Chapter XIII
Light & Power
UCI ~ I See You
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Opening of Awash II
Dec. 11, 1966
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

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 hinderances 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

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.
Haile Selassie the First - December 11, 1966