Freitag, 27. Februar 2015

27.02. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - IN THE KREMLIN, MOSCOW, 1967


Mr. President:
Accept, Excellency, my deep appreciation for the kind words addressed to me and my people. It is with great pleasure that I find myself once again in your great and friendly country. The welcome which was accorded to me and through me to the Ethiopian people in my previous visit has been a rich and rewarding experience which I always recall with pleasure. In my present visit you have extended me an even greater and more friendly welcome, which I shall always deeply cherish.
The close friendship that so happily exists between our two peoples has been of long-standing. It has not only with-stood the test of time, but has even expanded and grown firmer through these years. This I am convinced will continue to be strengthened and shall, as in the past, give lasting benefit to our two peoples.
The national strength of a country is measured by the human and material resources it has at its disposal. Being aware that the exploitation of my country’s natural resources requires ample technical know-how, I, throughout my reign, gave priority to the advancement of education in Ethiopia. It is with satisfaction that I note here that my endeavours in this field are bearing fruit and that my country is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient in this regard.
It is my expressed wish that the widest fruitful economic co-operation be established between our two countries. The assistance extended to Ethiopia by the USSR to raise the living standard of her people, namely, through the establishment of an oil refinery in Assab, the Technical College in Bahr-Dar and the USSR’s hospital in Addis Ababa are worthy examples of such co-operation.
The main foundation of Ethiopia’s foreign policy is to live in peace and harmony with all states and particularly with her neighbours, and in the light of this spirit and the principles of Bandung such as: non-interference in the inter-nal affairs of other states and respect for the territorial integrity of all states; to cooperate with all in various fields of human endeavour with a view to promoting the general good and welfare of mankind. Ethiopia is equally dedicated to the cause of freedom and unity in Africa and to the cause of peace and understanding in the world, in close collaboration with the sister African states, and my people shall continue to contribute their share to the struggle of emancipating our brethren, who are still under the yoke of colonial rule. We believe that whatever measure we take in order to realize our goals in attaining a completely free Africa, it can best be done through the Organization of African Unity. It is, therefore, in the best interest and for the healthy progress and development of our continent to strengthen this organization. The peoples of Africa are determined that not one inch of African soil shall remain in the hands of the colonialists and in this noble struggle we shall not fail to look for support and encouragement from our proven friends among whom the USSR is prominent.
The principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of states and respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of independent nations which are embodied in the Charter of the OAU and the U.N. should be implemented in full measure by member states so that the necessary climate will be created for full co-operation. If this precondition is assured, it is our firm belief, that the great goals we have set for our continent to carry, will not be out of reach.
The League of Nations, by failing to restrain the fascist aggressor, allowed the forces of evil a free reign and it was only after the sacrifice of the lives of millions of innocent people, amongst whom the people of the USSR had to bear heavy losses, and the extensive destruction to property the world over, that this evil was finally destroyed.
Injustice In Africa

Once again injustice is being committed and practised in Africa. In the case of Rhodesia the U.N. has approved sanctions, the same weapon which proved ineffective over a decade ago. I believe that this measure too is bound to fail unless it is accompanied by the use of force.
I would like to add that after much sacrifice the world has created the United Nations Organization; but the U.N. can only be effective, provided its members are willing to make it strong by giving their wholehearted support in each and every case where justice, decency and fairmindedness so demand. It is of the utmost importance that the U.N. should have at all times the confidence and support of all its members.
I would like to refer to the efforts made by my country concerning the tragic situation which still exists in Vietnam. It will be recalled that I have, on several occasions, expressed my deep concern that this grave situation has continued for so many years and that no workable solution has as yet been found. I have already expressed my readiness to avail my good offices and to do my utmost to bring the concerned parties to the negotiating table. It is with great concern that I view the present conflict in South-East Asia and deeply regret that the numerous efforts made by several states have been ignored by those actively engaged in this bitter struggle.
We are convinced that in order to save our planet from total destruction every effort and all the necessary sacrifices must be made by all peace-loving nations both big and small, towards the attainment of total and complete disarmament, and to see to it that the manifold gifts of the atom are used, instead, for the eradication of disease and poverty and the betterment of mankind.
It is my ardent belief that all nations must live in peace and friendship with each other, religion or socio-political structure notwithstanding. This right and proper attitude must, in our opinion, be cultivated and developed by all nations. I believe that all nations have to advance along the path which they think is most reasonable and desirable in accordance with their culture, tradition and sense of values. In conclusion, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the President, government and peoples of the USSR at whose invitation I am visiting this great country. I am fully confident that this present visit will further strengthen the traditional and friendly relations which exist between our two peoples. I request all gathered here to raise their glasses to this spirit of friendship, and to the health of the Soviet leaders and the continued prosperity of the peoples of the USSR as well as for the maintenance and the promotion of peace and understanding in the world.

