Seantee's Sahara: Ethiopia

Why should anyone care about Ethiopia? Ethiopia should be on the minds of many for several different reasons. But the main reason that it is on mine is because since the 1700s, Ethiopia has been a sister country to Jamaica, my homeland. Ethiopia represents a lot to many countries that have a large black population. There are four interesting facts that led to this:

1. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world.

2. Ethiopia is unique among other African countries because the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule.

3. Anthropologists believe that East Africa's Great Rift Valley is the site of the origin of humankind. This means that the first human beings to ever walk this earth were mostly likely born in Ethiopia.

4. Ethiopia's history is constructed of legends of King Solomon and Queen Sheba, the Ark of the Covenant, the great Axumite Kingdom, the birth of Christianity and the rise of Islam.

Due to the immense strength of this country and her people, Ethiopia became so admired and respected by other African countries that the colors of her flag were often adopted by other African colors, eventually becoming known as the "pan-African colors". These colors are red,gold and green.

More than anything, I would have to say that the most crucial fact that makes largely-black populated countries so close to Ethiopia is a man named Haile Selassie, who was the 111th emporer of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie became the emporer of Ethiopia in November of 1930 and was a black ruler that none had ever seen before. He had a massively progressive nature. Haile Selassie was the first Ethiopian ruler to ever go abroad. From 1917 to 1928, he traveled to Rome, Paris and London in an effort to secure allies. He worked to modernize Ethiopia to match up what he saw during his travels abroad. He worked hard to improve Ethiopia's government schooling, health services, social services and bureaucracy. Selassie was all about the gaining and maintaining of Ethiopia's power as a nation.

Black countries had never seen a ruler like Haile Selassie before and Jamaica was particularly down-trodden during the time of Selassie's reign. My Jamaican ancestors looked to this lion of a leader for hope and looked at him and his country as a sign that one day Jamaica's black people would live freely and that one day Jamaica would be just as Ethiopia was then: black, free and progressive simultaneously. If you want to learn more about Jamaica visit A website to discover Jamaica. *Factual information on this web page was provided by the following websites: www.cia.gov www.bobmarley.com http://history.acusd.edu/gen/text/selassie.html