Dienstag, 29. April 2014



This Silver Jubilee Anniversary of the founding by Us, of the Guenet Military Training Centre is evocative of a long and decisive period, a culminating era of Ethiopian history.
It has fallen to few countries of this world to struggle, alone, unaided but successfully, for the preservation of their independence. To still fewer has it been the good fortune which has been vouchsafed to Us by the Almighty Protector, to have been able to defend that independence over so long a span of history.
Many and severe have been the waves of attack which have beaten against the fastnesses of Our beloved homeland. Numerous have been the occasions when the way of compromise offered its tempting vistas. Yet, throughout her three thousand years of independence, Ethiopia has always sought to defend herself alone but for the transcendent aid and courage inspired by a devout faith in the Almighty. In her national defence, as in her national life, as it is recorded in Holy Writ: “Ethiopia stretches out her hands unto God.”
The military chronicles of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, the victories of Dogali and of Adowa in the 19th and the ever-memorable defence entered upon under Our leadership but a few months following the establishment of the Guenet Military Training Centre, as indeed the founding of that institution itself, all testify with eloquence to the traditional determination of Ethiopia to defend herself by her own means, without compromise and without quarter.

Founded on Eve of Italo-Ethiopian War

Thus by founding of that Military Training Centre on the eve of the most momentous struggle in her history, Ethiopia demonstrated to the world her unshakable confidence in victory through the courage and military virtues of her people. This resolve has never vacillated under Our Reign. While engaging military experts from abroad, while purchasing arms within the limits of her capacity, Ethiopia has never compromised her independence however pressing the exigencies of the hour.
We recall with gratitude the services of the Swedish Military Officers who made the initial and expertly successful contribution towards the functioning of the Military Training Centre and whose successors are today continuing their collaboration in the building of a strong and modern national army. Belgian military tradition and science have also made their valued contribution towards the resilient Imperial Body Guard.
In addition to the invaluable assistance of the British during the liberation of Ethiopia at a time when Ethiopia lay vulnerable and exhausted from the struggle of national liberation, the British Military Mission made a powerful and never-to-be forgotten contribution towards the rebuilding of a modern Army and in these very walls resumed the instruction and the academic traditions suspended in the hours of bitter conflict. If today, Ethiopia stands to the forefront among the military forces in Africa and the Middle East, it is due to this vital military tradition, to the strong sense of discipline inculcated over the years within this Training Centre by devoted officers from abroad and today to the generous support in arms, equipment and instructors furnished by the United States of America.

Welcome Helpers, Guests

On this memorable occasion, We, therefore, particularly welcome the representatives of those States who have played a significant role in the history of this Training Centre. At the same time, We are gratified to note the presence of the distinguished representatives of Our sister States in Africa, here to testify to the solidarity and common determination of all African States to defend together the cause of freedom in Africa.
Your struggles, like those of Ethiopia, stand as an inspiration to our brothers who are still striving towards the goal of independence. The facts of history stand to confirm to them the importance and efficacy of self-help and courage in the struggle for freedom. It is the duty of those States who have already gained their independence, to collaborate in all fields and ways, to strengthen and broaden the bases and armatures of the free and independent politics of Africa, and promptly to come to the defence of those nations yet to be born when, in the difficult first hours after birth, their freedom could be threatened or indeed, stifled. It is in this larger context that this and all other national institutions of African States must be constantly viewed.

African Unity, Cornerstone

Unity should be the cornerstone of relations among African States for it would ensure confidence and co-operation. Disunity, on the other hand, while dissipating their strength, always ends in regrettable results. For this reason, We are making arrangements to grant scholarships to Our African brothers to study in Our military institutions.
In but a few weeks, the Independent African States will convene in Our Capital to explore the means and avenues for advancing this high cause of the freedom, independence and progress of the African peoples. It is Our conviction that the Guenet Military Training Centre has already, during the last quarter of a Century, well served this noble objective. May a yet broader and more fructifying mission be reserved, in the coming years, to this institution which has so well earned the lasting gratitude of Our beloved people.
Mutual confidence and collaboration should exist among the African Nations. As disunity always brings regrettable results, it is with this object in view that We are granting scholarships in Our military institutions to Our African brothers.
In conclusion we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the delegations from friendly countries who have come to join in the celebration of this Silver Jubilee of this Military Training Centre for the Souvenirs given by them as well as to our military units and civil administration, which certainly express the thoughtfulness for the welfare of this institution.

Apr. 29, 1960.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 61 –

HIM QHS with one foot on an undetonated bomb shortly after an Italian air bombardment during the Italo-Ethiopian War 1935-1936 near Addis Ababa - everything around HIM and His entourage had been destroyed but they kept safe and secure.

Sonntag, 27. April 2014



….. To be able to say that there are one hundred thousand students, one has to start with one.

