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World and Travel

RASTA’S ETHIOPIA AND RECYCLING: The Green Report

Addis Abeba is looking pretty much the same as when I left. Its now the rainy season and very wet with a shower or two everyday, but a lot of things have change since I was here a year ago at this time. For one Addis has broadband all over the place and wireless internet, I bought from the government phone company the new 3G sim card for my mobile, but the 3G only works in Addis for now. The price of fuel has gone up like the rest of the world, but still cheap compared to Australia, it’s only about .90 cents a Lt. Cars have drop in price with some starting as low as $10,000 AUD on road, and if you don’t mind a three wheeler you can go cheaper. While in Australia we pay for cable TV here in Ethiopia you can pay one off $100 AUD get a dish and take a choice of two satellites and get on each one over 200 channels. They get Fox movies free with a few other movies channels I have not heard of before, and so many sport stations that I cant number them. You can get more stations from the South African satellite but their is a monthly charge so most people go for the Free ones. Like everywhere in the world the price of food has gone up but with so many Ethiopia’s returning from the west many little super markets have open up and are everywhere selling everything from %100 beef hotdogs American style, RC cola, to French mustard’s and cheese with lots French and Italian Foods. But one thing you notice here is how the Arabia countries produce so much of America foods, you would almost think you are in a 7/11 somewhere in the states. So what does it cost to shop in a Ethiopia supermarket today?                                                                                                                                                                     I shopped for: 1/2 Liter milk, loaf of sliced bread, some luncheon sliced chicken meat, a can of Ripples Chips, Jar of Strawberry Jam total cost in Birr $45.40 in Australia dollars about $4.80 ! Pretty cheap you may think but in a country where most people make only about $1.50 a day most people don’t get to shop at the super markets. With all this talk in the news of people going hungry somewhere in Ethiopia I have notice a big drop in beggars in Addis and this city still has almost a nil crime rate and is one of the safe’s cities in the world and listen to this, NO GRAFFITI anywhere. The UN has set teams of people to find out why Ethiopians don’t steal, rape (this crime is almost unheard of in Ethiopia, ‘0.07% a year’ except during wars) or harm each other and they put it down to the Ethiopians strong belief in God wether a Muslim 35% or a Orthodox Christian 39%. For me I think it is also because they were never colonized by the west but for one short period by the Italians who invaded Ethiopia twice in the last 150 years, the last time during World War Two and did not learn all our bad habits. The Ethiopians don’t seem to hold grudges against defeated enemies as they invited the Italian prisoners of war to live in Ethiopia and many did, and today you can find Italian pasta in most Ethiopian resturarants and Pizza’s shops all over Ethiopia as they love it. There is a lot of dust in the city but not much trash as the Ethiopians recycle everything and waste nothing. All soft drinks like Coke, Pepsi, 7up still come in returnable glass bottles, and that also helps keep the price down, with all juices and sauces at the markets, coming in glass or paper card board also. The only product that comes in plastic is the water bottles but even they are recycled as kids in the streets will gladly take a empty bottle off a person to take to a recycle center for money.

Water Conservation to a new level: The other day I was driving along this main road and saw these two men washing a car in a puddle that had formed from the afternoon shower in this city street. With plastic bags to pick up the water, it may have taken them a bit longer but it was a free car wash, and any city should be proud to have citizens that dedicate to water conservation and keeping there cars clean. I been staying in one of the many middle class suburbs that have sprung around the city with a Jamaican and British family. They have two dogs that guard the yard even though a house brake in just don’t happen much in Addis, as well as a man living on the property to do work around the place. I have noted that the two dogs understand Americ the main lauguged of Ethiopia and English very well as do most young people in Ethiopia because English is taught in schools from a early age as well as Amharic. I have been trying to relearn my Amharic that I have forgot from my last two visits here but its hard, as most Ethiopians want to speak to you in english if they speak it and they think you do. But it is not unusual to meet Ethiopians from overseas that cant speak Amharic and for the ones who come from Europe and can’t speak english it is even harder for them to talk to there own people then for me. I missed out on a free party held at the Australian embassy for all the Australians living in Addis these days but being a New Zealand citizen and having only Australian redencey for the past 10 years I wonder if they would have let me in. Well going out in Addis is always fun as you feel safe and can enjoy a real African night out on the town with music blasting out from every club and bar and out of the many shops with the latest European copies of leather shoes to Nikes for only $20 AUD’s, and everyone you meet in the streets seem to have a big smile as they enjoy the city vibes of a truly African city. And when you park your car the meter maids come running up to you to get about 0.10 cents parking fees for every hour much nicer then paying a machine and they will watch your car for you also, not that anyone is going to steal it, like most crimes, car stealing is almost unheard of in this African country.

You see lots of European tourist here as most cities in Europe have direct fights as low at $450 return with many business people and diplomates flying back and forth to Addis because its the home of the African Union and the diplomatic capitol of all of Africa. Addis also has hot pools right in the city center, and some great public pools with steaming water to wash away your jet lag, My favorite pool being the one at the Hilton hotel that was designed by Emperor Haile Selasse in the shape of a Ethiopian Cross it is open to the public for about $10 dollars for the whole day, a bit high priced for Ethiopia but with fantasist faucities including food and drink served pool side it is a great day out and a good treat once in awhile. Addis is a city of learning with schools everywhere and museum and Churches open as museum in the day and churches in the morning and afternoons you could spend weeks learning about African, Ethiopian and European history. From the oldest human remains to the latest computer technology Addis Ababe seems to have it all, even the shoe shine boys and girls (starting to see some girls now) can tell you about Ethiopian history and are proud of their country and its many different peoples.

Reggae and Rastas; Ethiopians really love the Rastas from around the world who are visiting and making Ethiopia home. If you are a Rasta you will get first class service here in Ethiopia from cab drivers calling you to the front of the line while angry looking Europeans looking at you as you take cuts in the line, to when you walk into a bar or restaurant the music suddenly change to reggae, I have even had people call out to me from office building windows as I walk by just to get a wave from me. The fact that Rastas love Ethiopia seems to make Ethiopians very happy, and thousands have come to live here and many more coming everyday. So far the Ethiopians people seem to be very welcoming and have learned that their are different types of Rasta and because the Twelve Tribes of Israel Rastafarian organization is the largest group living here, and see Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior as all Christian Ethiopians do they seem to get the best welcome from the locals. Well this ‘Rasta In Ethiopia’ will be heading out of the city to the country soon to go stay with some friends on a farm so till then, Jah Lives!

