Skyscrapers, trains and roads: How Addis Ababa came to look like a Chinese city

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The Metro train passes through central Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (CNN)When Wang Yijun put Ethiopia’s most expensive real estate project on the market, he experienced a strange phenomenon. People preferred the lowest floors over those with panoramic city views. “Power cuts mean elevators in this city often don’t work,” explains Wang, the site manager. “So the bottom-floor flats became the most valuable. You won’t see this pricing in any Chinese city.”

Replicating China’s urban model in Africa has its challenges, but with limited developable space in Addis Ababa — the capital is surrounded by protected farmland — Wang believes high-rise living, such as Tsehay Real Estate’s $60 million Poli Lotus development, is inevitable.

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