Dienstag, 28. Mai 2013

Speech of The Day (240) - laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Koka Dam hydro-electric project

On Wednesday, May 28, 1958, His Imperial
Majesty Haile Selassie I laid the foundation
stone for the construction of the Koka Dam
hydro-electric project. To the speech of Major
Assefa Lemma, the Reparations Commissioner,
His Imperial Majesty answered as follows:

"Almighty God in His infinite wisdom and bounty
has blessed Our Empire with various incomparable riches,
not the least of which is the wealth of our country's
water resources. The development of these resources
has been Our constant preoccupation and We are today
taking the first step in Our programme for the fullest
utilization of this God-given gift for the benefit of Our
people, marking thereby the high place which We have
ascribed to the matter of water resources in Our overall
planning. Unlike so many lands around her, Ethiopia
has been especially blessed with an abundance of natural
resources, and the prolific amount of her annual rainfall
makes her fitly to be called 'The Water Tower of the
Horn of Africa". Millions of square miles of territory
together with millions of human beings and their livestock
depend on the water that flows from Ethiopia's mountains,
and from her comes more than two-thirds of the
waters of the Nile.
It is the duty and privilege of this generation and of
posterity to conserve and develop these precious resources.
To fail to do so will be to fail in our God-given
responsibility. In building dams for impounding these
waters and utilizing the hydro-electric power to be
secured from them, We are giving a powerful impetus to
all the programmes We have laid out for the economic
development of Our country. We are thereby protecting
from erosion the rich and precious soil of Our Empire,
and are storing up waters for the irrigation, for increasing
our agricultural and plantation potential. We are thus
providing the sinews of industry through the generation
of electric power and finally, We are aiding the develop-
ment of transportation in securing the means for its
eventual electrification. The rapid growth of our
population and the fast pace of our economic expansion
call for the early fulfillment of these developmental
programmes. For example, in the City of Addis Ababa
alone, with its highly restricted generating capacity,
47% of the electricity produced is now being consumed
in industrial installations. It is obvious that the addition
of other sources of hydro-electric power will give a
tremendous, impulsion to the development of our industrial
It is for this reason that, out of the 40 million Ethiopian
Dollars to be paid by Italy to Ethiopia under the
War Reparations Agreement between the two countries,
We have alloted 30 million dollars to this project, which
holds such tremendous potential for agricultural and
industrial development, and for which We lay the foundation
stone today. The balance has been earmarked
for the establishment of a textile factory. These projects
were chosen as being vital to raising the standard
of living of any people.
This project which We see before us is eloquent
testimony to the great importance which We ascribe to
hydro-electric and irrigation projects in Our Empire.
It represents, further, long years of careful scientific
studies and exploratory work, such as the painstaking
compilation, and examination of rainfall records for
nearly a generation, geological surveys and borings,
and exhaustive studies by electrical, hydraulic and construction
engineers. The barrage has been so designeid
as to impound the maximum flow of the waters available
with the least possible inconvenience to the agri-
cultural lands which surround it, and which lie below
it on the Awash River. This dam, costing 20 million
dollars, will be capable, when completed, of generating
54,000 kilowatts of electric power.
Today is a day of deep historic significance, for in
laying this foundation stone, We are establishing for
Our beloved people a source of wealth. This project
constitutes the initial step both in the development and
utilisation of the water resources of Our Empire, and
in the programme designed by Us for enhancing the
progress and expansion of all fields of economic endeavour
in Our country ­­­- agriculture, industry, transportation
and communications. And we shall never cease
to strive, as We have done in the case of the resources
of these Awash waters, to exploit to the maximum each
individual source of wealth which God Almighty in
His mercy has bestowed upon us. It is our duty to
see that yet other barrages are built in order to ensure
that this bounty of Providence does not go to waste
and is utilized to the greater glory of His handywork.
This project is but the first step in a similar programme
We have in mind for the other water courses
of Our Empire, such as the Nile with its volume and
potentialities so vastly greater, as well as the Baro" the
Sobat, the Akobo and the Webi Shebeli.
When We are thus tirelessly striving to ensure that
the riches and blessings bestowed on Our country by
God in His generosity are put to use for the welfare and
progress of Our people, it becomes the duty and obligation
of every citizen of Our Empire to assist Us in
the tasks which We have undertaken.
We express our most profound gratitude to God
Almighty for having inspired Us to envisage this project
and having enabled Us to see it inaugurated.
In conclusion We would like to express Our thanks
to the Italian Government and the Authorities for the
spirit of collaboration in this matter and for fostering
the good relations between the two countries."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 58 -

