Guide to Addis Ababa

Living and Studying in Addis Ababa

Next to the IPSS is the Goethe Institute which was renovated some years ago and has a restaurant and a café, a computer lab, daily newspapers and a small library accessible to the public. The Goethe Institute’s Café Einstein offers food and good coffee. Great coffee can also be bought and enjoyed e.g. at Café Tomoca at Wavel street. However, as the birthplace of coffee it is hard to come by bad coffee in Ethiopia anyway.

Traditional coffee
Traditional coffee

In and around Addis Ababa there are a number of touristic sites worth seeing. This includes the city’s museums and historical places where you can learn a lot about Ethiopia’s history and culture. The Shola Market is also said to be a very nice market and less crowded than the famous Merkato. It is advisable to get a tourist guide (e.g. Lonely Planet) before you come to Addis. These usually have further helpful and interesting information.

Lunch at Chembeko, a restaurant in Addis Ababa
Lunch at Chembeko, a restaurant in Addis Ababa

As Addis Ababa is located in a valley surrounded by mountains you should try to get up the Entoto Mountains and enjoy the great view of Addis Ababa from above. Further tripping around Ethiopia is also easy and not expensive. The Goethe Institute as well as the Alliance Française and the Italian Cultural Institute often have cultural events in the evenings (films, concerts, talks, etc.) which are for free (often with food/drinks reception!). This is also a good way to meet people.

Alliance Française
Alliance Française

There are several gyms all over town with monthly fees of ETB 500 to 1,000. And there are also some sports facilities where one can play football, tennis, or volleyball outside. Please note that running outdoors is not very advisable because of the smog except for early in the morning (some say also because of safety issues).

The Addis Ababa University

Addis Ababa University (AAU) is the centre for higher education in Ethiopia. Out of the 21 public universities that exist in Ethiopia today, the AAU, as the first university in the country, assumes the role of an old-established traditional quality institute. What today is the AAU was founded in 1950 as the University College of Addis Ababa, with an enrolment capacity of 1,000 students and 50 faculty members. Since then more than 200,000 students have graduated in different disciplines and levels from AAU. Today, more than 40,000 students are enrolled at AAU.

The Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) was founded in 2007 by the Addis Ababa University to impart knowledge and conduct research in the field of peace and security with a regional focus on the Horn of Africa. It is one of the five Centres of Excellence at the University and qualifies students in conflict prevention, management and resolution, as well as peace building and promotes values of democratic and peaceful society. IPSS has been recognised several times by internal quality assessments as role model for other departments. Its reputation is excellent within Addis Ababa and beyond, not least due to its cooperation with the African Union.

Seminar room at the IPSS
Seminar room at the IPSS

The infrastructure at the IPSS is very modern and consists of the main building and three seminar houses. In the main building and the recently opened new building there are offices for staff, programme coordinators and the director. This ensures a constant close interaction between all parties of the programme and gives students the opportunity to ask for help at any given point of time. IPSS staff is very helpful and open.

The IPSS is located on the campus of the Business and Finance Faculty of the AAU right next to the Goethe Institute. This campus is close to the main campus of AAU (some 500m away) on King George Street where all the different campuses are located. There are two supermarkets on King George Street, numerous small restaurants as well as many copy and stationary shops where the students' everyday necessesities can be acquired.