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

Scenes around Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Buildings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

One of the interesting things I found about visiting Ethiopia last December was the contrasts in the capital city, Addis Ababa. Today I have posted photos of several modern and quite lovely buildings, structures which would not be out of place in Australian cities. We went to several supermarkets and shopping centres and they looked very similar to what we’d find here in Adelaide or other Australian cities. In fact, the supermarkets were generally much cleaner and well kept than their Australian counterparts. Only the products on sale differed though we recognised many of the same brands we can get here at home. The labelling also differed, though many were in English as well as the locally spoken Amharic.

In most cases, however, we only had to go a short distance to see the other side of Ethiopia where the vast majority of people live in poor conditions and struggle for survival. More about that in coming days.

Buildings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Buildings in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia