Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ethiopia's 'cupcake divide' in Addis Ababa

(Mar 24, 2013, BBC))--Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa, but while a growing middle class aspire to symbols of modernity - such as cupcakes - for most, this new Africa is not a reflection of real life.

Red Velvet. Caribbean Breeze. Vanilla Fever. Brunette. The choice was overwhelming. I was standing at the counter of a cafe in Addis Ababa and I was looking at cupcakes. Piled high with icing in unnatural shades of turquoise, lime green and a devastating pink. The Cupcake Delights Bakery, as it is called, was full.

Smartly dressed Ethiopians sipped tea and nibbled on the colourful cakes. An Indian woman swept in and placed a large order. Chinese men in business suits asked the waitress to bring them fresh fruit cocktails. Across the road, a place named The Beer Garden was also popular with the Chinese.

This German-owned establishment brews its own beer, which it serves in tall plastic five-litre towers, with taps at the bottom for pouring purposes. Chinese workers crowded around the tables, their faces getting redder, their voices noisier, as their bellies filled with alcohol. Read more from BBC »

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