OPENS BERHANENA SELAM PRINTING PRESS
It is with great satisfaction that We remember, when over forty-four years ago, We established what was the beginning of this printing press in Our palace grounds, a land inherited from Our father and now given by Us to the University. Our aim then was two-fold: primarily as We have said on several occasions before, to create a centre for large scale translation, printing and distribution of the Scriptures, the Old and the New Testaments, and our religious books that were then available in Geez and only in manuscripts; so that the clergy, the monasteries and all the Christian population of Ethiopia would have an easy access to them. Secondly, to provide for our people adequate reading both in other parts of the world and within Our own Empire.
The printing machines bought then and shortly there-after, however inadequate, have rendered valuable services at that time. We recall that, in an effort to expand printing facilities, We opened branches in other provincial centres known as Leul Ras Makonnen, Printing Presses “Kesatie Berhan I, II and III”.
Our endeavours for acceleration, however, in this as in other fields, were discontinued due to the brief occupation of Ethiopia by the Fascist aggressors. Nevertheless, with the will of the Almighty and having liberated Our country, We were able to start again and one of the priorities given was to re-establish this printing press.
With the will of God, who is the initial and ultimate source of good thoughts and through the efforts of you the administrators and employees of this organization and with the technical aid obtained from various Governments, Berhanena Selam Printing Press has now achieved the highest goal anticipated.
We are very pleased to declare open today, this new building and to observe its modern printing machines at work.
Our greatest pleasure is not only due to the aforesaid, but far more indeed, to see young Ethiopians, men and women, engaged in the techniques of the printing trade.
Finally, We and all those who would benefit from this printing press express Our sincere appreciation and thanks to the Governments of Israel, France, Great Britain, West Germany, Sweden and Japan who have contributed in this development project and also to Mr. Jun Numakura.
May God bless all your future efforts.
Aware of the need for the establishment of a printing press that would promote the growth of our country’s lite racy and educational efforts, We established on Maskaram 3rd, 1914 the Berhanena Selam Printing Press from Our own privy purse.
The aims We envisaged were twofold: to serve the public interest in general and the sick and disabled through the services of “Bete Saida Hospital” in particular.
The Berhanena Selam Printing Press, from its inception, in addition to the production of various spiritual and temporal books that broadened Our nation’s knowledge, has also proved an efficient medium for Ethiopia’s educational development which is foremost in Our mind.
We are pleased to see this printing press housed in its modern and great building, fully utilizing the most up-to-date equipment to render the services that will be demanded from its present expanded status.
It is Our hope that you the officials and the employees will exert your best endeavours for the future prosperity of this printing press. We are thankful to Almighty God for having enabled Us to witness this growth.
Nov. 25, 1965.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 522 –