Addis Ababa (sometimes spelled Addis Abeba, the spelling used officially by the Ethiopian Mapping Institute; Amharic አዲስ አበባ, Āddīs Ābebā "new flower"; Oromo Finfinne) is the capital city of Ethiopia and the African Union, as well as its predecessor, the OAU. As a chartered city (ras gez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. The city has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages, and Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities. Addis Ababa is located about 2,500 m above sea level at 9.03° N 38.74° E).
The site was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by her husband, Emperor Menelik II, and now has a population of around four million, and an eight per cent annual growth rate.
The city lies at the foot of Mount Entoto, and is home to Addis Ababa University. Addis Ababa University was formerly known as Haile Selassie I University, after the former Emperor of Ethiopia, who donated his Guenete Leul Palace to be the University main campus in 1961.
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