Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is the seat of the Ethiopian federal government. According to the 2007 population census, the city has a total population of 2,739,551 inhabitants.
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 is headquartered and where its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as various other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as "the political capital of Africa" for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.
The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia. It is home to Addis Ababa University.
The site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Menelik, as initially a King of the Shewaprovince, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, and in 1879 he visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of the medieval empire's capital in the area before the campaigns of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim. His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Mount Entoto, and Menelik endowed a second church in the area