On Thursday, January 8, 1959, on the occasion
of Christmas festivities, His Imperial Majesty
Haile Selassie I, made a speech to 40,000
students from Addis Ababa and the suburbs:
"Today, Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of
Our Saviour Jesus Christ, We extend Our warm and
sincere greetings to all the students here in Our Capital,
to those in the schools established by Us throughout the
Empire and many others studying abroad.
Once again, as annually, We are today here in your
midst and in this Christmas Hall, observing this great
day which has been awaited by millions in all parts of the
world just as We have anxiously anticipated its coming.
In guiding the various agencies to fulfil the require-
ments of modern civilization, We have taken under Our
direct care, together with Our other burden some respon-
sibilities, - the enormous responsibility of education
giving it priority as a means not only of providing you with
enlightenment, of raising your standard of living, of
leading you to better health, but to guarantee that in the
pursuit of your aims and aspirations you will be an asset
to your country.
It is a source of immense satisfaction today to see
the realization of Our efforts to make Ethiopia assume
her rightful place in international and African affairs:
First, the next Conference of Independent African
States will be held in Our capital; Secondly, Ethiopia has
been selected as the Headquarters of the United Nations
Economic Commission for Africa, the inaugural session
of which has just ended; Thirdly, We see before us
African students who have benefitted by the scholarships
that We have granted to aid the African peoples here to
study in Our institutions.
As a good tree is known by its fruits, so the future of
Ethiopia depends on you, the fruits of Our educational
system, to set an example to the coming generation
through your work and the life you will lead.
Ethiopia's enhanced and rapidly evolving role in
world life, the growth and expansion of her national
endeavours make it imperative that you students, prepare
yourselves for your responsibilities by being obedient to
your teachers and being responsive to authority."
Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 107 -