Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa (sometimes spelled Addis Abeba, the spelling used by the official Ethiopian Mapping Authority) is the capital city of Ethiopia. (In Ethiopian languages: Amharic, Addis Abäba [adːiːs aβəβa] "new flower"; Oromo, Finfinne; Ge'ez ኣዲስ ኣበባ) It is the largest city in Ethiopia, with a population of 3,384,569 according to the 2007 population census.[1]

As a chartered city (ras gez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as "the political capital of Africa", due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.[2] The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia – the country has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages and belonging to a wide variety of religious communities. It is home to Addis Ababa University. The Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC) and Horn of Africa Press Institute (HAPI) are also headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Contents

History

The site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by her husband, Emperor Menelik II. The name of the city (ኣዲስ ኣበባ) was taken from parts of the city called hora Finfinnee ("hot springs") in Oromo. Another Oromo name of the city is Sheger. Menelik, as initially a King of the Shewa province, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, and in 1879 visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town, and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of an Ethiopian presence in the area prior to the campaigns of Ahmad Gragn. His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Entoto, and Menelik endowed a second church in the area.

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