                                               TRAVEL TIPS

Location: Ethiopia is located between latitudes 3º and 14.8º and 33 and 48º longitude in the Eastern part of Africa (horn of Africa) covering an area of 1.2 million square kilometers, bordering Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Eritrea with border length of 5.311 Kms.

The city of Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa is the federal capital city founded at the foot of the Entoto hill and is surrounded by mountains. It is situated at a height of an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level and annual average temperature around 15º c. Addis Ababa is a big, sprawling city with three million inhabitants million, and grows annually by 3%.

Accommodation: Ethiopia has international class hotels as well as budget hotels that cater to the needs of all travelers.

Airport: Bole Airport is the main airport with worldwide connections. It is 8km from the center of Addis Ababa. Domestic flights are available to all regions and most tourist sites of the country.

Airport Tax: A $20 departure tax will be paid at the airport on departure (payable in USD cash only). As it is often difficult to change large notes at the departure tax office, it is advisable to bring as $20 note.

Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required by all visitors and a visa is required for all foreign visitors. Please ensure that you have a valid entry visa prior to arrival. Visas can now be issued upon arrival for visitors coming from countries that are listed here Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korean republic, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian federation, south Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States,

Customs: Personal effects are admitted free. Personal articles and samples including those by businessmen and business travelers,Camera, computers and other high-tech gadgets should be declared on arrival. Visitors are allowed to take with them souvenir not with more than 500 birr. To get permit to take wild life and wild plants, Please counsel the Ethiopian wildlife conservation organization.

(Tel: 00251-1-517922/514389 Fax: 00251-1-514190. P.O.Box 386, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Vaccination and medical assistance: All Visitors must be in possession of valid vaccination certificates against yellow fever, and vaccinations against hepatitis and cholera are recommended. Malaria prophylaxis is not needed in Addis Ababa. However, malaria precautions should be taken before visiting the lowlands.

Banking: At Bole Airport, and in all major cites and many towns, there are branches of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). There are around six private banks in Addis Ababa with branches in major towns in Ethiopia. Foreign Exchange: Foreign currency may be exchanged at the CBE, Hilton Hotel and Sheraton Hotel. Current exchange rate is approximately 8.60 Ethiopian Birr for one USD. In Ethiopia it is not lawful to exchange money at unapproved location. There is no limit of the amount of foreign currency imported into Ethiopia, but it must be declared on arrival.

Climate: Ethiopia has two main season, the dry season from October through to May, and the rainy season from mid –June to September. Temperatures are pretty pleasant all year round. However, during October to December it can get chilly in the evenings and early mornings. What to wear: Light clothes are recommended during day time in the dry season. For the rainy season a light raincoat and umbrella are essential and a sweater for chilly evening. The sun can be strong in high latitudes, so a strong sunscreen is important.

Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2

Ethiopia is 2 hours ahead of GMT. However, apart from a different calendar, a day will be in two 12-hour cycles ( as in much of East Africa). Therefore midday could be 6 o’clock.

Communications: Telephone, postal, fax and email services s are available in Addis Ababa and other major towns of Ethiopia. The IDD code for Ethiopia is +251, followed 1 for Addis Ababa.

Weight and Measure: Metric

                               Travel to and in Ethiopia :

Air: Ethiopia’s national flag carrier is widely recognized as one of the world’s best airlines, with a net work covering 50 destinations. Visitors are encouraged to use ET for their international flights since priority is given to these clients when flying on the domestic circuit. Most travel between major towns and sites is easily accessible by air and prices are relatively cheaper by international standards. ET has an excellent safety record and is noted for its excellent services.

Land travel: Addis Ababa is connected to most cities and towns by road. Buses run to most major and small towns in the country every day.

Driving: Driving in Ethiopia is on the right. A valid international driving license is required. Car hire (with or without driver) is available in the main centers.

Taxis: In Addis Ababa the NTO (National Tour Operators) provides taxis at the main hotels and the airport, although independent an communal cabs are available. Always check the fare and the destination before you travel NTO taxis have fixed rates and can issue receipts. However the communal cabs all coloured blue with white tops do not have receipts. The mini van communal cabs do not negotiate prices, they have fixed prices from one destination to the other and are the cheapest taxis, fares ranging from 0.75 to 3. Saloon taxis (also all coloured blue with white tops) can be contracted just for yourself or your party, on either an hourly basis for Birr 20 to 25 or a flat rate of Birr 25 to 50 depending on distance of the destination and time of day. In the evenings, especially late at night prices tend to go up slightly.

Language: The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic, with its distinctive alphabets, although over 80 local languages are spoken. English is understood in most hotels and major towns. Arabic, French and Italian are also understood.

Food: The Ethiopian staple food consists of injera, a flat, rounded pancake made of Teff, the only grain to have symbolic yeast. It is a nutritionally high quality food. Various side dishes of meat, pulses and vegetables along with sauces which are generally spiced are also served with injera. The injera is either topped with these side servings or it can be torn off and used to pick up the sauces and fillings.

Restaurants: The restaurants catering for all tests: Indian, Chinese, African, Italian, Mediterranean and different European dishes. Restaurant prices vary from area to area. There are Ethiopian traditional buffet restaurants with national music dancing shows.

Tipping: Most hotels and restaurants have a service charge, however depending on the size of the bill visitors might want to leave a small tip for the service. It is customary to give tips up to 10% of the value of the bill.

Crime: Addis Ababa is considered to be one of the safest cities in Africa but pick pocketing and petty crimes may occur. Please do not leave you valuables unattended. It is advisable to leave your valuables at the hotel’s safe-deposit box in your room or at the reception.

Traditional courtesies: Recognition of traditional courtesies is important when visiting another country. When greeting a handshake is common, often followed by pleasant discussion on personal matters before getting down to business. The offer of tea or coffee is normal. Smoking is not popular amongst traditional people, or in front of priests. Shoes are often taken off on entering churches, and always on entering mosques.

Understand: With 4,5 million people, the city is located in the geographic center of the country. Many of the wealthiest people live in the Southeast (Bole), Southwest (old airport), Semis, Ayat and Lamberet parts of town. There are more than 120 international missions and embassies in Addis Ababa, making the city a hub for international diplomacy concerning Africa. The headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa can both be found in the city. The United States and the European Union both have two delegations in Addis Ababa, one for bilateral relations with Ethiopia and one for the African Union.

