Africa’s new flowers

addis_noghtWith a population of more than three million people, Addis Ababa also known as Brussels of Africa is located in the geographical centre of the country. It is not only the capital but also the economic and social nerve centre of Ethiopia. Founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887, this big, sprawling hospitable city still bears the stamp of the exuberant personality. There are more than 120 international mission and embassies in Addis Ababa, making the city a forefront for international diplomacy in Africa Union and the United Nations Economic commission for Africa.

Addis Ababa’s cosy espresso bars and patisseries are reminiscent of Rome and the Mediterranean, and its bustling outdoor markets are colourful reminders of more traditional ways of life. The people, the bursts of music from cafes or shops, the pungent aromas of spicy cooking, of coffee and frankincense, form a unique Ethiopian pastiche.

Dominated by the 3000 meter (9840 foot) high Entoto Mountains immediately to the north, Ethiopia’s largest city has grown at an astonishing speed since it was founded just over a century ago. Covering 250 square Kilometres the city rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut through with fast-flowing streams. Despite its proximity to the Equator, its lofty altitude –it is the third-highest capital in the world-means that it enjoys a mild, Afro-alpine climate.

From its inception Addis Ababa was clustered around two main centres: the national Palace to the east and the market, Saint George’s Church, to the west. Together they generated so much activity that the capital grew and developed rapidly.

By the late 1950s Addis Ababa was recognized as the unofficial capital of Africa, and thus was made the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in 1958 and later, in 1963, chosen as headquarters of African Union (UN). Today Addis Ababa, which bears the imprint of many of these past developments, is a major metropolis, with an estimated population of over three million.

The city stands at the very heart of Ethiopia and enjoys excellent connections with all of the country’s economic zones. Addis Ababa is Africa’s unchallenged diplomatic capital, with more than hundred and consular representatives clustered in the mountain city. SEE SOME ATTRACTION PLACE IN ADDIS: