Posted by: mmeazaw | July 28, 2010

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Addis Ababa, capital and largest city of Ethiopia, the country’s commercial, manufacturing, and cultural center. It is situated in central Ethiopia at an elevation of about 2440 m (about 8000 ft) above sea level on a plateau that is crossed by numerous streams and surrounded by hills. It is the focus of a highway network, the site of an international airport, and the terminus of a railroad to the Gulf of Aden port of Djibouti, capital of the neighboring state of Djibouti. In the city are printing industries and manufactures include footwear, clothing, asbestos and metal products, processed foods, cement, and plywood. Flourishing handicraft industries produce leather, metal, and textile goods, which are traded along with the regional agricultural produce, such as coffee, tobacco, and dairy items, in the vast open-air market known as the Mercato, on the western side of the city.

The modern city was founded in 1887 at the site of a hot springs by Emperor Menelik II and given the name Addis Ababa, Amharic for “new flower.” It became the national capital in 1889. The city’s somewhat haphazard and unplanned growth was spurred by the completion in 1917 of the railroad to Djibouti. From 1936 to 1941 Addis Ababa was occupied by the Italians, who made it the capital of Italian East Africa and instituted extensive modernization projects. Between 1960 and 1970 the population of the city nearly doubled, and new light manufacturing industries were established. In 1963 the charter establishing the Organization of African Unity was signed here. Population 1,047,300 (1994 estimate).

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