|Development Reforms - Eritrea|
Jan. 18, 1963
|On our current visit to Eritrea, We felt extremely happy to note and realize that the welcome |
accorded Us by the people is sincere, deep and genuine. We have already spoken clearly about the
administration of Eritrea, of the past and future. That Eritrea, before the federal union with
Ethiopia, stayed separated for 60 years by the design of imperialists and colonialists and not by the
will of God, has been manifested by the ultimate unity achieved. The struggle undertaken by the
people to effect the reunification of Eritrea with Ethiopia is also very clear.
It is not necessary to enumerate countries where the people and the entire country having lost
unity, spiritual or otherwise, have become playgrounds and laughing stocks of outsiders. The
historical events of certain countries bear witness to this fact. In our own times, there are those
expansionists who by shedding blood, desire to achieve their ambition and by dismembering
themselves they are seen as tools for alien interests. Our peopel from Ethiopia shed blood, to save
them from disintegration. Those personalitities who believe in freeing a country by secession are
selfish and prey to outsiders. We will not accept their motives.
The Eritrean people and their representatives work not only for Eritrea but for the entire Ethiopia
too. They have worked for the welfare of the country evenbefore the hardship. What brings
people together is not only history, culture and geography but also the various voluntary social
associations as well as economic interests and sharing infirmities or benefits in common; that is
Anyone, therefore, by investing his capital and wealth enjoys the benefits for himself and this
situation provides general well-being by strengthening the unity of a people and by raising its
living standard too.
In order to amass private wealth and benefit from it in peace and security, it is necessary to comply
with the fundamental precepts of the society. So being, even the accumulation of private property
emanates from a harmonious social life and entails certain obligations. One of these typical
obligations would be to put one's private capital into use. Since wealth is acquired by hard labour
it is necessary to manifest an effort by using the invested capital.
|The natural resources such as mines and others found in Eritrea and the other parts of Ethiopia |
remain the property of the Government and would be utilized in such effective ways facilitating the
speedy progress and development of the Empire. It is also the duty of the people to render their
service t the Government and the Government in turn is bound to serve the people.
Though it is difficult to effect the overall development of a nation in a short time, besides the
projects which have already been accomplished, We have laid down for the development of this
part of Our country the projects outlined in the Second Five-Year Plan.
The projected development plan includes:
1. The Zula Dam and the oil-finding survey on the Red Sea Coast already costing Eth.
$2,000,000. The fact that We have spent so much while the federation was still in existence is
proof of Our belief in the oneness of Eritrea and Ethiopia. We are negotiating with private firms to
discover oil and We are confident to effect an agreement with the firms concerned when the oil is
2. The survey for the discovery of cooper and iron ore would be completed in the near future.
3. A new organization would be established to encourage the development of cotton
plantations in the Province of Tessenei and the other lowlands and at the same time to advise and
grant loans to farmers.
4. Studies for the establishment of a cement factory have been completed and the factory would
be in operation soon.
5. We have allotted Eth. $1,000,000 for transport, forestry, irrigation systems and for
6. An additional Eth. $2,000,000 has been added to the Eth. $500,000 previously allocated to
construct the road from Areza to Bosheka.
7. We have further approved to restudy the tax levied on fuels consumed by agricultural
8. To help the people inhabiting the lowlands We have, as We expressed earlier, made
arrangements for the Areza-Bosheka road.
The outlined are projects undertaken by the Government. We have also formulated plans to help
private enterprises help themselves and the people. The Development Bank would be founded to
realize Our concern on this line.
We have also made arrangements for Our people to benefit by purchasing shares from the private
companies. Our endeavour to help the people also pres-supposes that the people should help Us.
The wealth of Eritrea is the wealth of Ethiopia and the wealth of Ethiopia is the wealth of Eritrea.
The realization of such a plan to effect the overall development of the national interest requires
the active participation of the people and We have as such given instructions to members of the
Eritrean Assembly to labour for the cause. This also calls for the co-ordination of the efforts
exerted here as well as in the capital. The Police Force has so far rendered service and it would be
given help to continue its service.
It is Our fervent hope that Almighty God will guide and bring Our efforts to fruition.
|Haile Selassie the First - January 18, 1963|