KAMPALA —The Security Minister General Elly Tumwiine and scholars from Makerere University have hailed the Ethiopian community in Uganda and across the world for celebrating 125 years of the Victory of Adwa.
The Victory of Adwa marks the victory of Ethiopians over Italy – an invading European force on March 1, 1896. The very cause of the war was the colonial ambition of Italy in which it tried to erode the sovereignty of Ethiopia by expanding into Ethiopian territory and tried to colonize the country.
The officials hailed the Ethiopian community in Uganda at an event held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala where the Ethiopian Embassy in collaboration with Makerere University, Development Studies organized a panel discussion titled ‘The Victory of Adwa and Pan Africanism’ in a bid to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the victory of Adwa.
The panel discussion was part of the effort to reignite the motivation the Adwa Victory brought to Africa and black people of the world and help mobilize to fight current challenges of sovereignty and development Africans are facing.
In his remarks, Gen Tumwiine said that the significance of the event is to give confidence to everyone that greater victory can be achieved.
He shared that the Victory of Adwa was a clear demonstration that people cannot win a battle if they are not organized and disciplined.
“Use whatever is available for the good of Africa. If we take advantage of the Africa market and resources, the future of Uganda can be greater. If young people look for opportunities in agriculture and infrastructure, the government can ably support you,” he said.
Tumwiine further urged young people to study and research as it is the only way they will put an end to imperialism.
The victory of Adwa heralds the certainty of the breakage of the yoke of colonialism in Africa and other parts of the world.
Its significance was high in areas where white domination of blacks was most extreme and marked by overt and covert racism.
The victorious Ethiopia became ‘a beacon of independence and dignity’ to the subjugated brothers. It constitutes a crucial chapter in the records of African resistance and liberation.
Ethiopians and Ethiopian origins at home and abroad commemorate the victory Day every year to honor their forefathers who sacrificed themselves to hand a free country to the generation.
The chief guest, H.E. Demeke Hassen, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia said that such celebrations have shown that the Victory of Adwa is a ‘Victory of Black People’ and its commemoration in A Pan-Africanist country-Uganda has a huge meaning to the continent.
The Minister also raised current challenges in the region and the continent and called on collective hands of Africans to overcome the challenges as Adwa fighters overcame and altered what was thought to be impossible and unchangeable.
H.E. Dr. Hirut Kassaw, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia, explained that Ethiopians, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and language, gathered from all directions of the country and blended as one to go to the battle on foot, horses and mules and fought and defended the sovereignty of the country successfully.
In her remarks, H.E. Ambassador Almetsehay Meseret of Ethiopia to the Republic of Uganda noted that the Panel Discussion is to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the victory of Adwa through examining how the victory was achieved and its impact on the movement of Pan-Africanism and lessons to the current generation.
“Adwa is a victory of blacks over whites and the culmination of the victory resulted from a combination of national unity, diplomatic skills and maneuver, well-crafted tactics and strategy as well as a battlefield espionage.”
Professor Sabiti Makara from Makerere University shared the relevance of the Victory to the current challenges to African Integration and Sovereignty.
He analyzed the lessons people learn from the Ethiopian success at Adwa in protecting the sovereignty of African nations and peoples against imperialist interests.
Mr. Ndebesa Mwambutsya, a senior Lecturer of History at Makerere University also discussed ‘The Adwa Victory and its significance to Africa and Pan Africanism’.
In his discussion Ndebsa illustrated Adwa as an iconic event of victory by an African force against foreign intrusion heralded and influenced liberation movements in Africa.
“Maji Maji, Hehe and many others resisted the British Intrusion but the exception in Ethiopia of Adwa is that they defeated the Italians and that is why it is Iconic. Adwa is significant in Africa as it inspired liberation movements in Africa and Pan Africanism across the world. This Pride in important and inspiring, we should keep it such that Africa survives recolonisation.
Associate Professor Godfrey Asiimwe explored lessons from Adwa to the Young Generation and future of Pan Africanism. In his discussion, Asiimwe urged that as Africa goes through different forms of imperialism, there should be lessons the new generation and Pan-Africanism under the present sophisticated phase of neo-colonialism and globalization can learn.
“Africa went through phases of imperialism and colonialism. We have to preserve our sovereignty and movements like ‘Black Lives Matter’ must go on and on,” he said.