Climate: Temperatures in Addis Ababa are remarkably constant from month to month due to its proximity to the equator. The average highs are between 63°F(17°C) and 71°F(22°C). The average lows are between 51°F(11°C) and 58°F(14°C). The warmest months being Feb through May. Temperatures and climate can vary due to elevation. Due to altitude there is a huge day to night range of temperature: it is often 27C at lunchtime and 3C at night: In the Addis evenings always take a second layer with you.

Get in... By plane: Bole International Airport (IATA: ADD), the busiest airport in East Africa and the hub of Ethiopian Airlines, is serviced by several international airlines with daily flights to Europe, United States, and Asia as well as inter-African destinations including Accra, Bamako, Brazzaville, Cairo, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Khartoum, Harare, Johannesburg, Nairobi and many more cities in Africa. There are two terminals, but as of 2009 the domestic terminal is being refurbished and all flights use the same one. No departure tax is charged.

By train: Arrive via Djibouti. Over 700km trip that takes approximately 24 hour trip from point to point, stopping about halfway in Dire Dawa. Reservations are strongly recommended.

By car: Some of the roads are in poor condition, so keep this in mind when estimating time between destinations, but most of the roads are in good condition. The worst is the heavily potholed northeast road to Debre Birhan.

By bus: Bus terminals: Autobus Terra near Mercato. This is the main bus terminal where most of the national buses arrive and depart. Ras Mekonin Avenue near the railway station. Buses to/from Adama (Nazret), Debre Zeyit, Dire Dawa, Nairobi, Lalibela, Shahemene, Awasa and Bahir Dar are here.

Get around; Very few streets have names and when they do, they may not be named correctly on a map; use landmarks to navigate the city. Blue and white minibuses travel quite efficiently around the town. To catch a minibus stand on the side of the road and hail it. This can be done anywhere it is possible for the bus to stop. The conductor inside will call out the destination, and you get on. You pay the conductor after you get on. To get out say "woraj alle" It is worth having an Ethiopian guide with you if it is your first time using these taxis. Small blue coloured Lada taxis are more expensive. Negotiation is the norm and you often have to press quite hard to get a bargain as a foreigner. They can be contracted for a single trip,an hour, or a full day, just negotiate.

Walking in Addis Ababa is a pleasant and sensible way of getting around, however beggars and other hangers-on will most likely bother you.

See: Ethiopian National Museum. See a plaster replica of Lucy, an early hominid. The museum is located between Arat Kilo Avenue and the University of Addis Ababa Graduate School. Walking along the street starting from Meskel Sq. to Sidest Kilo is very comfortable and entertaining. It will give you the chance to see the Africa Hall, the palaces and the Parliament building, the Hilton Hotel, the marvelous architectural adventure of a building hosting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sheraton Hotel, the first modern school (which Menelik the II built in the 1880s), the Trinity Orthodox cathedral, the National Museum, and the Addis Ababa University (which also hosts a former palace and museum). Arat Kilo Avenue is marked by a statue built in commemoration of the Ethiopian V-day during the Second World War, while Sidest Kilo Avenue is marked by a statue commemorating the ~39,000 residents of Addis Ababa killed by Italian fascist troops. Around Arat Kilo, you will find part of an old town known as Serategna Sefer (literally, the residential area of laborers). If you want to proceed past Sidest Kilo, the road becomes steeper and much of the attractions will be on the right side of the road. The Entoto college (previously Teferi Mekonnen School) and the American Embassy are found on this side of the street. After the American Embassy there is an open market called Shiro Meda where traditional craftsmen sell their home made fabrics, pots and other crafts. The market place is at the foot of the Entoto Mountains that rises up to 3,300m above see level. You can take a taxi or a bus to the mountain unless you are of a mind to try it yourself. On the mountain, you will find the first churches of Addis Ababa called St. Mary and St. Raguel as well as smaller palace of Menelik the II. Walking on the mountain, especially between the churches is refreshing and gives you the chance to see rural life, the city itself, forest and unbelievably beautiful landscape intersected by farmlands and trails of farmers. It is from here that Menelik II and Queen Taitu conceived of the establishment Addis Ababa. You can get a sense of the city plan yourself by looking from here at the current city. Africa Hall is located across Menelik II avenue from this Palace and is where the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is headquartered as well as most UN offices in Ethiopia. It is also the site of the founding of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) which eventually became the African Union. Near Holy Trinity Cathedral is the Parliament building, built during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, with its clock tower. It continues to serve as the seat of Parliament today. Shengo Hall, built by the Derg regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as its new parliament hall. The Shengo Hall was the world's largest pre-fabricated building, which was constructed in Finland before being assembled in Addis Ababa. It is used for large meetings and conventions. Near Bole International Airport is the new Medhane Alem (Savior of the World) Cathedral, which is the second largest in Africa. In the Merkato district, which happens to be the largest market in Africa, is the impressive Anwar Mosque. The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family is also in the Merkato district. Other features of the city include the large Merkato market, the Jan Meda Race Ground racecourse, Bihere Tsige Recreation Centre and a railway line to Djibouti, while the Entoto Mountains start among the northern suburbs. Suburbs of the city include Shiro Meda and Entoto in the north, Urael and Bole (home to Bole International Airport) in the east, Nifas Silk in the south-east, Mekanisa in the south, and Keraniyo and Kolfe in the west. Menelik's old Imperial Palace which remains the official seat of government National Palace formerly known as the Jubilee Palace, built to mark Emperor Haile Selassie's Silver Jubilee in 1955, which is the residence of the President of Ethiopia. The Hager Fikir Theatre, the oldest theater in Ethiopia, is located at the Piazza district.

Ethiopian National Library, Ethiopian Ethnological Museum, Addis Ababa Museum, Ethiopian National History Museum, Ethiopian Railway Museum , National Postal Museum.

St George's Cathedral, North end of Churchill Road. Built in 1896 to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians. Open 8am - 9am, Noon - 2pm. The cathedral is a circular building that does not look very impressive when you approach it. As you walk around the building, you will notice people praying besides the walls, but it is unlikely that you will find an entrance. The Catherdral houses a small museum and close to it you will likely meet one of the archdeacons of the Cathedral. If he offers to be a guide, take his offer and visit the Cathedral with him. The interior is beautifully decorated with huge paintings and mosaics, and will make the trip worthwhile. It is worth visiting the museum with a guide as well to see ceremonial clothes and ancient manuscripts. Holy Trinity Cathedral. The burial place for many famous people and once the largest Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral. Built to commemorate the country's liberation from the Italians.

