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Addis Ababa’s architectural heritage threatened by rapid modernization


Bulldozers have razed much of Piazza, a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, and erased centuries of Ethiopian history, starting with Menelik II (emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to 1913), who ruled in the late 1800s. The place is now almost unrecognizable.

For decades, it was the beating, vibrant heart of the capital. Its streets were lined with craftsmen’s and merchants’ stalls, people crowded around, haggling for gold and silver, while enjoying macchiatos in its old Italian-era cafes.

Many of the buildings in Piazza were classic examples of the modernist architecture that until recently was Addis Ababa’s signature style. Then came the bulldozers. Gates and fences were torn down, ancient buildings were reduced to dust. Blue corrugated iron fences mask the devastation as excavators load the rubble onto red trucks, which then dump it – and with it entire chapters of the city’s history – in landfills far away.

A Dubai of East Africa

The Addis Ababa Corridor Development Project includes wider roads, cycle paths and modern buildings

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Drawing by Martirena
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Source of the article

The Continent (Johannesburg)

It is at the heart of a world turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic that The Continent was launched in April 2020. This original media aims to bring together “the best of the reports” made in all four corners of the African continent. “Never has the need for access to precise, in-depth and accurate information been so pressing,” writes the title in its first editorial. “We can’t give you tests. We don’t have ventilators, but we have a vital job to do: inform you.” Backed by the highly regarded South African newspaper Mail & Guardian, The Continent is a weekly available for free, in format PDFand designed to be shared on social networks.

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