                                                                                                                                            Feb. 27, 1967.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 159 –    

27.02. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - U.C.A.A. OPENS


..... Knowledge paves the way to love, and love in its turn fosters understanding, and leads one along the path of great common achievements .....

When today is being opened this University College, Our feeling of joy has two motivations, Our happiness is of two kinds. These are private and common. Happiness shared with many creates a source of permanent affection and understanding. But private happiness is a temporary matter.
Our endeavour to expand schools has passed from planning to achievement. Our satisfaction in the field of education is in Our days being shared by the Ethiopian people, and particularly by those who have and are profiting by it.
Thus, Our saying that this would benefit Ethiopia is now being increased greatly. As has been pointed out by Our Vice-Minister, work on the University is progressing rapidly. To make successful the work of those educational institutions of higher education, aid of the students and teachers is needed. We hope that the preparation of students and teachers is nearing completion.
We are proud to see Ethiopian youth thirsting for learning. Although the fruits of education can be applied to evil as well as to good things, you Ethiopian students should avoid having a bad reputation and be eager and energetic in your studies, be loyal to your country and obedient to your teachers, eschew lies and follow truth, respect good and be heirs of good work .....
                                                                                                                                             Feb. 27, 1951

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 4 –        

Dienstag, 24. Februar 2015



We appreciate this opportunity to meet with you representatives of the Press and explain to you certain matters dealing with relations between Ethiopia and the Republic of Somalia which have not up to now received the attention which they merit.
You are all familiar with the details of the armed aggression which the military forces of the Republic of Somalia have carried out against Ethiopia. You may not, however, be as familiar with the background against which this aggression must be viewed.
First of all, we must accept as an irrefutable fact that the Republic of Somalia is dedicated to a policy of territorial aggrandizement at the expense of her neighbours, and that she appears prepared to pursue this policy by all available means. This policy is written into Somalia's Constitution. Somalia's claims to Ethiopian territory have been repeated by her leaders not once but many times.
By contrast, Ethiopia's policy with respect to Somalia has been that the boundary established between the two countries should be respected by both. Ethiopia has never menaced or threatened Somalia, and we are asserting no territorial claims of any sort against her.
In the family of nations there are countries with populations even smaller than that of the Republic of Somalia which nonetheless live in peace and in harmony with their neighbours. However, the Somalia leaders, inspired by their expansionist policy, have resorted to force and false propaganda, have attacked Ethiopia, and have shed innocent blood in pursuit of their objectives. We have explained in the past the consequences and the dangers inherent in this policy, and We shall continue to do so. We have expressed Our sorrow that this policy continues, and We hope that the people of the Republic of Somalia have recognized the truth of what We have said.
The Somalia leaders have chosen to execute their expansionist policy in a variety of ways, ranging from falsehood to force. The Somalia Government has sent armed bands into the territories of Ethiopia and Kenya, where they attack, rob, loot and then flee into the shelter of the Republic of Somalia. At the same time, the Government of Somalia has carried on an intensive and malicious press and radio campaign against Ethiopia which is unparalleled in this day and age in its violence. The Ethiopian people and leaders have been insulted in the most vituperative and slanderous terms. Somalia's radio has called for revolution in Ethiopia and has incited subversion and sabotage. In all that she has done, Somalia has violated almost daily for the last three and one-half years the most sacred principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity. 
Reject Propaganda