Do: Jan Moda Race Ground, Bihere Tsige Recreation Center, Addis Ababa Golf Club. Entoto Mountain: walk from St. Marry church, the first church of Addis and St Urael church and see the city itself from the top of the mountain.Lion zoo: near to Addis Ababa university

Learn; Addis Ababa University is the largest and the oldest university in Ethiopia. It was originally named "University College of Addis Ababa" at its founding, then renamed for the former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie I in 1962, receiving its current name in 1975. Although the university has six of its seven campuses within Addis Ababa (the seventh is located in Debre Zeit, about 45 kilometers away), it also maintains branches in many cities throughout Ethiopia, leading to the claim of being "the largest university in Africa." The government assigns qualified students to these universities upon completion of secondary school. Students also attend other private colleges, such as Unity College. Addis Ababa University was founded in 1950 at the request of Haile Selassie by a Canadian Jesuit, Dr Lucien Matte as a two-year college, and began operations the next year. Over the following two years an affiliation with the University of London was developed. There is also Theological College of the Holy Trinity, a theological school of higher education located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It provides religious and secular education to both clergy and lay members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, as well seeking to be a center of theological and ecclesiastical study for all Oriental Orthodox Churches as well. Originally founded as a high school by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1942, the college division was added in 5 October 1960, and the elementary education section eliminated on 18 December 1961 and the college became one of the chartered units of this first National University of Ethiopia.

Work: There is a high demand for IT professionals. Many start-up companies search for individuals with computer networking and consulting background. Addis-Ababa has the highest number of NGO's in Africa, and possibly in entire third world countries in the globe. They are well known for paying good salaries for their employees. The unemployment rate in Addis is low according to the Nazret.com (8% of the population in Addis Abeba are currently unemployed) (2008) .Many expatriates work in NGOs and small start-up IT companies. Comparing to other African cities, Addis-Ababa has a high number of big, medium and small sized computer training schools, governmental and private learning institutions. Many students who attend there hope to land an IT or consulting job, in the very scarce job market of the city.

Buy: Merkato. The merkato is the largest outdoor market in the world, and you can get anything from tourist goods (t-shirts, wood crafts, etc.) to fabric to metal goods there. Haggling and bargaining are standard procedure, and foreigners (especially those of European ancestry) should expect to be charged higher prices. To ensure a positive experience, maintain a sense of humor, don't be afraid to negotiate aggressively, and above all don't let yourself be bullied by the many "brokers" who frequent the market, and will try to steer you towards certain stores in exchange for a kick-back from the merchant. You will be able to negotiate lower prices if you can avoid brokers, and especially if you have a local friend or guide to buy things on your behalf. (165 stores)

Friendship Supermarket. Bole Road (airport end). Well-stocked western-style supermarket - and they accept Visa. (225 stores)

Edna Mall. Bole Road (109 stores) ,Dembel City Center (132 stores) ,Getu Commercial center (105 stores) , Addis Sheraton Shopping (84 stores) ,Loyal Shopping center (120 stroes) ,Arat Kilo Shopping center (98 stores) ,Piassa Shopping center (67 stores) ,Bambis department store (3 stores)

Get Money ; ATMs/Cash Machines - are still rare in Addis. Found at D.H. Geda Tower (next to Friendship City Center and doesn't always work; accepts Mastercard too), Dembel City Center (quite hidden, use the main entrance, than to the left, at the window), in some hotels (Hilton, Sheraton, Wabi Shebelle Hotel, Ethiopia Hotel, Semein Hotel). Also near the National Museum (Lucy Gazebo Restaurant) and some branches of Dashen Bank. [1] They ONLY take VISA DEBIT/CREDIT cards. Do NOT depend on them as your only source of cash as sometimes they can be out of order. Cash on Credit Cards at Dashen Bank in Sheraton but at 6% and US$ 500 max per day. Best place to change Travelers Cheques and Cash are the two private enterprise banks on Hilton Ground Floor, Nib and United. Travelers Cheques in USD are well accepted, in EUR there are sometimes problems. Abyssinia Bank at Filwoha/Stadium and city end of Bole Rd are also good. UK Travelers recommended to use Nationwide Debit Card - NO commission. Avoid branches of CBE or Awash Bank on main roads - take ages. There is a black market where you can get a slightly better rate, especially if you bargain. Most souvenir shops off Churchill Rd and Zambia St do it. NO ATMS at Bole Airport but it will come:::: Dashen Bank is the one setting up the ATMS so see their website to keep up to date At airport CBE bank is in BAGGAGE CLAIM Area for ARRIVERS.

Eat Budget ; Addis has hundreds of Cake and Coffee cafes. They sell various coffees, tea - black unless you ask for "machiatto" - and sometimes fruit juices. There are also juice beits .The cafes along Bole Road and around the Piassa area are of a high standard and relatively inexpensive. Most are very similar to each other. Most cafes serve the common drink called 'sprice juice' (which just which is fruit pulp served in layers in a glass). There are usually 3 layers from a selection of avocado, mango, papaya, banana, guava etc. The juice is eaten with a spoon. It is colorful and tastes delicious. Single fruit juices are also great = orange, papaya, mango, pineapple - beautifully fresh. 7 birr up to 25 birr in Hilton..... Cafe Chocolata on Victory Road (near Shoppers Mart supermarket) serves drinks and snacks and is very nice. All the staff are former street girls and prostitutes who are trying to make something of their lives. City Cafe on Bole has delicious cakes and pastries as well as high quality Ethiopian espresso coffees. You can sit on the porch and watch the activity on one of the main roads in Addis. Restaurants that do not have an English menu are cheaper. Example: Connection between Bole Road and Tele-Bole, next to Bole roundabout, at NOC-Fuelstation, close to German Kantine. You can have lunch (local food, spaghetti) for less then 20 birr. If you don't have a translator, ordering is a lot of fun.

