Ethiopia Addis Ababa

ethiopia addis ababa-

Ethiopia Addis Ababa, in Amharic meaning ‘New Flower’ is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is well known for also being the diplomatic capital for Africa since both headquarters of the African Union (OAU) and the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa (ECA) reside in it. With an estimated population of 3,384,569 million people, it’s engrossed with a diverse frontage of both history and commerce.

Ethiopia Addis Ababa is valley land found between mountains, its precinct begins from the foot of Mount Entoto and grows radially inwards. It consists of 10 sub-cities, where Amharic is the official and common language to communicate.

Where Is Ethiopia Addis Ababa?

Addis Ababa is located in the horn of Africa, in the eastern part of the continent, enclosed by Eretria in the north, Kenya in the south, Somali and Djibouti in the east and Sudan in the west.

What is the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Elevation?

Addis Ababa is at an elevation of 2,355 meters (7,726 ft).

Where is Addis Ababa In Ethiopia?

Gps Coordinates of Ethiopia Adis Ababa: 9°01’29.89″ N 38°44’48.80″ E

Ethiopia Addis Ababa Map

What is Ethiopia Addis Ababa Population?

(3,384,569) according to the 2007 Census Ethiopia  

What is the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Historical Development?

Unlike other countries in Africa, Ethiopia is an independent state. It was never colonized by Europeans, Thus, aiding the settlement of Ethiopia Addis Ababa to have its unique feature. The city structure is based on Mount Entoto, as it became the inwards pivotal stance for the formation.

The establishment of the city has a royal lineage, as it was found around 1886 by Emperor Menelik II but envisioned by his wife Empress Taytu Betul. During this period, Menelik was King of Shewa province that used Mount Entoto as a military base and frequented to it often. His wife, Empress Taytu, grew fond of the area then later built monasteries around it. Not long after, Menelik built a 30-acre castle of his own, existing to this day.

The correct documentation of the how is still questioned but it’s said, that Empress Taytu, whilst standing on the peak of the Mount Entoto, looking at the beautiful green urban setting around envisioned a town which is anew from the scenery she was accustomed to; thus named it ‘Addis Ababa’ meaning ‘New Flower’ in Amharic. 

The settlement after occurred around ‘Filluwha’ a place where hot spring water naturally emerged, hence the meaning. Taytu built a home around it, which lead to the vicinity of settlement increasing. Later Menelik expanded his wife’s home into the Imperial Palace which to this day is the residing place to the reigning government. 

In 1896, Italians effortlessly fought to colonize Ethiopia in the battle of Adwa but lost embarking the recognition of an independent state. Embarrassed by their defeat, Italy retaliated after 40 long years had passed. This time around they over through Haile Selassie as the ruler of Ethiopia and reigned from 1936 – 1941. For the conquered period of five years, Italy did not just invade the capital of Ethiopia but also neighboring countries, Somalia and Eritrea to formulate the expansion, Italian East Africa.

During the Italian-Ethiopian regime, vital changes to the urbanization and commerce of Addis Ababa occurred. One of which is the settlement and naming technique they had enforced on the city. They strategically zoned areas for development and embellished their characteristics of both cuisine and architecture.

Most commonly the vicinity of Piazza as the center of the city bluntly portrays the influence Italians exuded upon their 5-year stay. As the buildings and restaurants around there depict their cultural heritage and way of life. Another essential impact they had left was, formulating the open market, Mercato, which is now the biggest in the continent. 

What Should I Do in Ethiopia Addis Ababa?

Having been the capital of both Africa and Ethiopia Addis Ababa tourism potentials haven’t fully been explored nor exploited, as it’s a city rich in both culture and history but isn’t properly managed to render a way of exhibiting its capabilities. 

The city has more to offer in the universe of art and artifacts. Places like ‘Kechene Medhaniyalem’ and ‘Shiro Meda’ are based on these ideologies. The creative realm of the natives is expressed through clothing, furniture, and crafts; which also have become one of the major economic sources.

