Awasa is a city in Ethiopia, on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley. It is located 273 km south of Addis Ababa via Bishoftu, 130 km east of Sodo, and 75 km north of Dilla. The town serves as the capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region, and is a special zone of this region. It lies on the Trans-African Highway 4 Cairo-Cape Town, and has a latitude and longitude of Coordinates: and an elevation of 1708 meters above sea level.
Awasa was capital of the former Sidamo Province from about 1978 until the province was abolished with the adoption of the 1995 Constitution. This city is home to Hawassa University (which includes an Agricultural College, a Main Campus and a Health Sciences College), Awasa Adventist College, and a major market. The city is served by Awasa Airport (ICAO code HALA, IATA AWA), opened in 1988. Postal service is provided by a main branch; electricity and telephone service are also available. Important local attractions include the St. Gabriel Church and the Awassa Kenema Stadium. Fishing is a major local industry.
In September 1994 alone, 194 members of the Sidama Liberation Movement(commonly known as SLM1 to distinguish it from the pro-government SLM2) were arrested and held in Awasa prison. The chairman of SLM1, Woldeamanuel Dubale, had fled to the United Kingdom after an unsuccessful attempt in 1992 to assassinate him.