Addis Ababa (Amharic: አዲስ አበባ Addis Abäba, IPA: [adis aβəβa], “new flower”; Oromo: Finfinne, ” Natural Spring(s)”), sometimes spelled Addis Abeba (the spelling used by the official Ethiopian Mapping Authority), is the capital city of Ethiopia. It is the largest city in Ethiopia, with a population of 3,384,569 according to the 2007 population census with annual growth rate of 3.8%. This number has been increased from the originally published 2,738,248 figure and appears to be still largely underestimated.
As a chartered city (ras gez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as “the political capital of Africa” due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent. The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia – the country has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages and belonging to a wide variety of religious communities. It is home to Addis Ababa University. The Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC) and Horn of Africa Press Institute (HAPI) are also headquartered in Addis Ababa.