By contrast, Ethiopia has refrained from replying in kind and has limited herself to defending her territory against the Somalia Government to end its propaganda against Our nation because We know that such a campaign is calculated permanently to poison relations between the people of Ethiopia and Somalia, and particularly those of ex-British Somaliland who enter Ethiopia to graze here and who also have close commercial relations with Our country.
Two weeks ago Somalia launched a direct armed attack against Ethiopia’s security forces along the frontier and earlier reports that the Somalia Government has maintained training centres in Somalia for preparing armed bandits to violate and commit acts of violence and subversion in Ethiopia were conclusively confirmed. Ethiopia promptly invoked the Charter of African Unity and requested an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers of the O.A.U. Somalia, however, chose not to refer this matter to her African brothers. Instead, in an attempt to involve non-African nations in a dispute which should, initially at least, be considered by Africans, she appealed to the Security Council of the United Nations. In accordance with Ethiopia's request, and, belatedly, Somalia’s, the Council of Ministers met at Dares-Salaam. Ethiopia has observed the Resolutions adopted there but, in direct violation of these Resolutions, Somalia has ceased neither her armed attacks nor her propaganda campaign and has continued her aggression against Our nation.
In recent days, Somalia has embarked upon a new course. First, she alleged that American and Israeli aircraft were involved in hostilities on Ethiopia's side, then that British troops had joined Ethiopian forces in action against Somalia. These charges are, of course, unfounded and are complete fabrications, as is virtualy everything emanating from Mogadiscio these days. Ethiopia is self-reliant. We need no non-African assistance to defend our soil. Ethiopia has strained every energy to ensure that Africans themselves refrain from and avoid the shedding of African blood, and the energies of all of us should be enlisted in this effort. Only a few days ago, the Prime Minister of Somalia threatened to unleash 150,000 armed nomads from the Republic against Ethiopia. To this, let Us only reply that history bears witness that, in less time than it would take to recount, were it necessary to do so, Ethiopia could have under arms one soldier for every member of Somalia’s entire population. The Prime Minister's reckless statement reflects only on those who speak in this fashion and any action such as that threatened by the Somalia leaders would have the most far-reaching consequences. Ethiopia is not boastful, but her history testifies to the courage and bravery of which she disposes in defending her territory and her independence. She has been preserved with the help of the Almighty, Who is ever at her side.

Shall Defend Soil

Thus far, Ethiopia has restrained herself. We shall continue to do so, but we shall defend our soil and our territorial integrity with all the force at our disposal. But the permanent solution to this problem lies only in Somalia's final renunciation of the policy of territorial aggrandizement which she has unswervingly followed during the last three and one-half years and which has led to the sorry state of relations between our two nations today.
One final point must be clear. There is no border conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia. The border is defined in the Treaties of 1897 and 1908, which constitute the very basis upon which Somalia was granted her independence by the United Nations. The frontier in the North, defined in the Treaty of 1897 between Ethiopia and Great Britain, has been demarcated on the ground for over thirty years. The boundary in the South, defined in the Treaty of 1908 with Italy, has not been so demarcated, but half of the countries of the world today live in peace with their neighbours while their common frontiers remain undemarcated. When the United Nations placed the former Italian colony of Somaliland under trusteeship in 1950, a Provisional Administrative Line was established by the United Nations and, at Ethiopia's insistence, this Line was defined with precision. When Somalia became independent in 1960, this same Line determined the limits of the new Republic.
It is clear that the aggression which Somalia has committed against Ethiopia is not an isolated incident or an act of recklessness unrelated to some broader pattern. It is part and parcel of the expansionist policy which Somalia has consistenly adhered to since July 1, 1960. It is equally clear that this policy is unacceptable to Ethiopia. We seek only peace. We still retain the hope that the people of Somalia who have, on various occasions, expressed their deep concern over the policies detrimental to Somalia and her people, may yet repudiate the adventure upon which their leaders have embarked in order that bloodshed may end and tranquility may once again be restored to the Horn of Africa. How far better it would be were the money expended in the pursuit of columny and aggression used, instead, for the benefit and welfare of the people of Somalia. How far wiser it would be were Somalia's leaders working in a spirit of harmony and friendship, for the improvement of relations between our two countries.
We have already explained Our position to the African leaders who have tried to reconcile our differences with Somalia and who have sent messages and special envoys to Us. For their concern, and for the interest and sympathy which they and their people have manifested, We express Our thanks. We have told them that we covet no one's territory, but that neither will we yield what is ours. We have stated our wish to live in peace and harmony with our neighbours. Seeking nothing which is theirs, we also do not seek their enmity.

