Ethiopia: Authority Renovates Ambassador Park

The park was closed for two years due to delayed bidding processes

Addis Abeba River Basins & Green Areas Agency has begun the renovation of Ambassador Park at a cost of 42 million Br.

The construction of Ambassador Park, which lies on 9,393Sqm in the Arada District close to Ambassador Theatre along Ras Desta Damtew Street, began five weeks ago.

The project is expected to be completed in September 2019 and will be administered by the Arada district. Naihet Plc is engaged for the construction of the project and will include free Wi-Fi service, a cafe and a playground.

"The current number of parks and recreational areas are not enough for the residents of the city," said Abebe Kebede, public relations officer and media relation team head of the City Communication Bureau. "The city administration also plans to build parks on two areas whose lease contracts with investors have been revoked."

For the past two years, the park remained closed as bid offers submitted by contractors were considered too high, according to Adebabay Sendek, the Agency's communications director.

"The new park will fulfill the standards of a park and give better service to the public," he told Fortune.

Experts believe that rebuilding the park will have a positive impact on the tourism industry and the parks would help residents of the city enjoy their free time.

"Ambassador Park's location is very convenient, but there remains much to be done. Parks like Bihere Tsige and Sheger Park are more natural, for they have a variety of flowers, trees and shrubs," said Zerihun Mekonen, a lecturer at Lion Ethiopia Tourism and Hotel College. "The number of parks in the town is not enough for the residents, and some of the current parks are barely accessible."

Bihere Tsige Park was established in the 1960s and is known as the Semien Park of the city and holds some endemic animals.

A 132-year-old city, Addis Abeba has 20 parks, 15 of which are open to the public. On November 24, 2018, the City opened the 70-year old Anbessa Gibi Park to visitors after a three-year renovation effort.

The City Administration also plans to convert two properties, previously leased to investors but reclaimed by the city after allegations of failure to develop, to parks, according to Abeba. One parcel is part of the now-canceled expansion project for Sheraton Addis Hotel, while another is located in Piassa, across from the city municipality office.

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