Asaita

The former capital of Afar region.

Asaita (Ge’ez: አሳይታ – Asayəta), also known as Aussa, is a town in northeastern Ethiopia, and before 2007, it was the capital of the Afar Region of Ethiopia. Located in the Afambo woreda, part of the Region’s Administrative Zone 1, the town has a latitude and longitude of 11°34′N 41°26′E and an elevation of 300 metres (980 ft).

Asaita was briefly the capital of the Adal Sultanate and seat of the Aussa Sultanate, the chief Afar monarchy, but is 50 kilometres (31 mi) south by unpaved road from Awash–Asseb highway. A telephone line from Kombolcha to Asaita was in operation in 1964. The town of Semera, a planned settlement situated squarely on this highway, at some point before 2007 became the new capital of the region.

To the southeast of Asaita, located at the southern edge of the Danakil Desert, are a group of twenty salt lakes which cover the territory to the border with neighboring Djibouti. These lakes include Lake Gummare, known for its flamingos, and Lake Abbe, the final destination of the Awash River.

Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, the town has an estimated total population of 22,718, of whom 12,722 were males and 9,996 were females. According to the 1994 national census, the town had a population of 15,475.