                                                                                                                                            Feb. 24, 1964.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 671 –    

Montag, 23. Februar 2015

23.02. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - WAR SETTLEMENT AND ITALY’S RETURN


At the various meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London and Paris and of their deputies as well at the Peace Conference through Our Delegates We have set forth to the world the position of Ethiopia in regard to the return to Ethiopia of territories taken from her by Italian aggression. As first victim of Axis aggression in Europe and the first of the United Nations to be liberated, Ethiopia feels justified in declaring as she has already declared at the Paris Peace Conference, that any return of Italy to such territories would constitute ratification of three aggressions and an act of international injustice. It should be understandable that Ethiopia cannot possibly countenance any return of Italy to such territories other than as a direct and instant threat to one of the United Nations. We are confident that the world will readily understand that the security of Ethiopia would be completely compromised if those territories which had three times served as bases of aggression against her were to remain as such in the future. We have further pointed out that an impoverished Italy who seeks and who continued to receive foreign financial and other assistance at the same time seeks to regain territories in an attempt to launch a fourth invasion of Ethiopia, thanks to such foreign assistance. The case of Ethiopia is clear and requires no further statement. Ethiopia has fought for more than a decade for justice. It is time that she received it ....
                                                                                                                                            Feb. 23, 1948.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 188 –    

The Lion of Judah conquering - HIM QHS standing on an unexploded italian fascist bomb. Everything around HIM was destroyed but HIM and His people kept save.

23.02. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - AT EXHIBITION OF ETHIOPIAN BOOKS

Important Utterances of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I - page 322 -

Samstag, 21. Februar 2015

21.02. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - received cadets of the Ethiopian Air Force bofore their leaving for training

On Friday, February 21, 1959, His Imperial
Majesty Haile Selassie I received in audience
six cadets of the Ethiopian Air Force before
their leaving for a six-month training course in
the United States. Below is His Imperial
Majesty's speech addressed to the cadets:

"Our purpose for sending you to the United States
is so that you may become jet aircraft pilot trainers on
your return which we have been informed by your ins-
tructors will take an estimated period of six months.
Our aim and hope when the airforce centre was instituted
were to see that the aircraft flying in our air space be
totally operated by the youth of Ethiopia. We never
imagined that in such a short space of time the Ethiopian
Air Force would have reached the state of producing
its own jet pilot trainers. Moreover, we never thought
that jets would have been introduced in this part of
the world in such a rapid space of time.
In the short period that has elapsed since the incep-
tion of our aircraft training centre the march of time,
which has been faster than we had imagined, has made
it possible for us to utilise jet aircraft. We feel particularly
happy, from the bottom of our heart, to witness
your progress in aviation and your stage of achievement
in flying jets that have made it possible for us to utilise
jet for further studies in a friendly country with the
objective of becoming instructors, which is an indication
that the fruits of our efforts in expanding our air force
are already ripening.
Many sacrifices have been made to reach this stage;
moreover, money and the sacrifice of the lives of our
youth with tempting careers before them. In comparing
these sacrifices with our limitations we find that the
former far outweighs the latter; even more, when we
realise that these sacrifices are responsible for our ad-
vance to the jet-age, our sorrows have been alleviated.
The capabilities which you have shown in mastering jet
aircraft within the past months have proved beyond
doubt that with the proper instruction our peoples could
cope with any type of technical and scientific studies.
By so doing you have made us happy and inspired our
faith that you will study with vigour and enthusiasm
when you reach your destination, that you will not be
ensnared by the lack of industry and that you will achieve
excellent results by which you will reach your proper
station and afford us the maximum satisfaction.
Because your behaviour, diligence and eyen your
love of work will not only be for yourselves but will also
serve to maintain the dignity of our Air Force and people
you must strive to be praise-worthy while in training
abroad. Beware that if you stop to look you will cast
a shadow upon your fair name. That your flying allowance
may match your added responsibilities we have
raised it, and this is because we have realised that flying
even in peace time, is hazardous and also because we
have noted occasional progress in your training. From
the earliest times up to the present, soldiers have always
sacrificed their lives for love of freedom, country and
sovereign. No gift will gratify the man, who, untrue
to this noble cause, serves for riches alone. The love
of money can determine a man's price. So beware of
this trap.

