Asmara was the real capital of the Italian Empire in East Africa. The town had the headquarters of the most important italian firms. Addis Abeba was the artificial capital: the remote seat of government in the heart of Ethiopia. The situation was slightly different in Eritrea. Asmara’s development had been chaotic. Each firm (especially transport and building companies) had built their own factories and storehouses in the suburbs, also providing them with accommodation for their employees. Of course dozens of unauthorised edifices had sprung up. To remedy this situation at least in part, the local government granted some lots of land free of charge to war veterans authorised to remain in East Africa, who managed to build their own homes with government help and the workers’ club’s contribution. Besides public initiative however, some large private companies in Asmara were allowed to build new residential areas for Italians and Eritreans. These new homes somewhat helped to keep rent prices under control, though they were still very high practically everywhere. In all cities, but especially in Addis Ababa, Asmara and Massawa, a thriving black market of rented houses and rooms developed at the hands of both Italians and Africans. In Eritrea, near the strategic hubs where companies had dislocated their logistic quarters during military operations, there materialised almost out of nothing some new urban agglomerates, such as Dek’emhare and Nefasit. The most fascinating case was that of Mai Edaga, also called Capronia because it had developed around the Caproni factory in the Gura plains. Not only had the industrial buildings been added to the few pre-existing tukuls, but also houses and villas for the Italian employees, technicians and workers, as well as new huts for the indigenous workforce, a school, a nursery, a post office, the workers’ club, a church, some shops and great water storage tanks: Capronia had become a small town in its own right, built along the most modern criteria according to a rational town planning scheme, and capable of a truly autonomous life.
|Titolo:||Asmara. The real Capital of the Italian Empire in East Africa|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume(Capitolo di libro)|