Thursday, 31 May 2012

Ethiopian Stamps depicting Emperor Haile Selassie and his role in developing the country

Stamps often describe the achievements of great leaders heads of state, kings and emperors. Emperor Haile Selassie will be known for his defiance of the Italian occupying forces during the second world war. He was one of the founding members of the League of Nations a precursor of today’s United Nations, and the non-aligned movement. He was also a well know liberal who  opened up Ethiopia to the whole world.  The Emperor also initiated the modernisation of the country in the form of developing railways, airports, air travel, development of the Massawa sea port, and of course education. During the reign of Emperor Haile Selasie it is said that Ethiopia was the land of milk and honey! His reign ended in 1975 when he was overthrown by a military junta, in a revolution that  introduced the ideals of Socialism.

The Blue Nile falls also known as Tiss- Issat in Amharic, “water that smokes” is a well known tourist destination. The stamp pasted above attempts to showcase the Blue Nile falls.


The Lake Tana is said to be one of the sources of the Blue Nile. It is located in the province of Kaffa. There are a lot of islands on the lake. The lake Tana has a lot of religious importance. It is said that whenever their is an upheaval in the country the Ark of the Covenant is shifted from Axum to one of the islands on lake Tana. Amazing isn’t it?
The Mount Alamata in the north is a rather steep mountain on the way from Addis to Desie posed a rather serious challenge to the engineers who built roads connecting the capital to the Northern most tip of the country. The hairpin curves are rather difficult to negotiate and you need to have a stomach for them.
Emperor Haile Selassie was particularly concerned about literacy and this stamp pictures a gentlemen trying to teach a lady the Amharic alphabets which start with: ba, bu be, bo …etc.
A lot was done by Emperor Haile Selassie to organise the banking sector in the country. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia had an important role to play in facilitating trade between Ethiopia and other countries of the world.

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