By Teshome Kassaye, Oct. 02, 2012
Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is at the heart of one of the Africa’s most fascinating countries. The chartered city, Addis has the Status of a city and state. Addis Ababa today is the political and diplomatic capital of Africa. If you take Africa as a Universe, just think of Addis Ababa being the Sun. It is home for African Union (AU) and United nations economic commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous other continental and International Organizations. Moreover Addis at the presence has more than 100 embassies and consular missions which have enabled it to serve as the venue for international conferences and other gatherings. Addis Ababa has the highest of Embassies concentration in the world after New York, Washington and London and it is now becoming a key economic and political city in African continent.
Addis Currently is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia than ever been before. It is the most linguistically diverse city in Ethiopia and in Africa. Many considered Addis as cultural capital of Africa where you see diversity as keynote of beauty. Addis Ababa was one of the oldest cities but for the last several years lack of stable government and engineering difficulties, made Addis the most inefficient, insufficient and less infrastructure city. In the last 10 years Ethiopia brought consistent and successive double digit growth in economy and on this regard Addis took the lion's share. Its economy is astonishingly increasing and Ethiopians' dream is to make Addis a power house economy for Africa. Now Addis started to change forever, its landscape is changed. In Addis everything is changing by the very minute. The city has recently been in a construction boom with tall and sky scrapers buildings rising in many places. Amazing growth in the hotel sector and investors are tapping Ethiopian tourism potential than ever before. Already many five star hotels are currently under constructions. Various luxury services have also become available and construction of shopping malls has recently increased.
Constructions of beautiful Condominium houses hold new hopes for Addis residents and will solve overcrowding of villages. The government of Ethiopia is committed to re-built Addis from east of the city to west and north to south and incur billions and billions of dollars. Addis now is becoming a better city to live in. This was a moment we have been waiting for long, Addis is under construction and reconstruction. Many new roads were constructed and several others are underway. The newly constructed nation and nationalities intersections had added a beauty to Addis. Many more complex roads are planned and in the very near future we will see Addis as having the shape and nature of a modern city in Europe.
A conducive and modern transportation is still a challenge to Addis residents, and the transportation is very crowded at peak at times. The public transportation is very unhealthy and by all measures it is a sub-standard for a city like Addis. It is very painful to see people packed like sardine in buses and Taxis at rush hours. On this perspective, you simply described Addis as ugly as you would like to take. We know the solution is complex but we need to start it somewhere. The government has designed a light rail system. Plans include a 30 km net work with two lines. An East west line from 'Ayat' to 'Torehayeloch' ring road and from Menelik Square to 'Merkato' bus station and a North south line 'Meskel square' to 'Akaki'. Regarding to air transportation, Addis has go a long way. Addis is also an Umbilical cord to Africa and the most easily accessible city, having daily flight from and to most of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
This piece is not politically calculated, but let me touch briefly on a subject that is still with us. The Toxic Diasporas are who deny Addis’s growth and development; we can't say they have no enough information about Addis. But rather they are habitual lairs and they don't afraid to tell lie between their teeth. The few hate-infected Ethiopian Diasporas are becoming a tiny community that neither lives nor apart each other. They failed to embrace vital and progressive values of Ethiopians. This titanic confrontation is a sign of sheer ignorance and arrogance or both. If the Diaspora is going to be stuck on this issue for a political reason, I tell them it is surely risky and dreadful path. There are a lot of hard facts at hand that shows Addis is fundamentally changed. We have wittiness the Dawn of New era for Addis and we can't afford to be silenced to tell you truth. Have you ever asked yourselves a legitimate question? If the Westerns are eyeing Addis' change from remote, why are you unable to see that? I would have easily understood if people had been under-satisfied with changes they saw and I would certainly share their assertion because they wanted to see Addis being the best city in the universe.
We knew that Addis Ababa been trapped for long time with a very complex problem and we feel that our government's effort and the changes we saw is only a drop in an ocean of misery but I believe that the ocean is less without that drop. We have to believe Ethiopia in general, Addis in particular is now in a sort of cultural flowering than ever before, these will definitely bring to cultural communities and cultural pluralism. And if we work together, we will see shortly the Renaissance of Ethiopia and will be proud of Addis being the New York of Africa.