Photo Essay - February 15, 2003 -  MediaETHIOPIA


Business in Addis Ababa

Few Addis Ababan stories demand as much re-visit as that of the story of day to day life in Addis Ababa. This is in fact true not only for Addis Ababa but for the rest of Ethiopia. What is remarkable about Ethiopia is not the rare events that happen once in a decade but the very ordinary lives of our ordinary people. With that thought in mind, this week's 'photo essay' revisits the different faces of some of Addis Ababa's businesses. And to that add the reply we got from the people at Mokarar on Churchill Road why their  big billboard sign - a landmark we all grew up seeing almost on a daily basis - is missing and we have a story. The EPRDF Municipality - city administration - now levies a sum of 50 Birr/letter for any outside advertisement!  This, incidentally, is an issue we had talked amongst ourselves for a long time - but not in public yet. But think of the amount of money that the government is making by this exploitation alone. Addis Ababan are being charged even for the air! We wonder how things are in Meqele? 


Mokarar Buna was getting charged as much as 300 birr/year for their bill board. With coffee selling still cheap these days, it looks like even Mokarar couldn't afford the cost.  Aska Computer, shown top left - we think - may have to dish as much as 500 Birr/year. Try advertising on your car, and you may have advertisements that may cost more than the car itself. 

Shown on the left column going top to bottom are a scene on Africa Avenue-Bole Road where WorldSpace is trying to sell its satellite radios through vendors (satellite?? we are reminded of the story of the 30 or so people arrested recently for bypassing telecommunication for foreign calls - the poor buggers may face up to 5 years in Ihadeg prison), Bati Bar in Piassa (in front of Castelli Restaurant), Hi-Tech Communications (the new meets the old in this wooden building from the 1930s!) and Systems House in Bole.

Shown below are the new souvenir shop opened at ground floor of Ras Birru's house (we went there just to see how much Ato Zerihun Yetimgeta's paintings cost. when told 20,000 Birr, we opted for the complementary buna instead). A customer surfs the Internet in an Internet cafe in Dembel building - the city's newest hip place. Daftek Computer promises expertise in AutoCad just for 500 Birr!  

On the right column is shown an advertisement for an Internet cafe. The two photos below it show how we buy our milk and sheep in Addis. Whisky bottles, butter and oil plastic containers, spring water plastic bottles and plastics with questionable prior history now are used for collecting your half or one liter of organic milk! The sheep shown on the right is just sold last Saturday in Shola near Yeka Mikael for 300 Birr - good price we thought for a sheep with only 2 broken teeth [we hope you remember how one tells the age of a sheep/goat]. The last picture shows the banner for women entrepreneurs. 





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