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Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I



OPENING OF AWASH II


When We laid the cornerstone for this second Awash hydro-electric power plant less than two years ago, We expressed the hope of looking forward to this day when the construction and the installation works would be completed and the power plant would be in full operation. Now that Our wish is fulfilled in this regard, through the bounty of the Almighty God, it is with great pleasure that We are present here today to inaugurate this plant.

The pleasure is mainly derived from the fact that this project, though small when compared with the ambitious one that We envisage to carry out in accordance with Our economic plan, will open new opportunities of employment for Our people. The study for the construction of this major electric power plant that We intend to carry out is available and is going to be erected at a well known place in Our country where it can give added benefits for the country and the people.

With the completion and inauguration of the Koka hydro-electric power plant the sharp increase in the production of electricity was soon absorbed and consequently power supply fell short of demand. This is a heartening sign because it is indicative of the accelerated growth of Our industrial development activities, as well as the continued advancement of the standard of living of Our people. In this scientific and technological age electricity is the life-blood of a nation. For there can be no progress nor economic development without electricity. Mindful of this, We decided to establish a number of power plants along this Valley and to commence the detailed study for the construction of a big power plant on the Fincha river.

As We have already stated the study for the construction of the other major power plant is already completed.

Ethiopia has abundant natural resources. To accelerate the effective exploitation of these resources for the benefit and well-being of Our people, the need for foreign capital and skill became eminent. To overcome the obstacles and hindrances in this connection, We had to create a climate conducive for the importation of this badly needed capital and skill. To this end We had to provide, among other things, the infrastructure such as electricity, and good roads, which are vital for development. Though We have gone a long way in carrying out such basic programmes, yet the greater task still lies ahead.

A nation can achieve a healthy and full growth, provided balanced measures are taken in all fields of activity. Guided by this principle and in accordance with the resources that We have at Our disposal, We for Our part have and shall continue to work for the full realization of the said objective.

Progress and work have no boundaries. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone of us to contribute in full measure his share to this noble aim. We should always bear in mind that education and modern civilization are the fruits of hard labour.

The World Bank, inspired by the noble objective of assisting the developing countries in their quest for progress and development, is presently helping Our country in the realization of various infrastructural projects. As a founding member and as a beneficiary of the Bank, Ethiopia takes keen interest in its development. We wish to re-affirm here once again Our strong support of the Bank’s endeavours which are directed for the economic well-being of Our people. It is a fitting occasion to extend Our deep thanks to the World Bank for the generous loan it has made available to us for the construction of this and the third Awash power plant which is still under construction. Our heartfelt thanks also go to the Ethiopian Electric Light and Power Authority, to all the contractors and workers who have contributed their share in the completion of this project from which Our country shall draw lasting benefit.

December 11, 1966.


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Electronic edition created and published online by members of the
Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

August 9, 2017