Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia iscurrently in a state of economic boom, due to the modernizing of Ethiopia andalthough 1/3 of the population still lives in poverty (less than $0.60 a day)increasing wages to the people have been creating a urban middle class. Butit’s members cannot compete with more economic stable countries, as earningsand careers are still very uneven. The bureaucracy, unreliable supply ofingredients and the constant rising and decrease in prices make it hard formany businesses to start, or continue successful.
Sales of beer are alsoanother unusual indication of Ethiopian gentrification. In Angola, which isvastly urbanized, average per capita stands at 50 litres of beer a year. InEthiopia, it is only four.
Sales of beer are progressing at the same pace asthe road network and electrification, and manufactures can barely keep up withthe demands. For the time being there is more evidence ofextreme poverty in Addis Ababa than more upwardly mobile prosperity. Thechurches in the predominantly Orthodox Christian country are surrounded bybeggars, street children and their mothers, and malnourished children hopingfor spare some spare change. Ethiopia’s lower middle class live in one ofthe countless shacks with poor iron roofs which are spreading all over thecity. Inside these “shacks” usually tend to be home to two or three generationsof a family. Usually one person owns a car to get to work, and is usually paidby multiple friends and family, one of the prime concerns is school, becausestate school is considered to be “…for the poor”.
Set aside misgivings, Ethiopia has achievedalmost 100% school enrolment, largely thanks to the former prime ministerMeles Zenawi, who “broke” thedictatorship in 1991 and ruled the country until his death in August 2012. Come back in five years’ time and Ethiopiawill have lost it’s rural nature with donkeys, cows, and goats wandering amongthe pedestrians and traffic. It will be a modern city, with broad tarmackedavenues and ultramodern blocks and shopping malls.