Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, was established in 1889. Major urban migration into the city began in the mid-1970s, driven mainly by unemployment, poverty, and declining agricultural productivity in rural areas. The population of Addis Ababa is currently 2.9 million, and is projected to grow to 5.1 million by 2015.

Ethiopia as a whole has an annual population growth of 2.8 per cent. Twenty-seven per cent of Ethiopia's urban population lives in Addis Ababa and this has created substantial pressure on the city's infrastructure, housing, and urban services. These satellite images taken in 1973 and 2005 show the development of Addis Ababa's massive urban sprawl.

In 1996, the city had only 238 000 residential housing units. That same year, the total number of households was estimated to be 460 000, leaving 220 000 households or nearly 1 000 000 residents without suitable housing. This situation led to illegal housing construction and uncontrolled settlements, some of which are encroaching on protected forest and reserve lands at the edges of the city.
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