Ethiopia is ancient, but it has quite a bit to teach the rest of Africa about fostering and refining the best in oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own culture. For food, for architecture, and for a deep, rich and accessible history, touch down in Addis Abeba when next you fly South.
EthiopiaÃ‚Â – the proud, deeply religious, fast-changing former realm of Haile Selassie is something like the Tibet of Africa (if Tibet had managed to oust China by now, instead of, as Addis Abeba does, whole-heartedly welcoming the Middle KingdomÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s investors and merchants). Ethiopia is also, like Tibet, a place that many Western tourists are disappointed to see in the flesh, because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a thriving and full-bloodedly commercial country, rather than a poor, austere charity appeal film where proud but famished people scratch at subsistence crops in the shadow of rock-hewn churches. The point is that Ethiopia is still poor, but that that poverty is being fought back with all the deliberation that saw the EmperorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cavalry and musketsÃ‚Â see off the Italians at AdwaÃ‚Â in 1896, very unexpectedly drawing a stripe under the total colonisation of Africa by Europe. Read more