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Merkato - Open Air Market in Addis Ababa

Merkato, Addis Ababa

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Merkato is the biggest open market in Africa. It is told that, it could be possible to find almost anything in such a big market. That is the trend this market is really known for. If you are looking for an item whatever you name it, what you have to do is know which part of Merkato has shops which will have that kind of item in stock.

Merkato is traditionally categorized into sections with different names. The sections are created based on the types of goods sold in that section or in some cases based on the source of goods sold in that section. There are also names given to sections of Merkato without an apparent relation with goods sold in the section.


Merkato serves as a hub to other markets in Ethiopia, especially according to the traditional way of running business. Many business people from different regions of Ethiopia come to Merkato to buy goods in bulks and retail it back at their place. That is the reason to find many importers and distributers operating in Merkato.

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