Gidan is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Wollo Zone, Gidan is bordered on the south by Guba Lafto, on the southwest by Meket, on the west by Lasta (formerly part of Bugna), on the north by the Tigray Region, and on the east by Kobo. Towns in Gidan include Debre Tsehay and Muja.
The topography of this woreda is characterized by numerous escarpments and generally steep hill slopes; however every hill slope, no matter how steep, is used for cultivation. The altitude of this woreda ranges from 1300 to over 4100 meters above sea level; the highest point in Gidan is Mount Abuna Yosef, on the border with Lasta (formerly Bugna). Rivers include the Tellare, a tributary of the Tekezé, along which Lieutenant-General Napier's men marched in 1868, after leaving the Dafat Pass.
Gidan, as well as the other seven rural woredas of this Zone, has been grouped amongst the 48 woredas identified as the most drought prone and food insecure in the Amhara Region. Almost no trees can be seen in this barren landscape. Deep erosion gullies and the gravel, stone and rock covered valley bottoms attest to extensive land degradation. An inspection in 1999 by members of the UNDP-EUE concluded that these slopes and escarpment areas were being used too intensively and in a highly unsustainable way.
Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this woreda has a total population of 158,428, an increase of 16.66% over the 1994 census, of whom 78,309 are men and 80,119 women; 7,720 or 4.87% are urban inhabitants. With an area of 1,089.80 square kilometers, Gidan has a population density of 145.37, which is greater than the Zone average of 123.25 persons per square kilometer. A total of 37,386 households were counted in this woreda, resulting in an average of 4.24 persons to a household, and 36,342 housing units. The majority of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 99.61% reporting that as their religion.
The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 135,805 in 33,380 households, of whom 67,560 were men and 68,245 were women; 4,127 or 3.04% of its population were urban dwellers. The largest ethnic group reported in Gidan was the Amhara (99.96%), Amharic was spoken as a first language by 99.97%, and 99.63% of the population practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.
- "North Welo - Food Security Situation: Effects of consecutive crop losses on farm households in Selected Areas", UNDP-EUE Field report March 1999 (accessed 15 April 2009)
- Svein Ege, "North Wälo 1:100,000. Topographic and administrative map of North Wälo Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia". Trondheim, NTNU, 2002
- C. R. Markham, "Geographical Results of the Abyssinian Expedition", Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, 38 (1868), pp. 40f
- Seid Yassin, "Small-Scale Irrigation and Household Food Security: A Case Study of Three Irrigation Schemes in Gubalafto Woreda of North Wollo Zone, Amhara Region", Master's Thesis, Graduate School of the University of Addis Ababa (June 2002), p. 35
- Census 2007 Tables: Amhara Region, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4.
- 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Amhara Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.10, 2.13, 2.17, Annex II.2 (accessed 9 April 2009)