Observing the potential of Hawassa’s natural resources Emperor Hailesilasie I authorized and ordered the preparation of detailed master plan in 1957 with the intention of developing the town as a tourist destination center. The plan was prepared by 7 Ethiopian and Italian engineers by employing modern town planning approaches which made the town the first ever planned town of the time. The surveying was done by taking the shoreline of the lake as a reference point and stretched to the eastern part thereby assigning zones for different purposes. After the completion of the preparation of the Town plan in 1960, land was leased for residential and commercial purposes in accordance with the codes. The town municipality officially made functional in 1962.
Current Name: the term “Hawassa” derived from Sidama language equivalent to “Wide”.
Epithet: “Harmony City”, “Paradigm (Little) Ethiopia.”
Motto: Land of harmonious diversity and advent Ethiopia.
Area: 50 sq. km
Altitude: 1650-1830 m.a.s.l.
Relative Humidity: 63%
Temperature: (mean annual) 200c
Rainfall: (mean annual) 900mm
Economy (By sector): Commerce %, Industry %, Agriculture %, Service %, Construction, Tourism %
Revenue: Above 90 million birr (2002 E.C.)
Tourist Attractions: Lake Hawassa, Amora Gedel, Bird watching, Fish market, Cultural & Religious Festivities & Pilgrimage, Historical sites, Recreation & Conference center
Religion: Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Islam, and Others
Borders: Lake Hawassa on the West, Hawassa Zuria Woreda on the East, Boricha Woreda on the South & Oromia on the North.
Institutions: Seat of SNNPR Government, Higher education & research Institutions, administrative, social and economic service center
Administrative areas: The city is divided into 8 Sub cities and 32 Kebeles.