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Ethiopia’s Capital

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Addis Ababa, also known as Finfinne, is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It also serves as the regional capital of Oromia. In the 2007 census, the city’s population was estimated to be 2,739,551 inhabitants. Addis Ababa is a highly developed and important cultural, artistic, financial, and administrative center of Ethiopia.

In the 15th century, Addis Ababa was depicted as a fortified place named “Barara” and served as a residence of the Emperors of Ethiopia until Dawit II. Barara was completely destroyed during the Ethiopian–Adal War and Oromo expansions. The founding history of Addis Ababa dates back in late 19th-century by Menelik II, Negus of Shewa, in 1886 after finding Mount Entoto unpleasant two years prior. At the time, the city was a resort town; its large mineral spring abundance attracted nobilities of the empire, led them to establish permanent settlement. It also attracted many members of the working classes — including artisans and merchants — and foreign visitors. Menelik II then formed his imperial palace in 1887. Addis Ababa became the empire’s capital in 1889, and subsequently, international embassies were opened. Addis Ababa urban development began at the beginning of the 20th century without any preplanning.[12]

Addis Ababa saw a wide-scale economic boom in 1927, and an increase in the number of buildings owned by the middle class, including stone houses filled with imported European furniture. The middle class also imported newly manufactured automobiles and expanded banking institutions. During the Italian occupation, urbanization and modernization steadily increased by a master plan which they hoped Addis Ababa would be more colonial city and continued after their occupation. Consequent master plans were designed by French and British consultants from 1940s onwards focusing on monumental structures, satellite cities, and inner-city. Similarly, the Italo-Ethiopian master plan also, projected in 1986 concerning only urban structure and accommodating service, which was later adapted by the 2003 master plan.

Addis Ababa remains federal chartered city in accordance with the Addis Ababa City Government Charter Proclamation No. 87/1997 in the FDRE Constitution. Referred to as “the political capital of Africa” due to its historical, diplomatic, and political significance for the continent, Addis Ababa serves as the headquarters of major international organizations such as the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The city lies a few kilometers west of the East African Rift, which splits Ethiopia into two, between the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate. The city is surrounded by the Special Zone of Oromia and is populated by people from the different regions of Ethiopia. It is home to Addis Ababa University. The city has a high human development index and is known for its vibrant culture, strong fashion scene, high involvement of young people, thriving arts scene, and having the fastest economic growth of any country in the world. Wikipedia

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