Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa: Povery, Coffee, Cathedrals & Open Air Markets

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ytrinitybet3 I just visited and took a tour in Addis Ababa, which included the Trinity Cathedral, the National Museum, Mount Entoto, the highest peak in Addis and Merkato, the largest open-air market in Afrida.

We had lunch at the local restaurant where I got to try the local food. (I was very interested in finding that in many countries there is something like a crepe regardless of where you go and Ethiopia is no exception.)   (Photo on the left at Trinity Cathedral).

I was struck by the poverty I saw at many sections of the city, contrasted with the section where the diplomatic headquarters and other municipal buildings are located.  What impressed me was the fact that Ethiopia has such a rich history, so many unique geographical features (particularly its trees) and seems to have abundant resources available.  At the same time, I saw many people carrying leaves and woods from the mountains,  together with many donkeys doing the same.

I asked my guide what needs to be done to promote economic development, and his response was education.  He said that young people go out of the country to get high education and do not come back.  I have seen some other countries where the trend gets reversed and the youth starts building the country.   I am sure we will be discussing many of these issues at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week.

Yoko Ishikura
Yoko Ishikura is a Professor at Hitotsubashi University ICS in the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy in Japan. She has held positions as a professor at the School of International Politics, Economics and Business of Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, as a consultant at McKinsey and Company Inc. Japan and a visiting professor at Darden School.

Professor Ishikura is a consultant to a number of multinational companies and has been a frequent speaker at management conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the world. She was a member of the Regulatory Reform Committee for the Japanese government and the International Competitiveness Commission for METI. She is currently a Forum Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

She is the author of Strategic Shift from OR choices to AND paradigm, Building Core Skills of Organization , and the co-author of the following publications: Managing Diversity in the 21st Century, Strategy for Cluster Initiatives in Japan , and Building a Career to the World Class Professionals – all in Japanese. Her books in English include: Asian Advantage, Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management and Trust and Antitrust in Asian Business Alliances.

Professor Ishikura’s current research interests are focused on global competition, innovation, and knowledge management. She received her BA from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan; MBA from Darden School, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia; and DBA from Harvard Business School.
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