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town, central Ethiopia, situated on the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley at an elevation of 7,500 feet (2,300 m). Dese (Amharic: "My Joy") is a commercial and communications centre, 16 miles (25 km) northwest of Kembolcha, which is at the junction of roads to Addis Ababa and Asmara and Asseb in Eritrea. Dese is a long-established market for grains, oilseeds, hides, skins, honey, and beeswax and a distribution centre for imported goods. It also has artisan industries and flour mills. Pop. (1994 est.) 117,268.