Cottage industries in Addis Ababa

Clothing repairs and manufacturing in the streets of Addis Ababa

On the final evening of our stay in Addis Ababa we went for walk in a nearby street. This was a typical suburban street with active markets on the footpaths and many shops open with their wares spilling out onto the footpath.

I actually use the term “footpath” loosely; there was no real path, or smooth walking surface. I am referring only to the space between the shop frontages and the road. Because these “footpaths” were often rocky, uneven, rutted, muddy and unsuitable for easy walking, so most people walked on the road. The constant hooting of car and truck horns resulted from waves of pedestrians clogging up the road’s surface.

One of businesses which intrigued my wife is shown in the above photo. It shows a man sewing on an old treadle sewing machine. On an earlier trip in Nepal I saw this activity in many places.

Another cottage industry we saw in a number of areas of Addis Ababa was furniture making, shown in the photo below.

Street scene, Addis Ababa – furniture making


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