by Mewded Yelewosen

Addis-Ababa-EthiopiaAddis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital is voted as one of the top ten destinations not to be missed in 2013 “Best in Travel 2013” by the leading travel guide publisher – Lonely Planet. What a great news for some one who was born and raised in Addis.

During one of my first visits to the US as a young girl, I was shocked to have a neighbor approximately my age ask me how we managed to lead a normal life in such a poor country.

Ethiopia is indeed one of the least developed nations, and the news channels displaying harsh images of hunger and poverty (which was true) have blinded some from the beauties of this developing country.

In the past few years, Ethiopia, especially the capital Addis Ababa has witnessed extreme development especially infrastructural aspects. Every part of the city is busy in construction activities…common to see Ethiopians and Chinese workers busy on building quality roads and buildings.

The newly inaugurated high rise building of the African Union gives the city a completely new look and it is becoming a site seeing spot even though parts of it are yet to be completed.

Ethiopia attracts many tourists due to its aged yet rich history, people, natural scenery and culture being the only of African country never been colonized. But not only for its history or culture people should look for the country.

The capital Addis Ababa is also another great site where you can enjoy the first hand experience of the people and culture. It is a city that is getting an attention of the world for so many reasons.

No wonder why Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world has voted Addis Ababa to one of the Top 10 Cities in its “Best in Travel 2013”.

Hotels of different classes are built in different parts of Addis. From small guest houses to motels, the city of Addis hosts world class hotels and accommodations to mention few The Sheraton Addis, Addis Ababa Hilton, Radisson Blu etc. built in such a way to make one feel like home.

Addis Ababa is the city where many NGOs and Embassies are established in. The AU (African Union) and ECA (Economic Commission for Africa) are one of the most important organizations found in the city.

For these and many other reasons, Addis makes everything available. Shopping for cloth, food items and electronics, might have seemed a little hard years back, only a few had the opportunity to personally order and import them but now your hand can almost got anything so long that you can afford it.

Restaurants are also widely available every nations craving. From five star restaurants found in hotels, to restaurants and fast food, there is an international variety of cuisine in Addis; the famous ones being, French, Italian, Georgian, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese and of course the nations traditional spicy meals.

Getting from one end to another, also a task that was rather hard to accomplish for the country a while back, is now an easy task even though some rugged roads are yet to be fixed.

So it should no longer be wonder to see a brand new model car that has only been released a few months ago has ended up on the streets of Addis Ababa, where the country is also the owner of a world class airline, Ethiopian airlines.

The New Flower (meaning Addis Ababa), will soon be transformed into one of the world’s hottest cities. Activities throughout the whole country give direct opportunities for the rich as well as business people to invest as many business ideas remain untouched.

Citizens are now allowed to have financial backups from the government in exchange of a profitable business idea. Thus, this culturally wealthy nation is catching up on the technologies that have kept the western countries advanced.

Addis Ababa is one of the safest capitals in the world perhaps as many agree could even be safer than London or New York or other big capitals. You can walk on the streets with out a hustle.

The only thing may be, if a white, you may catch some young kids attention to be called “ferenji”, nothing offensive but simply referring that you are white man…just smile at it and make more friends.

Mewded Yelewosen

Mewded Yelewosen, previously Communications Officer,  is now a Programme Assistant at IFRC. She contributes guest posts on our site; interesting articles on Ethiopian people and culture.