Sonntag, 26. Mai 2013



The first conference of the independent African states was held in Accra, Ghana, on April 15, 1958. It was decided then to celebrate this historic day as African Freedom Day. Until recently, April 15 was celebrated throughout our continent as African Freedom Day.
However, two years ago today in May the Summit Conference of the Independent African States, which was convened in Our Capital City of Addis Ababa, decreed that May 25, the day on which the historic Charter of the Or-ganization of African Unity was signed, be celebrated every year as African Liberation Day. Accordingly today is celebrated as African Liberation Day.
The African Unity Charter was signed two years ago today. Within this brief period much has been accomplished that augurs well for African Unity. In accordance with the resolution of the first Assembly of African Heads of State and Government held in Cairo last year, the headquarters of the Organization of African Unity has been established here in Addis Ababa. Under its Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Diallo Telli, of Guinea, the Organization is successfully discharging its responsibilities and commitments.
The Ethiopian people, who have struggled and made untold sacrifices for their independence and freedom for thousands of years – an independence that has been a beacon for all of Africa – today celebrate this day together with all Africans by consolidating their freedom and in-dependence with the freedom and independence of their African brothers in the spirit of Modern Ethiopianism.
This year, two sister African states – Zambia and Gambia – have won independence and they have joined the family of independent African states. We share their joy and We extend again, as We did on the occasion when they won their independence, Our sincere felicitations. We are anxiously awaiting the day when those Africans in the dependent territories break the shackles of foreign tutelage and become masters of their own fate.
On this solemn day, all of us must pause and remember the plight of Our African brothers who are under foreign rule and who are desperately struggling to win their freedom, their basic fundamental human rights.
Instead of granting their rightful freedom and independence to the indigenous Africans in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea, the Portuguese Government has intensified even more its campaign of ruthless suppression of African freedom fighters in these territories, under the outmoded, illogical pretext that these territories are part of Portugal. In concert with the other African members of the United Nations Organization, Ethiopia has never ceased advocating at United Nations and other international conferences that the Portuguese Government should grant independence to each and every territory under its rule.


The recent events in Southern Rhodesia are cause for alarm – not only is the fate of the people in the territory in jeopardy but international peace is also threatened. A white minority Government in the territory is daily arresting, and arbitrarily persecuting African freedom fighters, particularly their leaders, to suppress the national freedom movements. This minority government has even taken drastic steps to declare a colonial government. Each and every government and the peoples of the world who value fundamental human rights, and particularly We Africans, must oppose, with one voice, this dangerous and unprecedented scheme of the white minority government in the territory. The United Nations Anti-Colonial Committee of which Ethiopia is a member, is presently visiting Africa to follow closely the dangerous situation in Southern Rhodesia.
In South Africa and in South-West Africa, the policies of apartheid and oppression are becoming increasingly unbearable. The South African Government is accelerating its ruthless campaign: a methodological campaign of arresting daily, detaining without trial and torturing the Africans and their leaders who are struggling for their fundamental human rights and freedom. All the peace-loving countries of the world must act together to force the colonial governments of South Africa and Portugal to desist from these policies – policies which are inhuman, policies which deny basic human rights, policies which are detrimental to the peace and security of the entire world – and grant independence and freedom to these oppressed people.

To the U.N.
The Assembly of the African Heads of State and Government has authorized the Foreign Ministers of Senegal and Algeria to bring the cases of racial discrimination and oppression in South Africa, the inhuman colonial rule of the Portuguese Government and the dangerous situation in Southern Rhodesia, before the Security Council of the United Nations to find permanent solutions to the unrelenting struggles of the African governments and people. As a result the entire world is today more conscious of these pressing problems.
From discussions in the United Nations in recent years, We have cause to believe that some friendly nations fully support the efforts to impose an economic boycott on South Africa and Portugal; it is unfortunate that some great powers who have been entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security have not co-operated in these worthy efforts. These powers are the main obstacles to an effective economic boycott of South Africa and Portugal.
The establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the concerted action of the member-states and the pooling of the aid to Our brethren African freedom fighters, have helped to revive and strengthen as well as intensify the liberation movements throughout Africa. For this We are grateful to the Liberation Committee of the nine African States, of which Ethiopia is a member. On this day, we should all recollect with gratitude the support of all those friendly nations in Our endeavour in the United Nations and other international conferences to free Africa of all the colonial vestiges.

