23 Bible translation projects in Ethiopia
(see locations on the map below)Ethiopia is a country of diverse religion, language and ethnicity. The population is estimated to be 93 million, with 80 ethnic groups. Since 1995, Ethiopia is divided into nine ethnically-based regional states and two chartered cities, Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.
Currently, TWFTW Ethiopia runs 20 Bible Translation projects in four regions of the country. The office is based in Addis Ababa, the capital city of the country. Most projects are located in the Southern part of the country, where there are 56 ethnic groups.
The above photo shows the leaders in Ethiopia. The national director is Tesfaye Bekema, and his team of Ethiopian nationals, Tessema, Simon, Mintesenot, Kassahum, Andinet and Joseph.
In the video clip Tesfaye talks about transformation and impact through the work of TWFTW in Ethiopia. The 5 NT translations already produced are widely used. Three more NT and the Aari Bible translation being typesetting and the Maale Bible published in 2016. The work of translating the Bible is progressing well in all projects. The projects are as follows:
1. Aari (200,000)
They are based in the south of the country, just north of the Maale people. The translators are Degu and Adane. The complete Bible is ready for typesetting.
2. Awngi (1.2 million)
The translators are Haimanot and Aysheshim. The NT is ready for typesetting and the OT is in progress.
3. Baiso (10,350)
The translators are Berza, Fekady, Mihiret and Kebede. The project started in 2015 and the New Testament is in progress.
For many years they lived on the Islands of Lake Abaya which found in the southern part of Ethiopia. But years ago except very few, most of them came out of the Islands and have been living outside it on the western shore of Lake Abaya at Alge, Mirab Abaya and Arbaminch towns.
4. Banna (35,000)
The translators are Getu, Ayke, Dawit, Zekarias and Banko. The project started in 2015 and the Old Testament is in progress.
The Banna people are indigenous pastoral
and semi-nomadic people living in the harsh environment of lower Omo Valley
region in Ethiopia. They are primarily located in the South Omo Zone, which is
east of the Omo River and north of Lake Turkana. This area is called the Lower
Omo region and it has remained one of the most inaccessible and least developed
parts of East Africa. They are only 1.5% Christian, the majority being animistic.
5. Bench (450,000)
The translators are Samual, Adis and Birhanu. The OT translation is almost complete.
6. Burji (125,000)
The translators are Burje, Getahun, Mamo, Pastor Daniel and Rev Yohannes. The project started in 2015 and the Old Testament is in progress.
The Burji people originate from the western
fringe of the Rift Valley of South Ethiopia. They are culturally divided into a
northern and a southern group, who both live on the slope of the Amarro
mountain range, and in the valley of lake Chamo. In former times, their area
has been very fertile, regularly terraced, and densely populated. They are 85% Christian.
7. Dawro (544,000)
The translators are Dawana, Tekola and Kassahun. The New Testament has been published and a small amount of work remains for OT translation.
Dawro literacy project
9. Gamo (1,107,163) The translators are Tesfaye, Teliko and Arega. The New Testament has been published and a small amount of work remains for OT translation.
A moving movie of the Gamo NT launch
8. Gayil (85,000)
The translators are Daniel, Meketu, Alazar, Desta and Yohanis. The project started in 2015 and New Testament is in progress.Economically they are very poor, as they are subsistence farmers. Most of them plant fields of different varieties. For instance they plant sorghum, teff, maize/corn, and beans, vegetables, fruits. Some of them are cattle breeders. Herds belonging to the people consist of cattle, sheep and goats. They are about 70% Christian.
10. Gedeo (986,977)
At present the translators are Teshome, Alemayehu and Zelalem. A small amount of work remains for the OT translation.
11. Guji Oromo (2 million)
At present the translators are: Mengistu, Tsegaye and Robiam. The New Testament has been published and a small portion of work remains for the OT translation to be completed.
Guji literacy project
12. Gofa (419,000)
The translators are: Simon, Hizikiel and Tezera. The New Testament has been published and a small portion of the Old Testament work remains. The Book of Isaiah has recently been approved for publishing.
Gofa literacy project
13. Halaba (250,000)
The translators are Awol, Bediru and Tesfaye. The NT translation is ready for typesetting and the OT work is in progress.
14. Konta (85,000)
The translators are Bekele and Kedir. The NT work is in progress. An Old Testament project is also being planned.
15. Maale (95,000)
This was the first project started by Janet and Kobus in Ethiopia, in the south of the country. At present the translators are: Aseffa and Tamene.
The complete Bible is published (2016 - 50,000 copies).
Maale literacy project
There are currently 150 Maale literacy centres. It is planned to have 161 centers soon.
16. Melo (128,000)
The translators are Markos and Abrham. The NT translation is in progress and an OT project is planned.
17. Oyda (35,000)
The project started in 2011. The translators are Lemma and Tomas. The NT translation is in progress.
18. Sheko (46,500)
At present the translators are Sintayehu and Filimon. Most work of the NT has been completed and the OT is in progress.
Shinasha (Boro) (65,000)
They are located near the border of Sudan, and are south of the Awngi people. The translators are Maru and Hirpha. The NT work is ready for typesetting and the OT is in progress.
20. Yemsa (160,447)
The translators are Nigatu, Gebeyehu and Tamirat. Most of the NT translation is complete and part of the OT as well.