Chapter XII
Transportation & Communication
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Cornerstone of Railway Terminal
1908
The Djibouti-Addis Ababa railway has enabled Ethiopia to establish a direct line of contact with the
outside world which will accelerate our country's development both in commerce and
international contacts.

The establishment of this railway has brought into reality the dream of Emperor Menelik II.  
Through it Our people are in regular and unhindered contact with foreigners which exposes them
to and acquaints them with European trends.

Great importance is attached by the Ethiopian Government to the assistance rendered by the
Franco-Ethiopian Railway Co. in the past and to its present daily activities to assist Ethiopia in her
drive towards further modernization.  For this, We express Our Government's gratitude to the
company, particularly for the completion of the railway in which it had overcome all obstacles.

The Government is not unmindful of the tragedy incurred upon those who sacrificed their lives
during the construction of the railway.  It offers its sympathy to all those who sacrificed their lives
in the execution of the arduous task of laying the railway line from the sea coast to Our capital city,
which has thus become a great city that will certainly grow and expand.

As We lay the cornerstone of this building which marks the completion of your work, we are
pleased to list this day as one memorable in the history of Ethiopia.  It is Our hope to see the
completion of this Terminal Guest House which will make Our capital convenient and of ready
access of welcome to those who will visit this country of great mountains.

Our thanks are due to the chief engineer for fulfilling his tasks so admirably in this enterprise so
propitious to the present and future plans of Our country.  The Ethiopian Government also takes
this occasion to thank all the foreign diplomats present here and for the kind sentiments expressed
on the their behalf by His Excellency the Belgian Minister, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

We must especially thank the French Charge d'Affaires for his highly favourable speech, in which
he has explained his Government's serious intentions to assist in the operation of the
Franco-Ethiopian Railway and through it, the future development of Our cuntry as well.

On behalf of Her Majesty Empress Zauditu and the people of Ethiopia We express Our deep
gratitude to the Franco-Ethiopian Railway Company for its worthy aims and deeds.  It is Our hope
that it will continue to render its valuable services in the interest of this country.  Since the
Ethiopian Government will always continue to help the Company in its tasks, it is Our hope that the
Company will continue to grow.
Haile Selassie the First - 1908