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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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    (1886- )
    Capital and largest city of Ethiopia
    Area: 527 km²
    Population: 2,863,000 (2009)
    Means ‘new flower’ in Amharic
    Founded by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taytu Betul on a site near hot springs
    Headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
    It has several nicknames, including Finfinne, Adu Genet, and Sheger.
    Moreover, ‘Addis’ sounds like a mangling of Adidas.
    It is said that genetic diversity declines the further one’s ancestors travel away from Addis Ababa.
    It lacked firewood during its early years until eucalyptus trees were imported from Australia.
    It experienced no urban planning until recent years.
    High population growth has resulted in the creation of slums.
    Very few of its streets have names, and they’re often shown incorrectly on maps.
    It is important to be mindful of the water, ranging from drinking only bottled water to avoiding eating vegetables washed with water.
    Despite being founded during the 19th Century, it happens to boast quite a long history as evidenced by an incomplete church Menelik II found.
    It is known as the political capital of Africa because it has played a significant role in African history and politics.
    Its inhabitants come from different regions all over Ethiopia.
    Its Mercato district is the largest open market in Africa.
    It houses the remains of the Australopithecine Lucy.
    Emmeline Pankhurst’s daughter Sylvia is buried there.
    It is considered much safer than most African cities, with the main crimes committed there being minor burglary, pickpocketing, and scams.
    Unlike other African cities, the cops never ask a foreigner’s passport and ID.

Credit: Big Lenny

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