A Brief History Of Addis Ababa

Statue of Menelik II

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History

The location of Addis Ababa was chosen as a place to live in by Empress Taytu Betul. And the city was founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1886. It has only been the capital of Ethiopia since the late 19th century; the capital city before was Entoto.

This city wasn’t so hospitable, however, with cold temperatures and little firewood. Because of this, the capital city changed. The name Addis Ababa means; “New flower” in Amharic (Amharic: አዲስ አበባ) and was given this name by Taytu Betul. In 1905, Emperor Menelik imported abundant eucalyptus trees, which he planted along the streets – these are still visible today.

Addis Ababa was the capital of Italian East Africa from 1935 to 1941. During this time;

  • Modern stone houses were built,
  • Many roads had been paved,
  • A water reservoir was established in Gefarsa to the west, and
  • A hydroelectric station was built in Akaki to the south.

In 1941, the city was abandoned by the Italian colony. Which moved instead to Amba Alagi, and the city was liberated, in time for the return of Emperor Haile Selassie. Haile Selassie, who is a very important figure in the Rastafari movement, helped found the Organization of African Unity in 1963, which made its headquarters in Addis Ababa. It is a continental union that consists of 54 countries in Africa, and is the current union for Africa today and is called by the name of the African Union.

Modern Addis Ababa

Today, Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. It is split into 11 sub-cities and 99 wards. Addis Ababa is also the headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Ethiopia’s official airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has its main headquarters at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. From this airport, you can fly to different places in Ethiopia, like Lalibela or Gondar, and also internationally. Addis Ababa is often referred to as the political capital of Africa because of its historical, diplomatic, and political significance for the continent.

Addis Ababa is a sister city with cities in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany., Sweden, The United States, and others.

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