Mid-range - Habesha Bole Road. This cultural restaurant has traditional singing and dancing at night. If you're feeling brave, try the gored gored (cubes of heavily salted and spiced raw beef). Waiters are well mannered and kind, and most are very talented dancers. Team Mini Bole Road. This friendly, high quality "cultural" restaurant serving traditional Ethiopian food. Be sure to try the mesir besiga (ground meat with lentils). At night, Team Mini features performances by traditional singers and dancers. The entertainment is not as good as that at Habesha, but the food is generally better. The Limetree Bole Road, Boston Partners Building. While Ethiopian food is delicious there comes a time when you will crave western fare. The Limetree provides a beautiful range including gourmet sandwiches, pasta and arabic beef. A favorite hangout of ex-pats and NGO workers, the Limetree is nevertheless one of the best (and surprisingly affordable) resautrant/cafes in Addis. Addis Cuisine. Wollo Sefer. Bole end of Ethio Chinese Friendship Road,on the north side of 6 lane road. Good western and Ethiopian food. Canaan - from Airport-Roundabout down bole road, take small road on the left (before Bole Mini). Very nice pizza. Less then Mid-range, a bit more than Budget .Pizza Deli Roma - Deli Roma is a chain. Locations are: Bole Road, coming from airport, go to the right (pass Alizee Club), after about 50m on the right side; Bole Road on the left side on the way from Demble building to Meskal square; there is a 3rd location (I do not remember it). One of the best Pizza in town.

Splurge ; Fisherman Restaurant Mickey Leland Street, Near Atlas Hotel. Is a half-Chinese, half-Tibetan restaurant serving an excellent range of Asian cuisine and specializing in seafood. Aladdin Restaurant Bole Rwanda. Serves Middle-Eastern food. Very expensive but authentic and delicious. Castellis in Piazza. Top Italian restaurant here since 1942. Top View Restaurant. Past Bole airport near gutara. Very good food but can be expensive for a dinner meal. Serenade Restaurant. In the Amset Kilo area, close to Nazareth School. Will need a reservation. Probably the best food in town, Middle-Eastern influence.

Nightlife ; If you want to drink the national drink of Ethiopia, you have to try the 'tej' which brewed from honey. You can also try 'tela' which is like a beer. All kind of drinks are available in all the bars, from blue label to vodka. Champions is the lounge across the street from Limetree building. Hookah and drinks are modestly priced and the atmosphere is very "turkish". Gaslight is the fancy nightclub at the Sheraton. If the famous owner Al Moudi is in town, you may catch a glimpse of him here. Inside, it feels like an upscale Western disco. Be sure not to wear jeans or sneakers, as they have a fairly strict dress code. Memo is a seedy nightclub with a pretty good dance floor. Be sure to try the bozena shiro in the outdoor courtyard. Club Deep is the best in Addis. There is a cover charge but the drinks inside are very inexpensive. The music and dancing is great. Like usual, the main problem is the bathrooms. Meda Sports Bar and Grill has a large, spacious bar which is comfortable for chatting or watching a game. The downstairs lounge provides a more intimate setting for quiet conversations. And upstairs, the loft has a relaxed, casual dining atmosphere – all the best of Ballston, VA in one convenient stop! The Black Rose The energetic atmosphere is both comfortable and fashionable, and the bar serves a variety of drinks. The bartenders mix the best Cosmo this side of the Nile. The live jazz jam session in Addis every thursday night. Divine On Bole Road on the top floor of Sheger House, is currently one of the coolest clubs in Addis. It features a very western-oriented playlist along with ample space for relaxing and a pumping dance floor on weekends. Bailamos On the top floor of the Novis building on Bole Road is a new (2007) club which features a surprisingly vibrant salsa scene in the Weekends. The club also offers salsa classes.Bailamos has live music every Saturday (Soft rock, salsa, R&B etc...) .Dome Club (Concorde) Debre Zeyit Road, Addis Ababa.

Lodging Budget; Park Hotel, a cheapy starting at 20 Birr, the rooms aren't exactly clean. Filwoha Hotel, near the hot springs, tel 511404. Fin-Fin Hotel, opposite the Filwoha Hotel. Hawi, Debre Zeit Road, south of the city center. Holiday Hotel, Haile Gebresilassie Road near the Plaza Hotel. Yordanos Hotel, Haile Gebresilassie Road, tel 515711, fax 516655. Taitu Hotel, Piazza, opposite the National Lottery Authority Head Quarters, they have an annexe with cheap rooms (doubles from Birr 45), but you have to explicitly ask for it. Excellent value for money, very quiet, but toilets and shower are in despicable condition. Worku Bikila Hotel [2], about 20 kilometers south-west of Addis Ababa, in Dukem, thriving hotel for budget to mid-range travellers. Baro Hotel, Piazza, from Birr 95 (single) 130 (double), a genuine travellers meeting point (whoever happens to travel through Addis Ababa will sooner or later show up there...) and a marvellous courtyard, very friendly staff, restaurant on site, and hot water mostly in the mornings. Old decor and cramped, but decent value. They now take VISA without commission. Wutma Hotel, Piazza (across the Baro Hotel), from Birr 100 (single), not much better rooms than the Baro and less company. Abrehams Hotel, Piazza, from Birr 25 (single), a dump but has rooms when the others are fully booked.

Mid-range: Axum, Haile Gebresilassie Road, tel 188832. Balu, Near Piazza. Beer Garden Inn, Near the airport, Its menu specializes in German delicacies such as Cheese Noodles and grilled chicken washed down with wheat beer. A half litre cost 11 Birr ­ about one euro. Buffet de la Gare, tel 517888, 517125, fax 515959. Ethio Comfort Guest House, This newly built modern guest house has excellent large clean rooms with balconies, delicious home cooked food and extremely friendly and welcoming hosts who made our stay in Addis both comfortable and memorable. Tel: +251 11 629 5546 Mob:+251 91 166 2894 Email: contact@ethiocomfortguesthouse.com Gerji Area, Bole Sub-City, House No.234 .Desalegn Hotel, tel 1624524, (email: desalegn@telecom.net.et). Maskal Flower Hotel, near Debre Zeit Road, tel 517187. Tourist, near the Grand Palace and Trinity Cathedral. Martin's Cozy Place: German Guesthouse Located near the Atlas (almost opposite the side of the hotel) is a favorite for business people or expats having to base themselves in Addis. Martin offers a range of services for tourists and it is a homey place to shack up for a few nights. It costs around 100 ETB a night for a single. Yilma Hotel, in the "Mekanessa" area of Addis. This hotel is about $25 USD per night for tourists. They have an excellent restaurant/cafe with cable television that plays news and sports channels and serve food until 10PM-11PM. The staff is very nice and friendly. They have room service for no added charge. The rooms are minimal but have decent bathrooms with hot water heaters for the shower, flush toilets, and tiled floors. Ask for "Fish" the manager and you will surely be treated well. Z Guest House, This a nice family-run bed & breakfast in a quiet residential area of Addis Ababa offering clean rooms and beautiful furnished apartments with fully-equipped kitchens and satellite TV. Starts at $29.95/night for a Single Suite. It’s located less than one mile from Piassa, only about 12 minutes from the airport. The RAS - see Splurge - should really be here ...if not in Budget. Single rooms c 120br Damu-Damu Hotel.