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 114 -

Freitag, 20. Februar 2015

20.02. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - TO THE “FREEDOM FROM HUNGER” CAMPAIGN


From time immemorial, hunger, disease and illiteracy have been man's persistent enemies which have plagued his effort to lead a fuller and healthier life.
Being aware of the urgent necessity to eradicate these causes of human misery, and having realized that this could only be done through their concerted actions in the various agencies of the United Nations, the nations of the world have joined hands and pulled together their resources and energies to fight back these scourges.
When, in 1960, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, determined to free mankind from the scourge of hunger, which is one of the three enemies of man, presented a programme of “Freedom From Hunger Cam- paign” to the Tenth Session of the FAO and the General Assembly of the United Nations, Ethiopia was one of the foremost countries to support and endorse the proposal.
Apart from the various actions and programmes which We endeavour to initiate to enhance and promote the welfare of Our beloved people, Our efforts to propose and support various programmes at the various forums of the United Nations and its specialized agencies have given encouraging results.
At all times, Ethiopia will continue to be the first to take action on such programmes that are designed to fight and eradicate such enemies which threaten human life and prosperity.
All nations have readily and fully endorsed the proposal that the “Freedom From Hunger Campaign” should be established within the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

                                                                                                                                            Feb. 20, 1963.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 651 -

20.02. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - MESSAGE TO 6th SESSION OF E. C. A.


We extend our most sincere welcome and warmest greetings to all the delegates and observers who have come to our Capital City of Addis Ababa to attend the Sixth Session of the Economic Commission for Africa.
We attach great importance to your present meeting because you are today gathered for the first time since the adoption of the historic Charter of African Unity in May of last year here in Addis Ababa. This Charter is a truly becoming symbol of the coming of age of our great continent, and your deliberations will be inspired by the same noble spirit as inspired the historic Summit Conference of African States.
The Heads of State and Government made a united resolve that we should pool our resources and harmonize our activities in the economic field.
To this end an Economic and Social Commission of O.A.U. has been established, and We are pleased to see that already in its meeting the Commission has come up with important recommendations regarding in particular co-ordination of effort between ECA and the new Economic Com-mission of African Unity.
We consider the two commissions to be complementary in character, and We feel that jointly they can play an important role in the vast and urgent task of economic development and co-ordination.
In this respect We have been interested to note that your agenda provides for the study and consideration of the creation of an African Common Market and Payments Union. These are vital steps in the process of African economic integration and your work here in this Conference can make a positive contribution towards the attainment of these common objectives.
It is only through economic co-operation and co-ordination of effort that African states can hope to maintain and strengthen their independence while ensuring the rapid progress of their peoples.
In order to achieve this common goal of strength through progress, it becomes necessary for us to abandon once and for all petty differences and artificial barriers that tend to perpetuate a state of division and confusion between our countries.

We should instead jointly strive for those objectives that will enable us to be strong and united.
Let us therefore leave aside all misguided aims and groundless ambitions that can only lead us into wasteful and time-consuming conflicts.
Let us instead mobilize our resources for our common good and for the good of our great continent.
This is the heartfelt desire of African peoples everywhere, and it is the duty of us all always to bear this in mind and to strive for its full and final achievement.
Another event of vital importance which you should keep well in mind during this Session is the forthcoming UN Conference on Trade and Development which will be held in Geneva next month.
Our continent relies greatly on external trade for its development and economic progress, and it is important that you should make every effort at this Session to harmonise the trade and economic policies of your respective Governments with a view to putting a strong and united case at the Geneva meeting.
We wish to express our confidence that the Economic Commission for Africa and its Secretariat will continue to afford to our Governments the service and assistance that would enable us to fulfil the basic targets of the United Nations Decade of Development.
We are pleased once again to reiterate our continued interest in the work of your Commission and our belief in its contribution to a greater understanding of Africa’s Economic problems.
We earnestly pray to Almighty God to guide you in His wisdom through all your work and deliberations.

