I have never seen a city ANYWHERE so active with construction. Sometimes it seems like they’re building on top of active construction sites. New construction roads are plowed through active construction sites just to allow taxis and vehicles to get to locations where previous streets no longer exists.

Construction near Edna Mall
Construction near Edna Mall

My first thought when arriving is that Ethiopia is Thailand 40 years ago… but a “Thailand” where not only the world can feel comfortable, but one of the few places left that black people can be comfortable and build a new life.

I keep remembering something a black U.S. veteran expat said:

“I was sitting in a cafe for about 15 minutes when I suddenly jerked around and discovered that no one was looking at me.”

First day talk 3
My first day in Addis Ababa enjoying a cup of delicious cup of coffee with Hiwot Nega and Mansa Wibert Square Musa
Enjoying lunch with fasting Ethiopians near the university.

The number of unemployed young, skilled Ethiopians is shocking. It’s estimated that the Ethiopian-Eritrean war costs $1 million dollars a day. While this drastically hurt the Ethiopian economy, the country is building like a house on fire and everyone expects great transformation within the next five years. Things are cheap now for those wise enough to get in early, but it’s obvious prices will rise with growth.

The African Development Bank Group states:

  • In 2012/13, Ethiopia’s economy grew by 9.7%, which made Ethiopia one of Africa’s top performing economies.
  • Through co-ordinated, prudent fiscal and monetary policies, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) has brought down inflation to single digits.
  • Trade and industrial policies are not yet attuned to global value chains; such policies should address all obstacles and opportunities linked to each level of the global market. [Read full article]
“Ethiopia is pressing ahead with construction of a major new dam on the River Nile, despite stiff opposition from Egypt. Some 8,500 people working at the site, where construction carries on 24 hours a day.”

BBC NEWS Africa article states: “Egypt and Sudan currently get the lion’s share of the Nile’s waters under colonial-era treaties. While Sudan backs Ethiopia’s plans, Egypt has remained opposed. Talks to ease tensions between the two countries have collapse. Despite this, Ethiopian foreign ministry spokesman Amb Dina Mufti describes the dam as a “win-win” project. Sudan has already seen the benefits and has come on board, we hope Egypt will see that too,’ he says.” [Read full article]