Hotels ; Addis Ababa Hilton  central Menelik Ave, tel. 518400, fax 510064. The Hilton has many of the amenities you'd expect at an international hotel (airline agents, money changing, restaurant, bar, gym, sauna, swimming pool, high speed internet access), but it's rather mediocre, so you never forget you're still in the developing world. Sheraton Addis , central Yohanis St, tel 517138, fax 514029. This obscenely luxurious hotel was built by a Ethiopian billionaire, who is also Ethiopia's largest employer after the government. This is the place to go for 5-star opulence. It also one of few places in Addis where you can get cash from an ATM or credit card. Carrera Lodge, Rossevelt St, tel 517400, 447400. Ghion , central Menelik Ave near Maskal/Abbiott Square, tel 513222, 443170. it is not on Menelik Ave. It is on Ras Dasta Damtew just out of Maskal Square. Ras, Church Rd just North of the railway station, tel 517060, 447060. One of the oldest hotels in Addis. International Hotel, downtown near beginning of Bole Road. About $40 USD per night. Clean and rooms are HUGE with living room, separate bedroom, many bathrooms include large tub. Staff is very nice and rooms have enormous balconies overlooking the green open areas of the Sheraton hotel as well as views of Mt. Entoto. A great place to stay if you need easy access to the Bole Airport without risking traffic delays. [Note: if this is the Atlas International Hotel, the rates as of May 2008 are now higher -- $65 USD for a single, $85 USD for a small double -- cash only, no Visa] .Faro Hotel, Tel +2511-0116-621186. Brand new Ethiopian/Euro-style "boutique" hotel just minutes away from Bole Airport, Bole Rock Gym, Boston Day Spa, Friendship Center and Lime Tree restaurant -- a great location to base yourself from. Woman-owned, with a welcoming staff. Features Internet in each room, kitchenette in each room, with brand new bathrooms that include modern steam shower units and very comfortable new beds with duvets. Priced $100 USD per night plus 25% tax and service charge. Has full dining facilities; a bar & juice counter in the lobby and will soon have a swimming pool on its roof. Request a room with a view -- a breathtaking sweep of southern Addis Ababa with the mountains in the background. Many smaller hotels require you pay in cash -- Faro takes cash or Visa.

Stay safe; Addis is safer than most cities in Africa. Gang violence is unusual. However, you may encounter some pick-pockets and con-artists around and inside Bole Airport, Mercato, Piazza areas. Keep your belongings close, and pay attention to your surroundings. The good news is most of these pick-pockets are unarmed and very young boys. If they know that you are aware of what they are up to, they get intimidated and go away. The major and important roads and areas are patrolled by the 'Federal Police' or, as the city residents refer them Federal. They have a reputation of being merciless with suspected criminals. In contrast, the Addis-Ababa city police, who most of the time patrol the less important city streets, markets and neighborhoods are more tolerant and less respected police officers. There is also, a phone emergency line in Addis. For a traveler from US, it is easy to remember the emergency line, because it is 9-1. (Compares to US' 9-1-1) Major streets are generally safe at night. If you see anything suspicious or threatening, notify a city policeman. In a total difference of other African cities, in Addis-Ababa, police officers NEVER approach foreigners to ask them to present a passport, ID or "legal" papers. Once you show your passport at the airport, you are free to move around pretty much anywhere. The only time you need your passport or ID is, for hotel registration (booking) and other similar and few instances. (It is important to have your ID with you at all times, however) Many visitors appreciate that they don't have to be questioned who they are or where they are from by a police officer who wants to extract bribe money from them, every time they turn around. This could be one of Addis-Ababa's appeal.

Cope; Watch what you drink or you can fall sick! It is important to remember to only drink bottled water- There are many brands to choose from Ambo, Real, Highland but Aqua Safe brand is most trusted. ALWAYS check the plastic seal on all bottles before paying any vendor. Most travelers should be warned against eating vegetables such as those in salads that may have been washed in water. Try limiting fruits and vegetables to those you "peel" such as oranges, mangos, etc. Be prepared for culture shock - If you take photos of the people, ask first and offer to show them their picture if you have a digital camera with a display screen. Children enjoy seeing their pictures a lot of the time! Your emotions are real- it is okay to feel overwhelmed if you have not experienced this type of culture difference before. If you are NOT affected by the poverty, then there is something wrong! Be polite but not intrusive. It is OK to ask questions of the locals, but you should be prepared to be hassled a LOT of the time if you are white. Additionally, for foreign travelers who are black, especially American, although possibly able to "blend in", precautions are the order of the day (depending where you are, in Addis on Bole road they are used to seeing foreigners compared to the country side). If you prepare your mindset before arrival, you will be better able to cope.

Telephone ; The country code for calling Ethiopia is 251. The Ethiopian dialing plan changed on September 17, 2005, such that the two-digit city code changed to three digits (or, from outside the country, one to two digits) and six-digit telephone numbers changed to seven digits. The city code for Addis Ababa, as of Sept. 17, 2005, is 011 (or 11 from outside Ethiopia). An on-line telephone number converter, which will convert an old number to the new number, is available here: [11].

Mobile ; Ethiopia uses GSM network and operated by Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation. Currently there are decent coverage around big cities such as Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Harar, Dese, Gonder, Mekele, and Nekemete. It is expanding into small cities. Roaming charges are very steep. For a short visit, your best option for mobile access is to rent a SIM card with a phone. Only a few stores rent SIM cards: You can rent SIM card and phone inside Addis Ababa Sheraton hotel but is it very expensive. Another option is to rent a SIM card and mobile phone from local stores (for example Red Zebraes, [12]).

