Addis Ababa (Amharic: አዲስ አበባ [adˈdis ˈabəba]) “new flower”; Oromo: Finfinne, [fɪnˈfɪ́n.nɛ́] “Natural Spring(s)”), (colloquially simply known as Addis) is the capital city of Ethiopia. Founded in 1886, it is the largest city in Ethiopia, with a population of more than 5 million.
The highest metropolis in Africa, sitting at 2,300 meters above sea level, the city drives its name from the Meskel Flower that covers the fields of the Ethiopian Highlands during the month of Meskerem (September). Flanked on Three sides by mountains – Entoto to the north, Wochecha to the west, and Yerer to the east – the areas become home to Menelik II and Taitu, his empress, in the 1880s.
It was Taitu who named her new home Addis Ababa. They had relocated their court from Ankober in western showa when the supplies of wood in that area were dwindling. The hills and surrounds, locally known as dildila, had wood aplenty and the court settled there, above the rolling plains, and named it Entoto. However, over time it became evident to the empress that Entoto was no place to live as it was damp and cold, and down the hill, there were natural hot springs that eased her rheumatic discomfit. And so it was, in time, the court moved down and settled on a hillock above the hot spring where a Ghibbi, or royal compound, was built.
As a chartered city, Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union is and its predecessor the OAU was based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and numerous other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as “the political capital of Africa” due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.
The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia – the country has more than 85 nationalities each with their own languages and belonging to a wide variety of religious communities. It is home to Addis Ababa University. The Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC) and Horn of Africa Press Institute (HAPI) are also headquartered in Addis Ababa.