...In line with other fields of development, it has been our continuous concern and endeavour to develop and expand our livestock resources to the betterment of our people. As a prerequisite to further this interest, We established a veterinary service organization, a task which was among our top priorities in the past.
It is an acceptable fact that one of the main components of an organization’s efficiency is the presence of adequate skilled personnel. To meet this basic requirement, We have been using the services of foreign veterinarians. As it is our regular concern to guide and run this essential work by indigenous experts and technicians, We sent students abroad for higher education in Veterinary Science, and to supplement this shortage We established this Animal Health Assistants school. It has now been a pleasure to us to see some of Our first veterinarians on active duty after completion of their study abroad.
The improvement of veterinary service in Ethiopia would not only raise the standard of living of Our people deriving their livelihood from livestock, but it is also expected that it will be one of the main sources of foreign exchange. Considering this importance, the role you graduates have to play to make this a reality is immense. As most of your duties will be in the field, you must be prepared to surmount temporary hardships, and wherever you may be placed, you must work hard. The value of education can only be measured by its applicability. Conversely, your education can be given its proper price if you produce comparable results. This, you shall always bear in mind.
The longevity and tenacity of a building can be judged by its foundation. As you are the first seed-stock, the good results you would show will serve as example to those who would follow your foot-path.
It is our expectation that a similar kind of organization will be set up throughout Our main livestock production centres, to provide services to the surrounding areas, and to open a Veterinary Faculty within Our University.
Assessing the strides which have been made in the past, the days when We shall see these realities will not be distant.
July 17, 1965.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 494 –