Internet ; In Addis Ababa, especially in Bole Subcity, you can find quite much internet cafes. Some cafes still use Dial-Up connections, but broadband becomes more popular. A general problem about Internet in Ethiopia is the unstable international high-speed connection. If it is not working, even broadband cafes only delivers Dial-Up speeds and less. Arkies Business Center, Piazza, next to 'Taitu Hotels' .Broadband Internet in DH Geda Tower, next to Friendship City Center / Bole Road. 128kbps, many seats, but mostly completely occupied. The good thing is, that is is easy to find. Nina Internetcafe, across from Baro Hotels, inside Wutema Hotels

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Ethiopia: Condos worth nearly 1 Billion Br being built Near Summit Factory; by Ethioplanet

Three districts have started mega projects of condominium construction on 188hct of an entirely new development site about 13Km from downtown Addis, near Summit area, in the south east part of the city.The over 942 million Br worth of condos construction, which started last month, is still in its initial stage on the wide plot stretching from right beside Summit Soft Drinks Factory in Bole District to the south eastern edges of the area closest to the city’s boundary with Oromia Regional State.Out of the total 15,000 houses planned for the new big condos village, the construction of 8,000 houses is currently ongoing, alongside the land clearance and preparation works for the remaining ones. The project involves about 250 contractors and 92 micro and small enterprises, according to Tsedale Mamo, general manager of City Housing Development Project Office. The three districts, each owning 5,000 of the condos, are Arada, Kirkos and Kolfe-Keranio.Summit is the largest condos construction site in the city, followed by Jemmo; the latter hosts 10,000 houses. Upon completion after a year, the 500 blocks new site will be inhabited by 15, 000 households.Currently, the project office is handling the ongoing construction of more than 28,000 condominium houses. In addition to this, the construction of more than 43,000 condos at a cost of over 2.7 billion Br, including the 15,000 owned by the three districts is on progress. The condos will be erected on 522hct. The construction of these condos will add some 1,432 four-storey blocks to the Addis landscape.When Ali Abdo was Mayor of Addis Abeba from 1998 to 2002, the third after the ascendance to the power of the EPRDF; there were 350,000 houses in Addis Abeba, according to a strategic document prepared by the city administration. Only 112,000 of these were used for residential purposes by the then 2.3 million residents of the city. The rest were streamlined for commercial business. From the total number of residential structures in the city; close to 65pc are over 23 years old, the document reveals. Data compiled in 2004 after a housing sector development program study conducted by Central Statistical Agency (CSA) indicates that the housing shortfall stood at 337, 700. A similar study done by the Ministry of Works and Urban Development (MoWUD) in 2007 places the number at 400,000. An estimated 1.5 billion Br was set aside by the Provisional Administration of Mayor Arkebe Oqubay in 2005 towards implementing an initial plan to construct 50,000 condominium houses every year for three consecutive years. The ultimate goal of this plan was to successfully end the overwhelming demand for housing by the lower income group of city dwellers. Subsequently, the 2005/2006 budget year saw the construction of 9,958 houses at a cost of 306.2 million Br. This was made possible through the support of GTZ, a German Cooperation Agency. That same year, the city housing project office further launched the construction of 30,719 houses. Although the Caretaker Administration of Mayor Brehane Deressa had planned to complete 19,361 condominium houses in the first six months of the 2007/2008 budget year, only 6,776 were successfully finished. Kuma’s administration has made plans to finalize the previously planned and some already started construction of 73,000 houses, and to construct a further 55,000 during the 2008/2009 budget year. The project office requested 5.5 billion Br from the City Council for the construction, but only 2.5 billion Br was approved. Of the total 54,000hct size of Addis Abeba, 62pc has been used for various constructions, while the rest are green areas and expansion plots. Addis Abeba has currently consumed more than 75pc of its potential area for development. According to the city development plan for 2001-2010, the potential expansion area of 10,000hct within the administrative boundary could be exhausted by 2010.

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Construction sector creates jobs to 170,000 people

Addis Ababa, August 22, 2009 (Addis Ababa) -The Ethiopian News Agency

Ethiopia/Addis Abeba ; Nearly 170,000 people embraced under 4300 enterprises have got access to jobs following launching of integrated housing development program, the Ministry of Works and Urban Development said.The ministry and regional and city administration work and urban development bureaus held a three-day meeting to evaluate performance during the previous budget year and discuss plan for the current budget year. It was disclosed at the meeting that the effort of building capacities of the construction sector has registered encouraging results. The construction sector has contributed a lot in creating more job opportunities in the country next to the agriculture sector, the ministry told ENA in a statement on Saturday.The statement said the ministry has also made an effort for increasing number of contractors. Currently, over 1700 contractors have been operating across the country. There are also 50 organizations for consultancy service. Activities in supplying logistics to construction sites were successful, the ministry said.The meeting evaluated that satisfactory works were executed to create ties with suppliers of construction materials. In addition to addressing shortage of residential units, the ministry said, the integrated housing development project has been contributing a lot in creating jobs, change look of urban areas to the better.The meeting agreed that there were limitations in finalizing some of housing projects as per schedule.

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Addis Ababa City Transfers To Residents  

Addis Ababa, August 8, 2009 (Addis Ababa); The Ethiopian News Agency

The Metropolitan Housing Development Agency transferred here on Saturday over 7,000 condominium houses built in areas known as Gofa and Gotera here in the capital to the respective owners.The houses were transferred to the owners in the presence of City Mayor Kuma Demeksa and other city government officials.The houses were built at a cost of 600 million Birr.Speaking on the occasion Kuma said the city has constructed the houses under difficult circumstances.Speaking on her part Housing Development General Manager with the City Administration Tsedale Mamo said the federal government has extended a substantial support to the construction of the houses.She said the houses would minimize the housing problem in which the city residents have been facing.

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Metropolis to complete construction of 18,000 condos  

Addis Ababa, August 4, 2009 (Addis Ababa) - ENA Tuesday

The Addis Ababa Housing Development Project Office said the construction of 18,000 condominium houses launched in the concluded Ethiopian budget year is nearing to completion.Public relation expert with office, Kassa Woldesenbet told ENA that the construction of some 18,000 houses was launched in 2001 E.C. He said the office has constructed 78,000 condominium houses out of which over 60,000 houses have already transferred to beneficiaries over the last five years. More than 32,000 houses were given to women.The construction of condominium houses at five sites in the fringes of the city is well underway, he said.Besides, addressing the shortage of housing in the town the construction, is creating jobs for dozens of youth organized in small and micro enterprises, he said.The construction of condominium houses is changing the sceneries of the slum areas in the metropolis.

