HERITAGE
The 12th century Rock-Hewn churches of Lalibela, and the palaces in Gondar the world known heritages of the country. The traditional mural paintings and hand craft, the preserved corpse of the royalty found in the ancient monasteries in Lake Tana, as well as the Semien mountains national park, which shelters the endemic Walia ibex are spectacular tourist attractions, Three tourist attractions found in the region are registered in the UNESCO list of world heritages. Besides these known heritages, the Blue Nile Falls, the caves and unique stones in northern Showa, and the Merto Le Mariam church are special tourist attractions.
Until May 1998, 362 investment projects have been licensed in the State of Amhara. The total amount of capital invested is 2.8 billion Birr. These investment projects will provide employment opportunity for 75,883 persons. Licenses were given in the areas of agriculture, industry, hotel and tourism, real estate commerce and social services. Among the main projects include the steel and brewery factory in Kombolcha.