Sights to see in Addis Ababa are mostly limited to festivities, moments, or events. Some examples are; National Museum of Ethiopia (where the archeological findings of Lucy or ‘Dinkinesh’ are found), Unity Park (recently opened, view to the imperial palace and residing home to the current prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed), Meskel square (for festivities and gatherings), Mount Entoto (hiking, monasteries, and view of Menelik II’s palace), Addis Mercato (Africas largest open market), 6-Kilo Addis Ababa University (previous home of Haile Selassie) and the Holy Trinity Cathedral (famous burial site, as it’s the resting place for Haile Selassie, his wife Menen Asfaw, the former prime minister Meles Zenawi and so on).

Ethiopia is a country located south of the equator, belonging to the Southern hemisphere. It lays between tropic of cancer and the equator line, therefore due to its elevation has three different climatic zones, Kolla (tropical zone), Dega (cool zone), and Woina Dega (sub-tropical zone). 

tigray landscape

What is the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Weather Like?

Thus, Ethiopia Addis Ababa, it’s is a grassland biome that has an elevation of 2,355 meters while it rises to 3,000 meters to the north, Mount Entoto. It has a temperate oceanic climate but due to its elevation difference, it’s a subtropical highland climate with precipitation that varies every month. 

Addis Ababa has a complex mix of highland climatic zones. Because of Ethiopia’s position near the equator and variation of elevation, the temperature in Addis Ababa is constant throughout the year. It consists of 4 different seasons, Keremt/ summer, Bega/ winter, Belg/ autumn, and Tseday/ spring.

Where Keremet/ summer consists of June, July, and August along with heavy rainfall throughout all the 3 months. Belg/ autumn consists of September, October and November having a spring season due to its marking of the end of summer and year, it’s mostly known as the harvest season. Bega/ winter consists of December, January, and February, it is a mostly dry and frosty season. Tseday/ spring consists of March, April, and May, these are very hot seasons of the year with rare rainfall.

Is Addis Ababa Safe?

Ethiopia Addis Ababa is a safer city compared to other regions in the country and compared to other countries in Africa. Due to being engrossed in the culture and history, lesser violent crimes are likely to happen than that of petty theft and pickpocketing. Burglary, robbing, mugging, stealing, larceny, and break-ins are predominant causes of crime in the city. Nonetheless, the major crime of all not just in the city but the country is corruption, fraud, and bribery. 

What Are National Festivals in Ethiopia Addis Ababa?

Addis Ababa is home to various festivities that is more celebrated and more active around Meskel Square. Meskel Square is an open site around the Stadium of Ethiopia Addis Ababa. It’s mostly used for public gatherings and commemorations, notably the orthodox holiday of Meskel, hence the name. Thus, due to places like Meskel square, Ghion, Stadiums and so on, the city is more vibrant and alive around holidays or festivities.

Meskel square was renamed ‘Abyot’ or Revolution square around the year 1974, after the fall of the monarchy. The expansion of the site commenced hosting different festivities and holidays during this time as well.

Meskel Square is mostly known for the holiday of the orthodox, Meskel. The word Meskel in Amharic translates to the word cross, as the main purpose of the holiday is to commemorate the moment where the crucifix unfolded to the Roman Empire Empress Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great. This festival is overseen as the change in the spring season as well since it’s the blossom period for daisies, notably the ‘Adey Ababa’. The yellow daisy that marks both the New Year and Meskel festival.

Every year this event commences around Meskerem 16 or 17 in the Gorgonian calendar on September 26 or 27. The celebration begins early in the afternoon, people gather around to help with gathering and forming of the burning pyramid, ‘Demera’.

The huge folk of the burning pyramid is located in the center of the square and is circled by priests, students, brass bands, and a crowd of people carrying the giant cross and torches. The festivity commences till the end of the night as the ‘demera’ is kept ablaze, set to alight with people’s torches.

Historically, the celebration of Meskel was a bit different, as the Emperor of Ethiopia was the one that lit up the bonfire, along with the imperial family, high ranking official of both the government and Orthodox Church. Furthermore, during the reigns of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Zewditu, the setting of the ‘demera’ was initially around St George’s Cathedral. It was moved to its current place by Emperor Haile Selassie after specifically building the site for the purpose of Meskel, hence the naming history. Notable as it is Meskel festival was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.