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New Designs for New Condos, Shops.

*Tax Breaks, Land Subsidy for New Homeowners by Addis Forutne

Addis Abeba Housing Development Project Office constructed 7,154 condominium houses and 642 shops at a cost of 683 million Br at Goffa and Gotera sites which it inaugurated August 8, 2009. These constructions were supervised by the City Housing Development Project Offices of the Kirkos and Nefas Silk Lafto District branches respectively. The government subsidized the condominium project by offering tax breaks on imported construction materials, covering the cost of infrastructure and granting free land, according to Tsedale Mamo, general manager of the City House Development Project Office. The construction of the buildings cost 500 million Br, while the rest was spent on infrastructure development. Construction at the Gotera site was delayed until the site, which used to be a military base, was confirmed clear of ammunition, according to Mulat Tegegn, general manager of Kirkos District branch manager of the city house development project. The construction at the Gotera site followed several different designs. One major difference with previous trends is that the stairs are now built inside the building. There is also a kindergarten at this site. It took 200 million Br to construct 2,153 houses and 288 shops on eight blocks using 39 structure contractors and 91 small micro enterprises, which together employed 5,000 people, according to Abdela Akemel, site manager, coming from the Addis Ketema Disitrct office. Selamawit Abebe, a woman who obtained a house at these condominiums, said that she was happy not to have rent anymore.“I used to rent a house and now I am going to be a house owner,” she said.The Goffa project, by far the larger, sprawls on 42hct of land. It holds 180 buildings, of which only 167 were completed for the inauguration. The condominiums here hold 5,001 houses and 354 shops, with 10Km of pavement and 19.5Km sanitation pipes. The total cost of the Goffa site was over 487 million Br. Seventy four contractors and 203 small and micro enterprises were involved in the construction of this site employing over 7,000 employees, according to Mulat Tegegne, one of the site managers. Currently, the City Cousing Development Project Office has constructed 78,180 houses, out of which 51,367 houses are distributed to residents in four different lottery programmes. The construction is not going as planned due to shortage of construction materials and finance. This has disturbed the city’s original promise to hold house allotment lotteries every four months.The Oromia regional state is offering gravel to the city while the city government is importing cement, iron, sanitary and electric inputs from abroad to speed up construction, said Tsedale. The office will allow for the housing to be in the lottery when it is 80pc complete. Tsedale also announced that her office has no plans to register new applicants to condominium houses. By Misrak Adugna-Fortune Staff Writer

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by Glenn Farley - KING 5 News Aviation Specialist -EVERETT, WA. -- Outside of Boeing's gigantic factory, the company reached a milestone Wednesday. Boeing delivered its 900th 777 airliner.The buyer of the 900th 777 (and four other 777-200LR's) is Ethiopian Airlines. The east African country is the link that connects Africa to the rest of the world. The LR in 777-200LR stands for "long range," and the planes Ethiopian Airlines bought should do the job, for example, connecting Washington, D.C. direct to Addis Ababa, the airline's hub.Ethiopian Airlines already has a sizable Boeing fleet, with 737's, 757's, and 767's. It has standing orders for 787 Dreamliners and more 737's, in addition to the big continent-connecting 777's.  Their fleet is one of the world's youngest.Most passengers carried by Ethiopian Airlines are not going to or coming from Ethiopia. Most are going through, as the country has made itself a center for air travel. "Basically, we serve the whole continent and we are connecting the continent to other continents," said Girma Wake, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, in town to pick up his newest jet. Wake said while the airline is the state-owned flag carrier, it is operated as a business and has been profitable for a decade. Ethiopian Airlines has been a positive exception for much of Africa. By reputation, Africa's airline fleets have been characterized as old, inefficient and unsafe. That, however, is changing.Both Boeing and Airbus make forecasts as to how many planes the world and its various regions and countries will buy. Much of the focus has been on the wild growth in Asia, specifically China. Read the rest..

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Ethiopia has the second lowest Internet penetration rate in sub-Saharan Africa (only Sierra Leone’s is lower) and is currently attempting a broad expansion of access throughout the country. These efforts have been hampered by the largely rural makeup of the Ethiopian population and the government’s refusal to permit any privatization of the telecommunications market. Only 360,000 people had Internet access in 2008, a penetration rate of 0.4 percent.he state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is the sole Internet service provider (ISP) in the country. Internet cafés are the main source of access in urban areas, and an active community of bloggers and online journalists now plays an important role in offering alternative news sources and venues for political dialogue. However, three-quarters of the country’s Internet cafés are in the capital city, Addis Ababa, and even there access is often slow and unreliable. A test conducted by a Media Ethiopia researcher in July 2007 determined that the average connectivity speed was 5 KBps and that Internet service in most cafés was down between 10 and 20 percent of the time.WoredaNET provides e-mail, videoconferencing and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to local governments, and SchoolNet provides streaming audio and video through a downlink-only VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite. The government has pledged to dedicate 10% of its annual budget to the development and maintenance of these networks, which are managed by the government-run Ethiopian ICT Development Authority (EICTDA). Ethiopia has made several attempts to increase available broadband by laying 4000 kilometers of fiber optic cable along the country’s major highways, by making overtures to the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) and by connecting Addis Ababa to existing fiber optic networks in Port Sudan and Djibouti. These ventures have had mixed success. The domestic network is not yet operational, though the government has promised to lay 10,000 more kilometers of cable by 2010. Currently satellite Internet is available to some large corporations, but individuals are not permitted to have private satellite connections. The ETC also bans the use of VoIP in Internet cafés and by the general population, though its web site lists VoIP as part of the company's future broadband strategy. The ETC and the Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency (ETA) have exclusive control of Internet access throughout the country. The ETA is not an independent regulatory body, and its staff and telecommunications policies are controlled by the national government. It grants the ETC a monopoly license as Ethiopia’s sole ISP and seller of domain names under the country code top-level domain, ".et." Internet cafés and other resellers of Internet services must be licensed by the ETA and must purchase their access through the ETC. Individual purchasers must also apply for Internet connections through the ETC. Though Ethiopia has considered some limited privatization of the telecommunications market, these plans are on hold until at least 2010 despite acknowledgments that the ETC has not been an effective service provider.

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