It is over twenty-five years ago that We had conceived the idea of building this School, but as everything is bound to be accomplished with man as initiator and God as executor, it was built in its destined time and formally opened twenty-five years ago.
On this occasion when We celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Teferi Makonnen School and recall the struggle We made to overcome the opposing internal political forces that We encountered at the time when, having the building completed, We were recruiting teachers and gathering students in order to get the work started, We thank Our God who helped Us to achieve Our aim.
Ever since the day We were elected by God to be the leader of Our beloved Nation, Our wholehearted desire has been to expand education with which Our people will develop and guarantee their independence, and since Our accession to the power of leadership, We have put on this cause Our utmost efforts as much as events permitted. And this school the Silver Jubilee of which We are celebrating today, has rendered evident Our desire and effort.
Among those who, in support of Our idea, have helped Us to found this School, We thank all who are alive and remember those like the late Blattenguetta Hiruy.
There have been gentlemen and ladies who, sharing Our conviction that there is no instrument better than education for the development of Ethiopia and the welfare of Our Nation, helped Us in different ways. Some of them have done so by inspiring their children to go to school and others by contributing financially to this cause, to an extent that proved their realization of the benefit of education. In this connection, We do not pass without remembering those, for instance, like the late Dej. Habtemariam Gabregziabier, who sent to the school twenty-three boys together with the school fees.
The names of the persons who had shown their good-will to support Our idea and expressed the love for education were written at the school hall in golden letters on the roll of honour which was removed by the enemy, and has now been renewed and restituted.
The Teferi Makonnen School started working guided by the internal regulations We had provided to it, with Dr. Workneh as Principal and a Frenchman called Monsieur Jean Guillon, as Director and concurrently teacher. Under them, there were both foreign and Ethiopian teachers for French and English languages and the number of students increased from day to day.


After a few years when it was arranged for the pupils of Teferi Makonnen School to receive examinations sent from schools in Europe, there were many who passed the examinations and obtained elementary school certificates. When We were then satisfied with the intelligence of the Ethiopian pupils and the diligence of the teachers, We were encouraged to double Our efforts. As We used to see for Ourselves, whenever We visited the School, their diligence which was resulting in the advancement of the pupils, We still remember the teachers who were here at that time.
Then We had only these students who proved progressive and diligent in their studies sent abroad for pursuing their education. Whereas most of these flowers of youth grown in this School were destroyed by Italy’s massacre, some have been spared by God and are now serving their country. But when We thought of sending them abroad for education, there was a great obstacle between orientation abroad and preparation at home, and the struggle We faced was worse.
But convinced that a nation is seen highly possessed of works of civilization due to its heritage of refinement from past generations and not as a result of work accomplished in one generation, and realizing that such heritage demands countless sacrifices, We exerted a great effort in order to remove current difficulties and to pave the way for the coming generations, and by faith passed the trial.
Moreover, as it was Our desire to improve all possible ways of distributing education to all the Ethiopian population, there has never been one We have not helped whenever an individual or a society wished to preach education to the Ethiopians or to open a school.

Other Schools

To Our Programme aimed at enabling the youth of Ethiopia to be prepared for the help of their country in different professions acquired by education and training, We had reinforced the establishment of modern systems capable of maintaining law and order, as well as of safe-guarding the security of the country, such as the Regular Army, Police and Air Force, and in general We had done all to have all systems of public education go hand in hand.
Even though work and time have a limited scope to human capacity, We were convinced that by working with faith, perseverance, firmness and foresight, it was possible to accomplish much. And Our efforts have been aided by avoiding arrears of work pending for the coming generations so that there might emerge a generation up to date with modern civilization to pursue its current life, and when We were organizing such a peaceful life for Our Nation, We had secured for it the international guarantee of peace by joining the League of Nations and signing the Kellog Convention.
But there came an enemy who interrupted Our peaceful work of leading Ethiopia to a high civilization and by invading Our country, destroyed all the products of Our work. Had it not been for all the various obstacles which We encountered and which hindered Our work, it is obvious that the result of Our initiative for the purpose of having Ethiopia combine her ancient civilization with the modern world progress would have appeared much earlier. Nevertheless, We thank God for the kindness We have never missed.
Although it had, following the invasion of the enemy, fallen sick for some time, the Teferi Makonnen School which We see today as a young school of twenty-five years has, in accordance with its age, served a generation and is therefore, seen with its head upright.
When We inaugurated this school twenty-five years ago, We extolled the merciful Lord and said: “To be able to say that there are one hundred thousand students, one has to start with one.”
Today in Ethiopia, there are more than 100,000 students. Hence, We feel very happy at the celebration of the 25th year of Teferi Makonnen School, where We have expressed Our wishes and see that the mercy of God is limitless.
We feel deeply sorry when We recall the memory of the youngsters who were educated at this school and who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their Emperor and country. When We turn to those who are alive and rendering valuable service to their country, including those who are attending this inauguration as well as those who are on duty in distant places, Our sorrow changes into happiness.
And you, students, should realize that for the benefit of Ethiopia and for Our Nation, Our most important work at present is the preparation of educated generations for Ethiopia, and We fervently hope that you will prove worthy of Our efforts for this purpose. We thank those who have been supporting Us in this cause and We strongly ask them to continue their support.