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Along with many of the notable events that occur in this square, one of which is the coffee ceremony held in it. Two days before the annual Nations, nationalities, and peoples’ day celebration in Addis, on the 6th of December, 2018 a meeting commenced to bettering Ethiopia’s future through harmony and no conflict of nations. Over 10,000 people from 76 nation’s nationalities of Ethiopia gathered to attend.

Representatives of different nations and regions in Ethiopia gathered at Meskel square to discuss the valuable necessity of unity in diversity and peace in the country over coffee. The organizing committee (Ethiopia Addis Ababa City Administration) wanted to achieve the message by commemorating this event in Meskel square, a square with history and that holds diverse moments or events. 

Another notable event that has occurred on this square is the celebration of ‘Ireechaa’, in other words, a thanksgiving festival of Oromo people. It was celebrated on the 4th and 5th of October, 2019. It was an event that rejoiced the culture of the Oromo’s, as there were traditional foods & clothing, rituals of Oromo beliefs and prayers to give thanks to God. People came from all around Ethiopia to attend this festive event, as it was a beautiful cultural reflection. 

The UNESCO inscribed the Gada System in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in October of 2016. The Gada System is a political, social and cultural reflection of Oromo people’s lifestyle, hence including its notable thanksgiving event, Irreechaa.

Mostly religious pilgrimages or public gatherings of a sort happens in Meskel square. It is a place open for everyone as no race, religion, or ethnicity matters. The celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid Al Fitr and Arefa are two main events that commence in the capitals largest and open square, Meskel square. People from all around the world come to take part in this holiday. 

In Islam, how to celebrate this holiday is simple since the ritual required to do both are almost the same. It only takes 4 – 5 hours maximum for the event to commence, almost from early morning 6 – 10 or 11 am. These holidays are forms of worship as Muslims gather to pray, Salah for Eid Al Fitr and Salah for Arefa. 

Furthermore, the country guards and protects the people, as there are extreme ways of security. Police officers and soldiers are assigned in the formation of guarding in different checkpoints all around the site. No access to vehicular engagements is also allowed. Thus, only access to the site on these holidays is on foot. 

Other than hosting and adhering to the festivities of holidays, Meskel square is also known for the celebrations of concerts, public events, sports, and exhibition center. On a normal day, people use the space for sporting activities and other timely events that occur in our daily lives. On weekends it’s a place for concerts or a hub for events that host the Great run and the like. In addition to all of these, it’s also the center of themed exhibition centers, which is most active around for holiday seasons.

How Should I Move in Ethiopia Addis Ababa?

In many other countries, transportation in Ethiopia Addis Ababa commences through three ways; road, air, and railways respectively. The major use of public transportation is road, mostly by buses and distinctive taxis that are blue with white straps in color. The taxis are minibusses that can accommodate 12 people per ride. 

As the population increases one factor being constantly affected, is road transportation. Driving in Addis Ababa is often expressed as an overwhelming experience due to its erratic infrastructure and overly crowded scenes. It’s considered very hectic. 

The most significant road construction in the city was built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBA). As it greatly enhanced the master plan of Ethiopia Addis Ababa. The purpose was to link the roads that lead in and out of the city towards the major ring road. The five major gateways were Jimma, Gojjam, Ambo, Dessie, and Debre Zeyit. 

Traveling through the air is the best accommodation in the city’s transportation means. Ethiopian Airlines is the best airline in Africa as it offers a spectrum of fine quality and professionalism. In 2003, the current international airport of Addis Ababa was introduced to the public, whilst the old airport rendered to a helicopter, small and military crafts.

Railway transport and the least accommodating of all started in the city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa as the first commercial service sector in 1901. It linked the city with the port of Djibouti. Since Ethiopia was a landlocked country, the Ethio – Djibouti railroads provided her associations to the sea. In 1917, the whole linage falls apart as the needs for road transportations emerged. Later, in September of 2016, the old railroads got reconstructed and became open to the public, as Ethiopia Addis Ababa – Djibouti railway.

Commenced to the public on September 20, 2015; Addis Ababa is nowadays predominantly using light railroads, that custom from the east side to the west side of the city. From Ayat to Tor Hayloch and from Menelik square to Mercato bus station, Meskel square, and Akaki. In Africa’s sub-Saharan region, Addis Ababa is the first city to use and have light railroads. 