                                                                                                                                            Feb. 20, 1964.
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 257 –   

Dienstag, 17. Februar 2015

17.02. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - UNESCO AND EDUCATION


….. Man has been endowed with the innate desire for and the ability to acquire wisdom and learning and it is the duty of leaders to inspire and guide our peoples in this quest…..

It is with the deepest pleasure that We welcome the delegates, observers and officials who have come to Our capital city of Addis Ababa in order to participate in this conference of Ministers and Directors of Education from countries in East and West Africa. The welcome which We extend to you is not only given on Our behalf but on behalf of all of Our people, and We trust that you will fully enjoy, during your stay here, the hospitality of Our country.
The conference which We are now inaugurating, the first of its kind to be convened for this area of the world, is of the greatest significance. The discussions which will be held here are directly concerned with the educational needs and aspirations of the 127 million people whose representatives have gathered together. It is important, and it augurs well for the success of this conference, that it is sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, pursuant to decisions taken at the tenth conference of UNESCO, held in Paris towards the close of 1958. All of us are indebted to UNESCO for the services which that organization has performed on our behalf.
You have before you for consideration a report, carefully prepared by the UNESCO SECRETARIAT, dealing with the educational needs of tropical African countries. From this report, it is possible to gauge something of the greatness of the task with which the educators of the African peoples represented here are now confronted. This is not, of course, a matter which concerns only educators; the enormity of the task of improving the educational level of the African peoples is and must be of particular concern to those who have been called to the highest positions of leadership. They bear the grave responsibility of ensuring that the youth of their countries combine the highest moral values with the noble patriotic sentiments in serving their country.
The total population represented at this conference is estimated at some 127 million souls. Much has been done to provide schooling for the many million children of school-age, not all of which is fully indicated in the report. But when every allowance has been made for the educational opportunities which exist outside the regular governmental school system – and We would refer specifically to the traditional and widespread efforts of the Ethiopian Church in Our land – the fact remains that according to the figures secured by UNESCO there are as yet no places in primary school for millions of boys and girls. To provide for these children, more than 345,000 teachers must be recruited and at least the same number of classrooms must be built. And the financing for these extensions of educational opportunity must come, in large measure, from budgets which are already fully extended to meet their country’s needs.

Human Potential

We have, of recent years, heard much of the economic riches of our continent and of the benefit to ourselves and to the world which will result from their exploitation and development. We have here, however, another potential source of wealth which must not be neglected – the benefit which will accrue to us and to the world if our children are granted the tools of knowledge and are enabled to acquire the skill which may be derived from education. These tools and these skills will help them as individuals to realize their full intellectual, moral and cultural stature and thus enable them as members of a society to contribute worthily to the building of our human civilization. Man has been endowed with the innate desire for and the ability to acquire wisdom and learning and it is the duty of leaders to inspire and guide our peoples in this quest.
A study of the information collected by UNESCO indicates that although the needs and the achievements of the African peoples have varied according to the geographical, economic, historical and cultural circumstances which are peculiar to each people and which have conditioned the development of each country, yet there are many elements which we share in common. It is in our interest to study and property understand the varying problems which exist in the different regions of Africa and seek together to overcome them in a spirit of co-operation, through mutual assistance as well as through the efforts and help of those who are genuinely prepared to aid us in our endeavours.
As one example of the difficulties which have faced nations individually, We need only cite the situation which confronted Us when, in 1941, We returned to Ethiopia to find an educational system ravaged and destroyed by the Fascist invasion of Our country in 1935. The educational progress of Our people was severely and sadly retarded by the events of those years. The youth of Our country who had received higher education prior to 1935 were decimated during the years in which the Fascist invader ravaged Our land, and there was little indeed in the way of trained human resources or existing facilities at hand to aid Us in the enormous task which confronted Us. But, convinced as We were that in the education of our young rested the key to Ethiopia’s future development, We determined that this task would enjoy the highest priority in Our programme for Ethiopia’s progress.
We take humble pride in the accomplishments of the years since 1941, and Our heart is filled with joy when We observe the fruits of Our efforts in the youth of Our country who are succeeding in ever increasing numbers to positions of responsibility in the life of Our nation. Hundreds of schools have been built; hundreds of thousands of Our people have received the benefit of education. Although Our country was unable to make free use of the facilities for higher education in the metropolitan countries of Europe which have influenced the development of schooling in certain areas of Africa, We have nonetheless been able to carry out an extensive programme of foreign training in many countries of the world, and We appreciate the scholarships which have permitted young men and women to study abroad. In addition, We have built up here a system of colleges which, We are happy to say, We are already sharing with students from Our sister countries. We believe that the existence of these colleges, together with those parallel institutions which are increasingly appearing in other parts of this great continent may ease the problem of preparing a programme of education which is designed specifically to meet the needs of our African peoples.