Ap. 27, 1950

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 70 –

Samstag, 26. April 2014



By establishing for our people educational institutions ranging from the elementary level to that of a University College, we have enabled their natural intelligence to be reinforced by acquired knowledge. In this our object has been to raise their standard of living, for in so far as they profit from the education they receive, so may they improve their material resources.
Our efforts in this sense are being fulfilled as far as the children and young people are concerned. But we feel it incumbent upon us to take thought also for those other folk who, by reason of their age, or of their occupation or position, are unable to receive the advantage derived from modern education. It was to give practical expression to this thought that we previously issued instructions indicating that all our people should acquire fundamental education; that they should read and write Amharic, the official language of the country, and if possible learn additional subjects in foreign fields. Since these instructions were issued, basic education is progressing satisfactorily, and people are frequenting schools assiduously and in large numbers.
The products of learning and knowledge, then benefit the life of mankind; and these fruits of education to the cultivation of which we ever devote our energies should be shared by all our people throughout our Empire. However, to obtain this objective, capable teachers must be secured; it was in the pursuit of this aim, that we directed this building to be constructed as a special Teachers Training Centre. Now that the work of construction is finished, and that of instruction has begun, we give thanks to the Almighty, who has granted to us to preside today over the ceremony of its inauguration.

Must Ripen and Mature

So far, through the existing education facilities, not only have many children and adults been spared from being branded as illiterates, but many too are they who have reached the University level and completed their studies there. Folks crowd the doors of centres of learning, and a number of them pass in and out of them; but that is not enough. What we desire for our people in future consists of three main objectives: First, that every Ethiopian may be spared from illiteracy; second, that through the development of his own inborn capabilities he may become not a liability but an asset to his nation, and a benefit to himself, to his neighbourhood, and to his country; third, that he must ripen and mature in knowledge and education, and pass them on to posterity. In addition, in this day and age, he must keep far from his mind the belief that he knows quite enough. The educated person will consider and weigh the welfare of the individual and the community, and will form critical judgements, while retaining the fear of his Creator.
For the higher educational institutions which, with much effort, we have established – such as the Agricultural College, the Building College and the University College – enough students have not been found. In several countries of the world we see persons who do work of various kinds during the day, in order to get the necessary money to live by, in the evening they devote their time to study, and to reach a sufficient level of education to qualify as doctors or engineers. Such men, who have the love of learning in their hearts, show us how age need not prove a hindrance. Therefore you should strive assiduously to make yourselves, by education, worthy men; and for this it matters not whether it be by day or by night, nor whether you be child or adult, man or woman.
As the Gospel tells us, a house built upon strong foundations can never be overthrown by storms. Similarly, when people are built up with minds well formed by education and knowledge, no trial of whatever kind can conquer them. Therefore, as regards the teachers who go forth from this Centre, prepared for the tasks ahead, it is our hope that they will advise, help and teach their brothers living in the country districts, in matters of health, of husbandry, of handicraft, and in other useful spheres, placing the knowledge they have gained from new cultural methods at the service of each and every Ethiopian.

Firm Structure

As for Ourselves, in every task wherein We labour, Our chief aim is that Our beloved people shall, during Our reign, proceed apace along the path of culture, improving their individual condition and living a life of peace, prosperity and happiness.
And when we say that, it is essential that our people should fully understand the following point. Unless each beam be sound, the whole structure of a house cannot be firm; and so, unless each Ethiopian citizen improves his own individual lot by culture, educating himself and his children, and making his family healthy and prosperous, capable and industrious, he cannot benefit his beloved land and the realm of Ethiopia. Similarly, if a man is sick, in one part of his body, his whole constitution is upset. It is the same with a people. Unless each man’s life be complete, displaying education and prosperity, the people as a whole cannot share in common a flourishing existence, nor can it give its government cause for pride. It is for this reason that we place our full hope in the teachers who go forth from this Centre – that through them, our people may receive, in respect of their individual lives, the help which we wish to be extended to them.
In the planning of this Community Education Teachers Training Centre we have received assistance from persons who have experience in this field, and to them – the experts of Point Four and of UNESCO – we express our thanks. We are convinced that the work wherein they have collaborated with us will prosper.
We sincerely thank the U. S. Government for its assistance in the establishment of this school. We also appreciate the good words expressed by H.E. the U.S. Ambassador and for the spirit of co-operation he has shown.
It is, therefore, with deep satisfaction that we inaugurate and declare open, the Community Education Teachers Training Centre at Debre Berhan.
April 26, 1957.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 76 –