For someone who arrives in the city of Addis at this moment, he/she would feel that he/she is surrounded by everything African from all corners.
The city has made all the best to nurture African people’s true feeling of being at home. Indeed the city has been home to Africans for many decades. Ethiopia at large has also been deeply committed to the realization of the Unity of the continent since the early days of the anti-colonial struggle of African countries. Ever since the establishment of OAU, Ethiopia has provided all the necessary facilities.
When many African countries were still in colonization, Ethiopia was able to run a sovereign government. It knows the harm of being alone, especially during adversity. It had to voice alone in the League of Nations against the fascist Italian aggression. Ethiopia’s heartfelt commitment to the unity of Africa emanates from this and related historical incidents that are biased to the west and brutally marginalize Africa.
Fortunately, it has seen the return of fostering the continent’s unity. To mention one recent example, Ethiopia is grateful to the friendly African countries who allied with it during the UN meetings that gathered repeatedly and held an unfair stance against it. Africans have shown their solidarity to the respect of Ethiopia’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also showed their support in fending off the western intervention in the country’s internal affairs. Therefore, Ethiopia has many good reasons, both for itself as well as fellow African countries to reinforce the unity and strength of African unity.
Indeed Ethiopia at that moment was not a country that had good economic or financial strength to afford a lot of support. Yet, it provided a full and wholehearted contribution to the formation and reinforcement of the union.
is to be recalled that the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of AU, started its operation in the office building that used to be a government facility. Furthermore, Ethiopian Airlines, the national flag carrier has been an integral actor that played a historical role in facilitating the formation and further consolidation of African Unity.
The subsequent governments of the country have also demonstrated big support for the union. This includes the provision of military training and support for liberation movements up to diplomatic cooperation.
In addition during the transformation of OAU to the present AU, Ethiopia has played a big role in availing its resources that are geared towards boosting the stature of the organization. Accordingly, the government decided to close one of the well-known prison houses in the country so that the expanse of land that the prison rested upon could be used for the construction of the current magnificent headquarter building complex.
In addition, the Addis Ababa city administration was also generous in providing up to 2000 square meters of land for AU member states to build their embassies. The land was provided to the countries free of lease signifying that the people of Africa deserve to call the land their own.
The other memorable contribution of the city is that many roads are named after the names of African countries. Hence when any African moves to different corner of the city, he/she is likely to tread on the street that bears the name of his/her country.
On top of all these Ethiopia has waged many struggles to secure the interest of Africa in various continental and international forums. It will also continue to do so in the future since African Unity is vital for the survival of the member states.
The February 3/2022