Chapter XIII
Light & Power
UCI ~ I See You
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Laying Foundation  Stone of Awash II
Jan. 24, 1965
We feel very gratified indeed every time we lay, as, for example today, the cornerstones for, or
inagurate the successful completion of projects which, because of the benefits they render to the
nation, have been given the proper study they deserve, for such occasions bring to mind the
day-to-day increase in the number of projects which have either been launched or completed.

The full utilization of the power supply available before and after the completion of the Koka Dam
brought the need for still more production or power.  This in itself is proof enough of the gradual
betterment of the living conditions of Our people and the progress of Our country.

It can be said that the number and type of industries existent in any country is a standing evidence
of that country's path to modernization and progress.  In as much as Ethiopia abounds in raw
materials which it should industrially transform and utilize, We are convinced that the time is not
too distant when it can successfully do so both as a means of self-sufficiency and further still for
surplus export to the world market.  As We have noted in the past, however, such efforts require
both a great amount of capital and enough pooling of one's own skilled manpower; the endeavours
We have already made to bring Ethiopia as close to this position as possible is well known to Our
beloved people.  Even if Our efforts in this regard have not so far been fully crowned with complete
success, it may well be said that the realization of at least a part of our overall plan is an omen that
spells well for the future.

The realization by Our people that whatever We are doing is for their own benefit has already
brought them from a position of indifferent spectatorship to that of enthusiastic participation in all
endeavours for the common good.  National progress requires concrete and active national
participation, and it is a matter of great pride and satisfaction for Us to see Our people sharing in
our ideas and working more and more diligently.

Industrial growth and expansion not only enable us to derive better and higher benefits from our
raw materials which we export at low prices or which simply lie unexploited, but also create great
possibilities of employment for thousands of people.  On this, too, has already been made some
headway.  The process enables us to be self-sufficient instead of being a dumping-ground for
foreign-made commodities.  To be self-sufficient is to be protected from a position where we may
well be judged for "burying the gold," and is as well a source of pride, a living testimony to national
progress.

Electricity is a basic requirement for all the industrial projects we envisage. Apart from the
hydro-electric pwoer stations that have so far been installed, according to the limitations of our
economy in various parts of the country, in view of expanding the supply of electricity to benefit
our people at their homes, in their schools and day to day pursuits, We inaugurated last November
the Tis Abbay Hydro-Electric Power Station now feeding the industrial establishments at Bahr Dar
and serving Our people in Gojjam and Begemder.  This not only marks a further step in the
realization of Our overall national endeavours, but also lays the groundwork for the
implementation of other great projects to be launched in the future.

We are gratified to be here today to lay the cornerstone of the Awash II Hydroelectric Dam -- a
project designed to extend the benefits of electricity to Our Capital and beyond, to the people living
as far away from it as Harrar, as well as feed the industrial establishments already existing and
slated to appear in and between these regions.  We beg the Almighty to enable Us to see the day
when it will reach completion and be put into operation.  We also wish success to the board of
management and all those entrusted with the implementation of this project.
Haile Selassie the First - January 24, 1965