Friendship Park, officially named Sheger Park Friendship Square, is located in Arat Kilo, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The main entrance is Tayitu Street in front of Sheraton Addis Hotel and has a parking service. The park has a conference hall, free Wi-Fi, restaurants, fresh corners, photo studios, greenhouses, fitness centers, and a running track.
It is a pilot project of Beautifying Sheger, aka Addis Ababa Riverside Green Development Project.
Beautifying Sheger project is an initiative of the current FDRE (Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia) Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed. It utilizes four tributaries of Akaki River (kebena, kurtume, kechene, and Banti-eyikitu) for building green spaces and a 56 km walkway from Mount Entoto to Akaki. The project will protect the rivers from pollution, reduce flooding, and make Addis Ababa a bike-friendly city and a tourist destination. It has also created job opportunities for many people. The project’s cost is estimated to be about 29 billion Ethiopian birr and is aided by dining for the Sheger fundraiser and China’s technical and financial support.
Beautifying Sheger was planned to be completed in three years. The first round of construction (the pilot project of Beautifying Sheger) was started on 2nd March 2019. It was then completed and inaugurated at friendship square on 12th September 2020. It is part of Sheger Park (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and was opened to visitors as Friendship Square/Park in the same year. Besides Friendship Square, Sheger Park will include a children’s paradise and palace of science and technology when completed.
Friendship Park Addis Ababa Design
The Friendship Square has a hill that has stairways. In between the stairways are flower belts. The stairs and belts converge to a central rally plaza in front of a rostrum. Walking down from the plaza is a dancing water fountain space and an outdoor amphitheater that has its stage on an artificial lake. On the other side of the lake is a riverside walkway. This walkway is part of the 56km green road that will extend from Entoto to Akaki.
Watch the design here
Attractions of Friendship Square
The rostrum of Friendship Square is found at the center of the flower belts. It is shaped like Calla lilies, Ethiopia’s national flower. These flowers have been known since ancient times and represent Ethiopia as the origin of the human race.
On the posterior wall of the rostrum is marble engraved art, representing Ethiopia’s natural resources and culture. This art has traditional musical instruments, crops, mountains, rivers, trees, endemic animals, traditional foods, and the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
There is a brown eye on the peak of the rostrum, and stairs leading from the wall to here are engraved with names of 80 nations & nationalities in Ethiopia. This conveys that every nation\nationality is as valuable to Ethiopia as an eye is to a person. The diversity of Ethiopian people is further shown by the 80 trees planted on the two walkways on each side of the rostrum.
The Flower Belts
These flower belts are arranged alternatingly with stairways in the shape of beads worn by Arbore women in Omo Valley. The flowers are of different types and colors. Occasional bees can be seen on them. There are traditional hives in the park to support the bees. At the top of the stairway, the flowers give impressive scenery. The other parts of the park, Unity Park and Addis city, are also seen from the hill and back down.
The Dancing Fountains
There is a 100m by 7m space for a water and light show in Friendship Park (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), a few feet down from the rostrum. The dancing fountain displayed here is the first in Ethiopia and only open on special occasions. The fountain can be synchronized with music; and is more impressive at night due to the accompanying dim light.
Sheger Lake is an artificial lake of 16,900m2 surface area filled by 12,000 litters. The lake is 25 meters deep and was dug nonstop until completed. It is kept clean by a new anti-seepage technology that increases oxygen content in water and gives it fountains. It has fishes and ducks that add to the birdlife of the friendship park. There is a theater of 6,000 people capacity at the shore. The stage on the lake could be used for different concerts and programs.
The paradise garden has interconnected water ponds, trees, benches, and theaters. It is highly photogenic and can be used for different occasions. Most of the trees in the park are transplanted from other places and include coffee plantations.
FAQs About Friendship Park, Ethiopia
Opening hours: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
- For Ethiopian residents
- Adult – 100.00 ETB
- Children under 12 years – 50 ETB
- Children under five years – Free
- Two Adults + 2 children under 12 Years – 270.00 ETB
- 2 Adults + 3 children under 12 Years – 320.00 ETB
- 2 Adults + 4 children under 12 Years – 370.00 ETB
- For school groups
- 1 Adult + 4 children (or more) – Free
- Group of Students under 18 years – 50.00 ETB
- For visitors living outside Ethiopia
- Adult – 10 USD
- Children between 5 and 12 years of age – 5 USD
- Children under five years – Free
- 2 Adults + 2 children under 12 Years – 35 USD
- Two Adults + 3 children under 12 Years – 45 USD
- 2 Adults + 4 children under 12 Years – 55 USD
Morning run from 6 AM to 9 AM – 55 ETB per person
All in all, Friendship Park (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is One of the parks built by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the others being Entoto Park and Unity Park. It is also part of the Chinese-funded riverside development project of Addis Ababa. The park has different facilities; and enables residents of Addis to experience the essence of the lake and relax with a reasonable fee. It also brings an opportunity to the people; and makes the city breathe a little more on its own, benefit from its natural rivers, be a tourist destination, and live up to its name. It is a great recreational site to hang out and take a walk. See for yourself.
Contact information of Friendship Park (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
- Phone number – 0933598329 / 0933598330
- Twitter link – https://twitter.com/ShegerPark?t=cv1bQbkH4FOIOg1FVK_8KQ&s=09
- Instagram link – https://instagram.com/sheger_park?utm_medium=copy_link
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/111583717689623/posts/333362902178369/?app=fbl
- Email: [email protected]
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