The Harari region is located 526 km from Addis Ababa in the eastern part of the country. Its geographical location is in the Northern Hemisphere’s 9, 11 ‘and 9 24’ degree latitude lines and in the eastern hemisphere at 42, 03 ‘and 42 16’ degree longitude lines. Studies show that the climate is 90 percent tropical and 10 percent low. The average annual rainfall is estimated at 700-800 mm when the average daily temperature reaches 18 degrees Celsius.
Harar, with its mountainous terrain, has an area of 343.2 km (three hundred and forty-two) square kilometers. The elevation above sea level ranges from 1,300-2,200 meters and the highest point is Mount Awakim and 2,200 meters high. The lowest point is the Erer Valley, at an altitude of 1,300 feet [1,300 m].
There are many nations, nationalities and peoples in the region; According to the 1999 census, the population of the region is 232,000 (two hundred and thirty two thousand). Of these, 129,224 (one hundred and twenty-nine thousand two hundred and twenty-
four) live in urban areas and 102,776 (one hundred two thousand seven hundred and seventy-six) in rural areas.
The Harari region is bordered by Kombolcha in the north, Jarso in the northeast, Fedis in the south, Haramaya in the west and Gursum and Babil in the east.
The working language of the region is Harari and Aromanian. The Harari People’s Regional State Council has 36 (thirty-six) members, including Amharic, Aromanian, Guragni and Somali speakers. There are two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Harari Assembly.
Jegol Tower and five gates
One of the World Heritage Sites, the Jegol Tower was built during the 42nd reign of Amir Nur Binni Mujahid, who ruled Harar from 1551-1559. Jegol covers an area of 66 hectares; The height of the wall is 12 feet. The Jegol Tower has five entrances and exits. They are called Shotut Beri, Argo Beri, Asum Beri, Asdin Beri and Old Beri. In addition to their Harari name, these gates also have Arabic, Amharic, and Aromanian names. There are about 359 narrow roads in Jegol. Of these, the Migraine Wiger (Mediator Road) is narrow and cannot pass more than one person.
MAJOR ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
The State’s population is engaged predominantly in farming, civil service and commerce. Sorghum, maize, chat, coffee, orange, mango are among major agricultural products.
An exotic variety of goods is offered for sale, and colourful cloths and jewellery worn by the people create a wild array of colour. The Harari people excel in artisan crafts, such as weaving silver and cooper filigree, tanning, cutlery and blade production and sandal making.
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Harari lies 51 kilometers to the south east of DireDawa. It is located in the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley looking over the vast Danakil desert to the north, the cattle rich savannahs to the south and fertile lands of the Harar mountains to the east. It lies between two rivers, tributaries of the Erer, on the southern edge of a vast plateau. The surrounding mountains divide the Great Rift valley from the plains of the Ogaden.The climate of the State is one of the most pleasant in the country. Temperature is even between 17.1°C-20.2°C throughout the year. The coolest season (18.7°C) which is between June-September, coincides with heavy rainsaccompanied by storms and strong electrical discharges. Theaverage annual intensity of precipitation is about 750-1,000 mm. The mean amount of rainfall over three years as registered 10years ago was 1,509 mm.
TOURISM AND HERITAGE
The origin of the walled city of Harar dates before the thirteenth century, the houses of the old city are constructed of stone and plaster, with flat roofs, Harar’s strategic location made it an important centreof Islamic culture and commerce.With its 99 mosques. Harar is considered to be the fourth mostholy city of Islam.
The setting of medieval walls tightly embracing the ancient city,its rich and exciting market-place, its towering and
majestic mountains, and its bracing cool air make Harar an exciting place to visit. The Rimbaud house, named after the renowned French poet, Arthur Rimbaud is also found in the vicinity of the walled city.
There are more than 80 investors with a capital of above 200 million Birr in the State. This will create employment opportunities for over 10,000 persons. Harrari is rich in construction minerals such as marble, granite, dolomite and asbestos. The investment activity includes in the sector of industry, agriculture, construction,mining, transport service and hotel.