Our efforts have not been directed solely to the educational advancement of Ethiopians; We have, as well, not been unmindful that all of us must share in the responsibility for the education of all of our African brothers. We had this firmly in mind when We awarded 200 scholarships, a number, We would add, which was limited only by the budgetary resources at Our disposal. We intend to continue Our efforts to extend all possible assistance in this field. Surely, if we all resolved jointly to bend our unsparing efforts to the achievements of universal education on this great continent, we would in a few short years see results going far beyond what each of us, acting alone, could attain.
Much has been done, but much more remains to be accomplished. Even today, We reserve to Our Person the portfolio of Minister of Education, and We shall never cease to devote Our efforts and energies to the tasks and problems involved in the education of Our people. We are confident that great things will be accomplished during this conference. We know that you, too, share Our preoccupation with the educational needs of peoples everywhere. We know that you share with Us the firm conviction that as man’s soul and his ability to reason and to learn constitute the distinctive marks of humanity, so the gifts of education and the development of man’s intellectual capacity can create differences among men. We know that the learning of the ages and the teachings of wise men who have lived throughout the history of the world must no longer be denied to large numbers of the population of the earth. We know that man’s physical needs and his intellectual and spiritual strivings can only be satisfied through the medium of education. It is not unimportant to observe the direct relationship that exists between the standard of living of peoples in various parts of the world and the educational level which they have attained.

Strength in Diversity

All African people, not only those represented here, have had varying experiences and encountered varying difficulties and trials in the search for education. But the very fact that our experience has not been uniform can now become a source of strength to us as we undertake the planning of a common approach to the education of our children. Each of us has something to contribute. In the field of teacher training, for example, it is possible that a common approach may be devised, especially for the preparation of staff to serve in the higher levels of our schools and for the imparting of those technical skills which are so essential for our developing economies. In this connection, We would refer to the departments of our Ethiopian colleges, to the University College of Addis Ababa, with its faculties and sections concerned with Liberal Arts, Education, Law and Science; to the College of Engineering; the College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts; the Public Health College; the Institute of Building Technology; the Institute of Public Administration and the Mapping and Geography Institute – all these may well play their part both in the development of African higher education and also in the implementation of plans for universal primary schooling which may be drafted as a result of this present conference.
The agenda which has been prepared for your meetings covers a very wide area. The facts which have been gathered and the statistics which have been compiled indicate something of the magnitude of the task with which we are faced, but from them we may also derive some satisfaction and some encouragement in the knowledge of what has been achieved, often against great odds, in the initial foundation of our educational systems.
By working together as neighbours, by making use of the resources which can be brought to bear through programmes of national development, of mutual help and of international assistance, we may face the future with confidence, secure in the knowledge that we can render a good account for our days and for our labours.
It is not sufficient to pay only lip service to the cause of our co-operation and unity. We must devise means of effective co-operation which will enable us to mobilize our resources and strengthen the basis for the limited industries which we possess and thereby ensure our progress and, ultimately, attain well-being and self-sufficiency for all. Without education, we cannot hope to possess the technicians and experts essential to the development of our economies or the doctors and nurses who will safeguard the health of our people, nor can we achieve the other conditions upon which our security and prosperity depend.
We shall follow with the greatest interest the deliberations of this conference, and We pray that we may enjoy the guidance and the blessing of the Almighty as we apply ourselves to the tasks that now confront us.

                                                                                                                                            Feb. 17, 1960.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 358 –