Posted by Stephanie Baker on
Before 1996, Ethiopia was divided into 13 provinces, many derived from historical regions. Ethiopia now has a tiered government system consisting of a federal government overseeing ethnically based regional countries, zones, districts (woredas), and neighborhoods (kebele).
Since 1996, Ethiopia has been divided into nine ethnically-based and politically autonomous regional states (kililoch, singular kilil) and two chartered cities (astedader akababiwoch, singular astedader akababi), the latter being Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa (subdivisions 1 and 5 in the map, respectively). The kililoch are subdivided into sixty-eight zones, and then further into 550 woredas and several special woredas.
The constitution assigns extensive power to regional states that can establish their own government and democracy according to the federal government's constitution. Each region has at its apex a regional council where members are directly elected to represent the districts and the council has legislative and executive power to direct internal affairs of the regions. Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution further gives every regional state the right to secede from Ethiopia. There is debate, however, as to how much of the power guaranteed in the constitution is actually given to the states. The councils implement their mandate through an executive committee and regional sectoral bureaus. Such elaborate structure of council, executive, and sectoral public institutions is replicated to the next level (woreda).
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