Addis Ababa City, often referred to as the capital of Africa, mostly pertaining to its being the seat of the African Union and different international organizations, is to get a major face lift with a project that extends from Entoto to Yeka Abado, The Reporter has learnt.

The project, whose design Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) said will be a surprise to many when disclosed for representatives from the City Administration of Addis Ababa during his meeting with school children at his palace, is said to include different facilities especially targeting tourists that come to Addis Ababa.

Among the many facilities the project will incorporate are cable cars from Sululta, Botanic Garden to Yeka Abado, river and wetland preservations, museums and parks.

Sources close to the project told The Reporter that, the project will enter its implementation phase soon after the completion of the final project plan and design and they said it will be a major facelift to a city that is mostly criticized for lack of proper facilities both for its locals and expats from around the World. Addis Ababa is an entrance to tourists, businesspeople as well as diplomats that come to Ethiopia.

Although the country had five years ago run a tourism development project office and established tourist centers development office, it had never had enough budget for the implementation of projects of this magnitude. But there have been efforts to develop washrooms and pavements. This one is rather said to be a major one which will require huge investment even though they failed to mention the amount of money required to implement the project and who will be covering the expenses.

Through the project plan is yet to be completed, sources also say that it will be implemented in five phases.

“It is a huge project; this is what I can say at this stage of the project,” a source said, adding that modernizing Addis Ababa has been at the core of PM Abiy’s leadership and he always asks members of Addis Ababa administration about their efforts to that end. This is what he did today when he saw Nebiyu Baye, a member of Addis Ababa City Administration’s cabinet heading the City’s Culture and Tourism Bureau.

The project also includes two zoos which will feature herbivores and carnivores in the country.

This will be a big addition to the city which has recently received a huge investment from UAE developer Eagle Hills around Lagar area. This project has three hotels, shopping malls and residence apartments. The people who live in the area will be relocated in apartments that are to be build within the project site.

In a related story, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Grand Menelik Palace, which houses the residence of the Prime Minister, underwent a renovation which the Prime Minister designed himself. And it is said that the PM himself designed the look of his office which was said to have been built with zero government expenditure. It has been learnt that Ethiopians living abroad have contributed to the renovation by sending foreign contractors. There were also people supporting the renovation with their knowledge.

The palace renovation was completed in two months. According to Abiy, the palace will be open for visitors in September, next year, and it will feature some 260 caged animals for visitors. (Ethiopian Reporter)