The history of urbanization in Ethiopia goes back centuries. Archeological and historical evidences show the existence of cities since the Aksumite period. Despite its long history, however, the process of urban development in Ethiopian is known for its extremely slow and sporadic progress (Mesfin 1976). This is in part a result of the fact that pre-twentieth century Ethiopian urbanization was intimately linked with political capitals. After the abandonment of Aksum as a capital, Ethiopian kings have for centuries practiced a tradition of roving capitals because of political, military, and environmental reasons (Assefa 1993:275). Menilik’s decision to make Addis Ababa a permanent capital represented an end to this longstanding practice.