About Addis Ababa Print

Addis Ababa, the political, economic, and social capital of Ethiopia and Africa's fourth largest city, boasts a population of more than three million people. Founded by Emperor Menelik in 1887, Addis (as it is commonly referred to) is situated in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and is unique in that it is the third highest capital in the world at 2440m.

Addis Ababa means "New Flower" in the African language of Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia and the most widely spoken. Other languages include: Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, and Arabic. English is the major foreign language taught in schools.

During the Italian colonial occupation of Ethiopia, from 1935 and 1941, portions of downtown Addis Ababa were rebuilt, constructing a European style central district known as the Piazza.
Today, Addis is a sprawling city where the architecture is as varied as the city itself. Tall office buildings, elegant villas, functional bungalows, flat, fashionable hotels, conference halls, and theaters - gleaming and new - mix alongside traditional homes of wattle and daub, surrounded by cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens.
The city has grown in a natural, organic way, and its present appearance reflects this unforced and unstructured evolution.

There is much to do and see in Addis Ababa. For those historically inclined, a visit to the National Museum to see the 3.5 million year old hominid fossil skeleton, Lucy, is recommended. A rich, cultural encounter with day-to-day life in Addis requires a visit to the Mercato, one of the largest open-air markets in Africa.
And a dining experience will not be complete without a serving of Tej, the traditional Ethiopian honey wine.

Sites which should not be missed in Addis include the St George's Cathedral -- Built to commemorate the defeat over Italy in 1896 and the site of Haile Selassie's coronation (as the King of Kings) in 1930 and the Ethnological Museum – a cultural museum located in Haile Selassie's former palace.

We look forward to welcoming you in Addis Ababa for the 1st FIGO Africa Regional Conference of Gynecology and Obstetrics!