Addis Abeba City Administration is revamping one of the city's landmarks, Ethio-Cuba Friendship Memorial Park, in two phases with a 36.4 million Br overhaul. The park, which dates back to the 1970s, has been refurbished by the administration to make it more accessible to the public.
The first phase, the inside part of the park, is already completed with a cost of 9.4 million Br from the pocket of the city administration. It will be inaugurated next month in the presence of the mayor of the city, Driba Kuma, and other officials, according to Addis Abeba City Beautification & Parks Development Administration Agency, the administrator of this park.
The indoor part of the project was constructed by Etete Construction, a grade one contractor. Founded with a half a million Br capital 13 years ago, the company has been involved in the development of various projects such as a middle-class condominium housing project, an adult and children cinema complex and a dormitory for Wolaita Sodo University.
Located along Churchill Avenue, the park will be open for public access in the coming month and is expected to attract between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors daily.
The second phase, which involves revamping the front part of the park, will be constructed at the cost of 27 million Br. It will be financed by various sponsors such as Tomoca Coffee, Wegagen Bank and Garad PLC.
SAG Business is the company which brought the idea of undertaking the revamping project to the Agency. The project will be completed in the next eight months. Previously, SAG completed landscaping works for Garad in front of Adams Pavilion.
"The aim of our project is to modernise the landscape of the city in collaboration with investors who support our idea," said Dagim Wolde, a sales and marketing manager at SAG.
Upon completion, the park, lying on 24,426sqm, will have unique features such as a dry dancing fountain, CCTV cameras, shops and modern public seats.
Although the park was built during the military regime to strengthen ties between Ethiopia and Cuba, it has been neglected over the past few years even to the point where it turned into a dumping site.
"The revamping will give a new competitive edge to the park to be more visible and historically significant to the city," said Tesfaye Kidanemariam, deputy director general of the Agency.
Before 2009, the park was under the administration of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. But, after the Agency came on the scene eight years ago, it had given the mandate to look after parks in the city. Five years later, the Agency started the reconstruction of the long neglected Ethio-Cuba Park.
Besides Ethio-Cuba Park, there are 13 parks in the city under the administration of the Agency. In the coming ten years, the number is expected to surpass 180, according to the recently drafted 10th master plan of the city.
Furthermore, the master plan states rivers, river basins and areas exposed to drainage issues will be transformed into parks. Areas such as Kebena, Kechenea and Bant Yiqetu are among 126 spots identified by the city administration to serve as parks.