Interesting Facts

  • Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa.
  • Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that has never been colonised.
  • Ethiopia follows its own calendar, which has 13 months, instead of the standard Georgian 12 month calendar, and New Year is celebrated in September.
  • Addis Ababa’s Merkato Market is the biggest outdoor market in the world.
  • Coffee originated from Ethiopia. Presently, the country is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of coffee worldwide.
  • Ethiopia was home to the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal, the marathon runner Abebe Bikila, did so barefoot.

Key Market Alerts

  • Free-standing homes and homes in complexes tend to be more widely available than apartment options.
  • Leases should aim to regulate sporadic rental increases.

An Overview of Ethiopia

The economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for 46% of GDP and 85% of total employment. Coffee has been a major export crop. The agricultural sector suffers from poor cultivation practices and frequent droughts, but recent joint efforts by the Government of Ethiopia and donors have strengthened Ethiopia's agricultural resilience, contributing to a reduction in the number of Ethiopians threatened with starvation. The banking, insurance, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted significant foreign investment in textiles, leather, commercial agriculture and manufacturing.

Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; land use certificates are now being issued in some areas so that tenants have more recognisable rights to continued occupancy and hence make more concerted efforts to improve their leaseholds. Many properties owned by the government during the previous regime have now been privatized and are in the process of privatization.

Living in Addis Ababa

Traffic on the main thoroughfares is heavy at all times of the day. Herds of goat being driven along the lanes or grazing by the roadside are a common sight. Fantu supermarket and Shoppers Mart near the Old Airport offer a good selection of local and imported products; the latter is open 24 hours a day. Nearby on Pushkin Square is Adams Pavilion, a new shopping mall with four floors of boutiques, a bookshop and Kaldis Coffee (a kind of Ethiopian Starbucks) among other things. The international tennis club and the Addis Ababa golf club are both popular with expatriates.

Housing in Addis Ababa

The primary area which is favoured by expatriates is the Mekanisa (Old Airport). This area, is south of old Lideta airport, from which it takes its alternative name and numerous diplomatic missions have their offices and/or residences here. Housing is mostly in villas in large, secure compounds; however, here as in other parts of the city security is typically low-key. Properties are generally older, although there are some new developments, especially in the less populous area to the south of Mekanisa. There is a cluster of more exclusive homes around Bisrate Gebriel church (Ethiopian Orthodox) in the heart of the area. The International Community School is just a few steps away.

Schooling in Luanda

There are multiple international schools in Ethiopia for children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12including British and American.

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