Voters Opt for New Regional State

Oct 9 , 2021

Over one million people in six zones of the Southern Regional State have voted in favour of forming the country's 11th regional state, to be named the Southwestern Regional State. The referendum was held at the end of last month, and nearly 94pc of the 1.3 million voters registered in the Bench Sheko, Sheka, Keffa, South Omo, and Dawro zones, as well as Konta Special Zone, showed up to cast their ballots. Only 24,000 voted against autonomy at the 1,613 polling stations set up in the areas. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), which spent seven million Birr on organising the referendum, pushed the voting deadline back by two hours in light of large crowds at polling stations.



A young deacon baptises an eager crowd at Timket festivities around Janmeda field. Immersion in water represents a rebirth in initiation ceremonies in history. It symbolises the breaking of amniotic fluid (a liquid that surrounds the fetus) during birth, hinting towards a second birth on the planet. Water has had deep sociopolitical significance for Ethiopia as the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been proceeding under three Prime Ministers. Exeeding the initial bud...



On a scorching hot afternoon, a pack of stray dogs take shade under a tree on Debrezeit road. A third of Ethiopia's landmass was reported to be covered in trees in the 19th century, deforestation has put that number at around 10pc. Emperor Minelik II was the first leader of Ethiopia to engage in reforestation as he imported the Australian Eucalyptus in 1895. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) also is enamoured by lush greenery to the degree he launched the Green Legacy Initiative three years ago...



A street vendor sells fresh-cut grass around Kera for the holiday season. Most households embellish the holiday atmosphere at home, by spraying 'Qetema' in the house. A green glaze is expanding across the capital, with a new public park being announced every few months. Lemi Park in the recently formed Lemi Kura sub-city is the latest of these projects scheduled for a 10 months construction period. Friendship and Entoto parks, with the Prime Minister Office overseeing the construction, have beco...