Today, Christmas, the anniversary of the birth of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, We extend Our warm and sincere greetings to all the students here in Our Capital, to those in the schools established by Us throughout the Empire and many others studying abroad.
Once again, as annually, We are today here in your midst and in this Christmas Hall observing this great day which has been awaited by millions in all parts of the world just as We have anxiously anticipated its coming.
In guiding the various agencies to fulfill the requirements of modern civilization, We have taken under Our direct care, together with Our other burdensome responsibilities, – the enormous responsibility of education giving it priority as a means not only of providing you with enlightenment, of raising your standard of living, of leading you to better health, but to guarantee that in the pursuit of your aims and aspirations you will be an asset to your country.
It is a source of immense satisfaction today to see the realisation of Our efforts to make Ethiopia assume her rightful place in international and African affairs: First, the next Conference of Independent African States will be held in Our capital. Secondly, Ethiopia has been selected as the Headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission to Africa, the inaugural session of which has just ended. Thirdly, We see before us African students who have benefited by the scholarships that We have granted to aid the African peoples here to study in Our institutions.
As a good tree is known by its fruits, so the future of Ethiopia depends on you, the fruits of Our educational system, to set an example to the coming generation through your work and the life you will lead.
Ethiopia’s enhanced and rapidly evolving role in world life, the growth and expansion of her national endeavours make it imperative that you students prepare yourselves for your responsibilities by being obedient to your teachers and being responsive to authority.
January 8, 1959
from the book “Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions May 1957 – December 1959“