Ethiopia: How Victory of Adwa Serves As Engine to Combat Poverty


Adwa is an icon of solidarity, sovereignty, peace, strength, motivation and freedom particularly, for Ethiopian and generally, for black peoples. Of course, the then resilient leaders of Ethiopia moved such a very determined army all the way to Adwa and achieved a milestone victory.

This determination of the citizens was and is also being practical these days. We have seen that the people of Ethiopia are all hand in glove while they cooperate for the development of their country.. The construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is among the recent phenomenon that clearly indicates the unity of Ethiopians.

Apart from the victory achieved by Ethiopians among the Italian army, resources mobilized to move such a gigantic army was extremely marvelous according to different historians and economists.

Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Mekuriya Abera, lecturer at Hawassa University under Department of History said that celebrating the historic Battle of Adwa this time is relevant to shed some light on one of the historic events that made Ethiopia a unique and a great African country. Winning a war may not make a country unique or great. Many countries have won many wars without claiming the coveted mantle of greatness.

Yet the Battle of Adwa was no ordinary battle because its repercussions were far reaching and its impact goes well beyond Ethiopia and Africa. Some writers and scholars characterize the historic Battle of Adwa and the Ethiopian victory as the most important victory for the entire black people of the world against European white supremacist ideology, he elucidated.

On the first day of March 125 years ago, traditional warriors, farmers and pastoralists as well as women defeated a well-armed Italian army in the northern town of Adwa in Ethiopia. Historically, it was the first ever for blacks to win against the whites using traditional war resources. All the resources mobilized during the war were technical and manmade.

"All the spears and shields used by the Ethiopian patriots were incomparably less when they are compared to the Italian modern army. However, Ethiopians have won the war bravely. Great victory and satisfaction was ensured by Ethiopians with tactful and effective traditional resources," Mekuriya asserted.

According to him, the outcome of this battle ensured Ethiopia's independence, making it the only African country never to be colonized. Adwa turned Ethiopia into a symbol of freedom for black people globally. It also led to a change of government in Italy.

Coupled with, the victory of Adwa is still an engine for many Ethiopians to stand together for every national interest. All Ethiopians remember how the forefathers won the Italian army. And they always become motivated to fight, internal and external enemies of the country all together.

Adwa is also a witness to what ordinary Africans can do when they come together as farmers, pastoralists, women and rural people, workers and artists. They were able to score a decisive victory against global colonialist forces.

Since the beginning of slavery and colonialism in the 16th century, similar battles had occurred around the world. The outcome of every war was the same. Europeans ended up ruling the native peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.

On September 17, 1895, Menelik declared a total mobilization of war against Italy. He called on all Ethiopians to defend their country, family and religion. He ordered every capable person to fight and those incapable to pray for Ethiopia's victory.

Ethiopians from every tribe, culture and community answered Menelik's call. Regional leaders from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds responded unanimously creating an army of 100,000. They had inferior weapons but a strong cause.

Similarly following the meaningful reform in Ethiopia during the past three years, Ethiopians are also answering the government's call made by the premier and other federal and state officials. As a result, it was able to bring significant economic, environmental, political and other changes.

Ethiopia's rapid economic growth is one of the great stories of the 21st Century, but there are signs that the country's boom may not be sustainable.

According to Minister of Ministry of Finance, Ahmed Shide the fundamental objectives of the homegrown economic reform as well as the state-owned enterprises' reform is to correct the macroeconomic imbalance and managing debt stress through ensuring financial stability that has been affecting the economy over the last five years,.

Similarly, Mekonen Abera, Economic Analyst said that the victory of Adwa had further significance for being the first crushing defeat of a European power by African forces during the colonial era.

At the Time of Adwa resources were mobilized from all of the country more than 100,000 troopers were amassed in Addis Ababa, Were Illu, Ashenge, and Mekele. The royal court, the common governors and the officers were anticipated to bring their possessives, he noted.

The nourishment consisted of quanta (dried meat), flour, qitta (bread), shimbra grain, dabbo qolo and besso. Amid the campaign, warriors were gathered to bring sinq arrangement from their claim sources which would be enough for almost twenty days.

"More surprisingly, these food items do not get spoiled easily and could be kept for a longer period. Ranking officers also brought with them male and female servants, the men to fetch firewood and forage for the animals, the women to prepare food and drinks," he added.

He further illustrated that the framework of provisioning was organized on the rule of self-sufficiency, with distinctive sources. The assignment of bolstering a huge number of steeds, donkeys, cattle, sheep and other transport creatures was colossal.

In Ethiopia, the theater of military arrangement was an angle of the culture, and consequently it isn't astounding that a significant sum of assets productively was mobilized for the fight of Adwa. The arrangement of the war in a limited period included the total nation.

Menilek's victory over the Italians gave him significant credibility with the European powers, bolstered his mandate at home; and provided the Ethiopian kingdom with a period of peace in which it was able to expand and flourish, in contrast to most of the rest of the African continent at that time, which was embroiled in colonial conflicts.

As to him, the commitment that was seen at that battle should be repeated for this day in a way to boost Ethiopia's economy so as to reduce poverty across the nation. Mentioning that Ethiopia is preparing and providing different economic reforms in order to increase the nation's economy, Mekonnen further elucidated that Adwa can also be an engine for the current generation to be an active participant in supporting the government in revamping the economy.

What makes him very admired about the victory is the way Ethiopian patriots fight against the well-armed Italian Army. They fought with the Italian Army with handmade resources. In fact, Ethiopia had not had any modern army at that time.

As thousands of sheep and cattle were offered by farmers, all the leaders including the emperor and the peasants including women and youths actively participated to realize the victory.

Hence, this victorious achievement irresistibly ought to encourage the current generation to repeat similar determination and courage in their fight against poverty.

More From: Ethiopian Herald

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.