Wollo, formerly referred to as - Bete Amhara, is one of the oldest provinces of Ethiopia. The province has been regarded as a theatre of social and political engagements: population movements, ethnic interactions, political rivalry, religious expansion, and persecution, and the like.

The region which later came to be identified as Wollo, in the post-Oromo population movement, was known as Bete-Amhara (The House of the Amhara) which means a province of Amharic speaking Christians. It was a central Christian Amhara area. The area is claimed to be the origin of the Amhara ethnic group. The Encyclopaedia Ethiopica mentions Bete Amhara as ―a region of historic Ethiopia.

Wollo (Amharic: ወሎ) is a historical province of northern Ethiopia that overlays part of present day Amhara, Afar, and Tigray regions. During the middle Ages this region was known as Bete Amhara and had Amhara kings. Bete Amhara had an illustrious place in Ethiopian political and cultural history. It was the center of the Solomonic Dynasty established by Emperor Yekuno Amlak around Lake Hayq in 1270, the original center of Amhara people, whose territorial reach extended from Lake Hayq and the Beshillo River in the north, the Afar and Argobba lowlands in the east, the Abbay River in the West, and the Awash River just south of modern Addis Ababa.


Wollo, used in its widest sense, is previously one of the fourteen provinces of Ethiopia consisting of twelve sub-provinces (Awurajas) and thirty-seven districts (Woredas). It used to be the third largest province of Ethiopia next to Hararge and Sidamo with an area of 75,780 kilometre square.

The twelve sub-provinces (Awrajas) were: Wag, Lasta, Raya-Qobbo, Yejju, Wadla-Delanta, Ambasel, Dessie-Zuria, Wore-Himano, Borena, Wore-Illu, Qallu, Awusa.It is in the North Eastern hinterland of Ethiopia, located at 11° 30′ 0″ N, 40° 0′ 0″ E latitude and longitude, respectively.

 Wollo is a province at the cross-roads of the way to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Sudan and central and Southern Ethiopia. It is the province with the largest connection with other provinces and international boarders (Djibouti along the Indian Ocean and Eritrea along the Red Sea route). Wollo shared boarders with Hararge, Shewa, Gojjam, Gondar, Tigray, Eritrea and Djibouti.

With the adoption of the new constitution in 1995, Wollo was divided between the Afar Region, which absorbed the part of the province that extended into the Afar Depression; the Tigray Region, which absorbed the north-western corner; and the Amhara Region, which absorbed the remainder of the province in the Ethiopian Highlands.

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