Under Ethiopia's prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, who was recently awarded a Nobel peace prize after successfully formulating a peace deal with Eritrea, a 101-year old station in Addis Ababa is going to get a massive renovation. The decision for a facelift of the station covered in dust and cobwebs was taken after it was deemed neglected, and overshadowed by new high rise buildings in the capital city of Ethiopia.
The old station will be at the forefront of a very big development venture, La Gare, in the center of the city, including shopping centers, workplaces, five-star hotels, and more than 4,000 luxury condos and a park, just as, in theory, a low-cost housing project for the people living in the district.
Covering a total of 36 hectares, and with a valuation of $1.8bn (£1.4bn), the Eagles' project was the biggest in the nation's history when it kick-started last year and according to reports, a China-based organization is going to invest a total of $3 billion in a posh complex in the city of Addis Ababa, thus, overtaking the Eagles' project as the most expensive venture.
In a public address, Abiy Ahmed stated that if a task to chance Addis Ababa can be undertaken then it can surely happen for Ethiopia as a whole. In addition to this, it was added that the capital city will not witness a larger cover of greenery and renovation as compared to the concrete jungle that Addis Ababa had become.
Apart from this, a palace belonging to the city's founder, Emperor Menelik 2, was for the first time, opened to the public as a museum and a park. In addition to this, further plans were revealed to convert 31 hectares of dirty river banks in parks suitable for the public and eating joints with waterside terraces. This project is said to cost $1 billion over a 3 year period.
The architect, Nahom Takele, stated that projects other than the train station project, will be funded by the city budget and in addition to this, he said that the Ethiopian government is focusing on a Rapid Bus Transit system alongside to better the city's water supply by constructing two dams outside the boundary of the city which will be completely funded by the World Bank and China-based Exim Bank.
Lastly, Takele added that the meaning of Addis Ababa was a "new flower" and everyone is working towards staying true to the meaning by trying to make Addis Ababa one of the best cities in Africa.
(With inputs from agencies)