Selassie's speech on Development
by , translated by Haile Selassie I Press
Although the beginnings of civilization of each country vary in time, the fundamental factors which gave impetus to each country to awaken and embark on the road to progress to reach their present level of development, are those qualities which are enshrined in the nature of man, namely desire and fortitude.
The partner who places his own short-range ambitions ahead of the long-range interests of the partnership has embarked on a course which will ultimately result in the dissolution of the partnership itself.
It is by the understanding of past difficulties that we can bequeath fundamental guidance which would be of pride to the coming generations we therefore urge our people to struggle and to make sacrifices for those things which will enable them to ameliorate their conditions of life and leave a richer heritage.
Where enterprise and initiative are not lacking, the pace at which the growth of a country's economy normally proceeds can be quickened or slackened by global developments far or near. In our effort to raise the living Standard of our beloved people, in our endeavour to bring prosperity to our country, the feeling of cooperation and understanding has always characterized our people.
A special case is the recent development in certain provinces where the people are seen voluntarily raising funds to build schools, clinics, roads and similar other projects.
What can give one more pleasure than to see such a measure of self-help in one's life time, for the prosperity and progress of his own country? Let every citizen of our empire strive hard to strengthen this espirit de corps everywhere.
We entrust the spirit of good-will to our people to work diligently and cooperatively in order to arrive at the realization of this socioeconomic development that has been launched by either our government or our people. You have a rich land that yields a variety of products, do not be contented with the satisfaction of your bare needs but instead, cultivate your land among others with oleogenous plants, the seeds of which you can export for your greater benefit. Use the forest woods to make furniture and implements and exchange them for money. Your workmanship will be a monument to your name.
One should realize that thriftiness is the basis for the accumulation of wealth and the economic growth of a nation. One seldom minimizes the value of money earned by the sweat of the brow however small it may be, but for the extravagant even a huge amount of money is worthless.
The co-operative movement has long been known throughout the world, and we Ourself have on numerous occasions urged Our people to join increasingly in cooperative enterprises.
Co-operatives must, ultimately, play a highly important role in the growth of our economy, and no time can be lost in availing ourselves of the benefits to be derived from them During the past year, we decided upon a programme designed to provide specific encouragement to the creation of agricultural co-operatives, and a number of Government-sponsored co-operatives, farms have been established by Our Ministry of National Community Development. We have provided lands, agricultural machinery and expert assistance to these farms and we entertain high hopes that their success will spur Our people to embark increasingly upon co-operative endeavours. Should Our people fail to avail themselves of this opportunity, the consequences will be regrettable indeed.
The fundamental purpose of a community development movement is to teach the rural people of
Our Empire that through cooperative self-help and a united approach to common problems, the vast potential for their own self-improvement which they themselves represent, can be translated into effective programmes which can do much to improve their standard of living.
Lasting progress can only be built on deep and enduring foundations. When a solid foundation is laid, if the mason is able and his materials good, a strong house can be built.
To develop oneself, one has to develop one's own initiative and perseverance - a man has to strive in order to grow. Let us work out our own programmes in all fields - political, economic, social and military. Man's contributions which live to influence the life and progress of posterity, are the most permanent monuments that can ever be created. We must become increasingly willing to analyze our efforts, to experiment, to admit our failures as we take pride in our successes.
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