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Facilities of Ethiopia Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa does not have a lot of service sectors, due to its uncanny population increase. It is safe to assume that the number of service sectors available isn’t enough to serve the needs of the community and people. Service sectors include education, hospital or clinics, housing accommodations, water, and electrical supply.

The ministry of education of Ethiopia is located in Addis Ababa, Arada sub-city. It is responsible for overseeing the learning process that happens in both the public and private sectors. In addition, it provides the national and regional examinations of Ethiopia that are given whilst completion of middle school or grade eight (Ministry examination), halfway in high school or grade 10 (Matric examination), and finally University entrance examinations or completion of high school given in grade 12. But as of this year, the completion of middle school examination or Ministry and the Matric examination are being re-evaluated to see if they deem necessary or not and might not commence this year.  

There is no differentiation in primary, elementary, middle school, and high school facilities. All are mostly given one school facility in almost all districts of Ethiopia Addis Ababa. There are two types of education sectors in Addis, governmental owned or public schools and privately owned facilities. The education sector given to these facilities both differs economically and governmentally. Thus, from kindergarten to grade 6 or middle school, education sectors are given to students based upon their teacher’s or schools’ understandings. 

Universities in Addis Ababa are mostly privately owned; Ethiopia Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopian Civil Service University, Hil-Co University, Admas University College, St. Mary’s University, Hayat University, Unity University, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Sante University, Micro-link University, Alkan University, Queens University, Rift Valley University and so on. 

Governmental institutes found in Addis Ababa are limited one notable example is Addis Ababa University (AAU). It was the late Emperor Haile Selassie’s residential quarters before he donated it to be the university of the capital. Addis Ababa University is a state and the national university found in the capital with almost 12 branches of campuses in the city and one found around ‘Bishoftu’, a city in Debre Zeyit.

Water and electric supply are not constant and rarely available depending on the sub-district zone. There are 10 sub-cities in Addis Ababa, Bole, Arada, Lideta, Yeka, Nifas Silke Lafto, Addis Ketema, Kolfe Keranio, Gullele, Kirkos, and Akaki – Kality. The most generic and possible things for the provision of these sectors are living conditions of and in the environment and proximity to the city centers.

Thus, highly populated districts or that show economic growth are less likely to encounter a shortage of water and electrical supplies. Whilst districts in a further range from the city, with congested spaces and slum areas, are highly likely to encounter a shortage of water and electrical supplies.

What is the Future of Addis Ababa?

Ethiopia Addis Ababa is a city embroidered by nature. It has a lot of agricultural potentials and as the capital, could be the source of growing ‘Teff’, as a vital harvest region. ‘Teff’ is the major ingredient to the output of ‘Injera’, the nation’s unique and distinctive cultural food. 

The government had a five-year plan until 2025 to achieve the goal of green Addis. Although many factors aid against it. One of which is, unplanned urbanization. The urban infrastructure and economy of the city aren’t balanced, as the rate of urbanization is increasing enormously by the day.

There are already an estimated amount of 3,384,569 million people living in Ethiopia Addis Ababa currently. The higher rates of urbanization are causing high slum areas in the city. The city expanded horizontally which involuntary gravitated agricultural lands to trifle. Due to denser centers, the urban setup of the city is in grave danger, as it becoming non-existence.

Currently, Ethiopia Addis Ababa is the 84th largest city in the world with a population of its inhabitants. By 2100 it’s expected to be the 20th largest city with over 30 million people living in the city of Addis Ababa. That is 3.5 million within the next six months and ten times what it was in the future. We are currently at an estimated 3 million people with a fast-increasing amount of growth rate.

The infrastructure, settlement areas, and arrangements are not keeping up with the fast population increase in the city. The main cause being immigration from rural to urban areas. At this rate, Ethiopia Addis Ababa is in grave danger to attain its name of becoming a green city or preserving the environment as its economic growth will also decrease.

The more the high-rise buildings, the more space required, the more the settlers or population increase, the city gravitates towards a polluted raggedy city. Nowadays people are taking awareness of the pollution around them and are taking action. Some act in groups, others individually but all are initiated to create a sustainable environment, through perseverance or care. 

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