Thursday April 21
Driving around in Addis is fascinating.
We used to live her, admittedly many years ago. But we have been back for short term visits and have witnessed some of the changes. Ring roads around Addis, sometimes cutting straight through, a fairly rapid population increase but a car increase at least to the power of three.
But now “construction growth” seems to have virtually exploded. New buildings are coming up all the time and all over the place. The plan seems to be of Roman dimension; to move from a city of mud walls and corrugated roofs clinging to the ground, to a city, if not in marble, dominated by cement houses, three to eight storey’s high. All apartments owned by the occupants, a revolutionary change in a country where all land has been at the disposal of the Emperor, the Government or the local authorities.
This is the economy:
If you are interested in a three bedroom apartment you have to pay 15.000 US$. No rent, on top of that but you pay for the electricity and water you use. For a one bedroom apartment the investment is around half, 7.000$.
You have to come up front with at least 3.000 US$ for the three-bed-roomer. The Bank might give you a loan for some of the rest but the idea is to start with monthly installments immediately. Building schemes along these lines are mushrooming but the demand is much higher than the supply, so allocation is done through a lottery.
Who can afford this? Relatively many, obviously, US$ 1.500-3.000 is not insurmountable for quite wide and broad strata of the population. The program started 6 years ago, more than 400.000 registered in Addis only. So far close to 100.000 units have been built, registration is closed but will reopen when all the present registered have secured a flat.
So far, all the poor people we talked to in Addis stand in the lottery line.
It is a major scheme, with similar schemes in other cities.
To be cont’d………..