Ethiopia: The Victory of Adwa a Cornerstone for Pan-Africanism to Evolve - Historians

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(File photo).

Addis Ababa — The victory of Adwa against the Italian invader over a century ago was the very cornerstone for the evolvement of the idea and concept of pan-Africanism among black across the globe, historians said.

Ethiopians commemorate March 2 every year as Adwa Victory Day for the selfless and undisputed glory of their ancestors that roared for the freedom and liberty of all oppressed nations 123 years ago.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Director of Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES), Dr. Ahmed Hassen said "the victory of Adwa by itself is African victory."

African historical past before Adwa had odd experiences like enslavement, he said, and added "When Adwa, long centuries after the enslavement, brought that kind of tremendous and sounding victory that was pride for African descendants in the Americas."

Therefore, Dr. Ahmed noted "the ideologues, the forerunners of the Pan-Africanism have this kind of historical connections."

"In Africa, because Adwa gave a lesson of victory those under colonial yolk had learned too much. Therefore, the pan-African slogan integrated Adwa with the Anti-colonial activities and at the same time giving victory for the Africans," the historian pointed out.

Though the engines of the Adwa victory were Ethiopians, but they shared their value for Africa and the entire black world, the Director added.

"The African freedom fighters had also amalgamated their experiences from the victory of Adwa, how Adwa was echoed all over the world then if Adwa gave Ethiopia formidable and permanent independence Ethiopia should be a model because it is the only non-colonized," Dr. Ahmed stressed.

Italians attempted to conquer twice and failed, he recalled, adding that "therefore, the African nations yesterday and even today pay due respect for the victory of Adwa."

Assistant Professor Ahmed Zekaria said on his part that black movements for freedom and liberation were majorly motivated by the victory of Adwa.

The world was divided into two, the white and black where the former were considered as sub-human and the later achievers of everything, he recalled, adding that "Adwa turned that to unbelievable result."

"So, that was a starting point for the blacks to consider that they are human being, not sub-human beings but full human beings. It is because they were able to defend their integrity, their freedom that gave them room to think about change of the abject situation," the Assistant Professor elaborated.

Thus, Ahmed Zekaria noted "the victory of Adwa was the turning point for the pan-Africanism and for the whole black people movement in the whole world."

Churches established in the name of Abisinya, the role of Marcus Garvey in the movement coming back to Africa.

Furthermore, he pointed out that Ethiopia in 1960, with the spirit to liberate Africa, had major contribution in founding the then OAU and African Union (AU) today.

"The whole African American movement and the discipline itself is the outcome of the Adwa Victory, it is not only there are a lot other factors but this major contribution could be given to Adwa," Assistant Professor Ahmed stated.

Members of the AU are working to completely liberate the continent from outside pressures, he said, and added "this is in line with Adwa victory and the issue of renaissance in Africa."

According to him, art can play significant role not only bringing the Adwa victory to light for the new generation but also seal its major contributions in their hearts.

The Battle of Adwa, which was fought on March 1, 1896 between Ethiopia and the Italian invading army, had been and still is an exemplary triumph to the rest of Africans.

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