History

The great Addis Ababa–Djibouti railway was supposed to pass through the old commercial town of Harar, but with ever-burgeoning costs, the project was falling into difficulties. Then a momentous decision was taken: to bypass the Chercher Mountains, keeping to the lowlands and building a new city to service it. In 1902 Dire Dawa was born. Today, along with Addis Ababa, it’s one of Ethiopia’s two autonomous cities.