Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dispatches from Addis Ababa: Day 1 – First Impressions Do Matter

These are my impressions of Ethiopia in last 24 hours I have been here in Addis Ababa;
Meles Zenawi is King!
Once you land in Addis Ababa airport you have portraits of the former prime minister everywhere. The people here also hold their former PM in high regard.
The Chinese are in Town
The Chinese are in Ethiopia just like any other African capital. Their presence is seen immediately you land on the arrivals. You also have a glimpse of their activities. Currently, they are building the road from the airport.
Addis Ababa is the New York of Africa
In the evening we we’re taken to Yod Abyssinia cultural restaurant and the melting pot Addis Ababa become crystal clear. This restaurant was full house with visitors from all over the world. The Ethiopians despite western influences have managed to preserve their culture.
GDP growth at 11%
I was surprised when someone pointed to me that Ethiopia has a GDP growth rate of 11%. This is one of the highest growth rates in Africa. This is evident from the construction I see around me.  
Ethiopians are Reading
I observed quite a number of bookshops yesterday and on my evening walk. I popped into one bookshop and I saw quite a number fiction books by Mario Puzo.
The Taxi Drivers
The reputation of Taxi drivers in Ethiopia precedes them! Yesterday I experienced it firsthand.

No comments: