Shashemane was established in 1910/1911 (1903 E.C). The area was previously used as a pathway of trade caravan routes for southern Ethiopian region. The name Shashemene was derived from a famous Oromo lady named “Shashe”, who operated a rest-stop named ‘Mene’ in the area. (Source: Local Elders and different written materials). The City has had a municipal status since 1935/36 and has had a Master plan since 1996. Currently it is the administrative capital of the West Arsi zone and is characterized as a level-one city in Oromia Regional State. The city’s strategic location at the intersection of roads connects several cities in the southern part of Ethiopia has both advantages and disadvantages. While the connections create good business opportunities and centre of commerce and the presence of lakes such as Langano and Shala around Shashemene are key assets that attract tourism for the city. In other hand the transient population also produce additional solid waste for the city to deal with. Shashemene is home to close to 250, 000 residents and the population is growing by an average of about 4.5 percent per annum. The city is going to be under a strong pressure in terms of service demand, jobs and infrastructure. The population of Shashemene is young, 65% of the population are under 25 years of age. This could be both an opportunity as well as a challenge. It is an opportunity in terms of the productive potential of the youth, but it is also a challenge for cities in terms of meeting the demand for jobs, housing and other social services.

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