Next Assembly

It will be recalled that the Cairo Assembly of the Heads of State and Government decided to convene the Second Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana, in September this year.
Because of misunderstandings among certain member states of the Organization of African Unity, voices have been occasionally raised recently against the convocation of the Assembly in Accra. Nonetheless, the regular Assembly of the Heads of State and Government was, in the first place, designed to find peaceful solutions, through deliberations and frank exchange of views to such misunderstandings among member-states. We believe, therefore, that any change in the venue of the next Assembly will make no major dif-ference. Consequently We have despatched Our Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to West Africa, with personal messages from Us, to mediate with the leaders of the West African states concerned.
We earnestly hope that the member-states of the Organization of African Unity will meet in Accra in September in accordance with the decision of the first Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.
On this day, We extend Our fraternal greetings to all Our brethren Africans who are still suffering under foreign colonial rule. We reiterate that Ethiopia, in co-operation with the member-states of the Organization of African Unity, will always continue to give her full support for their just struggles to win their inalienable rights to freedom and independence and to be masters of their own destiny.
May Almighty God assist us in endeavours.

May 26, 1965.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 276 –   

Speech of The Day (238): FIRST ANNIVERSARY O.A.U.


A momentous year ago this day, in a supreme moment of great historical vision, thirty African leaders undid the tangled knot of injustices bequeathed from long and shadowy years of colonialism. Thus was the Organization of African Unity born.
In its wake not only were vast vistas of challenges and opportunities opened but also a stirring hope and sober recognition has dawned on Africa; a faith and a determination that, immense as are the challenges that lie ahead, they shall all be conquered, and abundant as are the opportunities that await us, they shall not be wasted.
Significantly also, with the birth of the Organization, the unmaking of history in Africa – the decolonization process – which was initiated by the struggle of the African peoples themselves has been given an added, nay, a decisive momentum. For the first time Africa has learned what strength there is in unity. Thus, we are witnessing the glorious march of Africa on the path of Unity.
The past year has been one of reflection and intensive stock-taking. All organs of the Organization have met to lay strong groundworks for our future efforts. Now that this useful phase of work has been completed, we have to resolve that the coming year is the period of decisive take-off. Considering the magnitude of the pressing problems facing Africa, it is inevitable that we will have to proceed forthwith at an accelerated pace.
The pattern for bold and imaginative projects on a continental scale has been set by the establishment of the African Development Bank, the idea of which was of purely African initiative, now reaching the stage of operation with the assistance of the United Nations and a number of friendly foreign powers. We are confident that in the very near future Africa will be the site for the “launchings” of other such beneficial inter-African projects.
In the political domain the year was not without incidents. The likelihood of yet others arising cannot be ignored. But is it not in recognition of this that the Organization was created? The peace and order which we all desire to see in Africa cannot certainly be envisaged without handicaps. What is important is that, in keeping with the auspicious beginnings we have made, if disputes break out amongst us, we insulate them from the cold war and seek their solutions within the Councils of the family. We should attach as much importance to the process and mechanism of finding solutions to our disputes as to the solutions themselves, to set a precedent for co-operation in the future.

Real Test

The Algerian-Moroccan conflict in a way provided the first opportunity to put to a real test the mechanism for constructive diplomacy which we had so laboriously and painstakingly built at Addis Ababa. Thanks to their political wisdom and their eagerness to listen to family counsels, the hostilities that so suddenly bedevilled relations between the two brotherly African countries have ceased altogether. The Special Commission created by the meeting of our Foreign Ministers has not spared any effort in its search for a mutually acceptable solution.
Likewise in the Ethiopian-Somali conflict, both parties have shown their readiness to seek within the OAU such solutions for their differences. The direct contacts that have recently been established between Ethiopia and the Somali Republic in Khartoum have already produced beneficial results. A Joint Commission is currently engaged in supervizing the withdrawal of troops to fifteen kilometers on both sides of the border, thus strengthening the ceasefire arrangements recommended by the Council of Ministers. What remains now is to carry still further the momentum thus generated by this limited but nevertheless very auspicious agreement.
The collective response of African countries to the request of President Nyerere to examine the situation that had arisen in Tanganyika and East Africa as a result of army mutinies has led to the first concrete result in the field of co-operation in defence matters. This achievement is a significant herald to yet more useful results to come in inter-African co-operation.
Last year, we remarked that what we Africans lacked was the mechanism which would enable us to speak with one voice and to act in unison. Today, we have the OAU as the authentic voice of a new and united and ever-progressive Africa. Its achievements of this past year should spur us on to continue unflinchingly our dedication to realize the noble aspirations of the peoples of our Continent.
May 26, 1964.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 259 –