Addis Abeba Oct. 9/2019 – The Unity Park sprawling 20 hectares inside the national palace in Addis Abeba is to be inaugurated today October 9th, 2019 in the presence of heads of states and government from IGAD member states who have been arriving as of this morning at Bole International Airport. So far, Sudan’s newly elected Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, as well as the presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Somalia and South Sudan: Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and Salva Kiir, respectively, have arrived; they were all welcomed by PM Abiy Ahmed upon arrival.
The national palace that has been the main residence and office for Ethiopia’s kings, presidents and prime ministers for the last 130 years has now half of its footprint dedicated to the park that is open to the public starting from today.
Tickets to the park that was renovated at a price tag of 5 million ETB are available for 200 ETB with VIP tickets costing 1000 ETB for locals and USD 20 and 50 for VIP for foreigners announced Dr. Tamrat Haile, the organizer for the park. Payments can be made via SMS short-code 6030, Unity Park website, Unity Park bank account and a POS machine. The park is open from 10:00 AM in the morning 4:00 PM in the afternoon, Dr. Tamrat added. With 6 different sections for visitors to see, the park can host 1000 to 1500 tourists per day.
One feature of the park is a tunnel named The Black Maned Lion which is 175 meters in length. Chambers representing the nine regional states and 45 different types of indigenous tree species will also be viewed by the public.
Dr. Tamrat explained that the revenue from tickets will be used to run the park, adding that the park was built using financial aid amounting to more than 5 billion birr provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The legacies of Ethiopian rulers from Emperor Menelik to PM Hailemariam Desalegn are on display at the park. The life stories and pictures of the various rulers that inhabited the palace are also openly displayed to to the public.
The national palace, which has been and continued to be, at the center of many historic events and decisions was renovated by Varnero Construction. University graduates from different parts of the country have been trained and will work as tour guides. AS