Author’s Note: In this memorandum commentary, I reflect on a poem read by the late Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah at the inauguration of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 in honor of Ethiopia. Nkrumah’s special poem extols Ethiopia’s natural beauty and bounty and the wisdom of its people. Nkrumah’s poem, “Ethiopia Shall Rise”, has puzzled me for decades. It is at once a prophetic, mysterious, cheerful, inspiring, upbeat and confident poem. I know from PM Abiy’s public statements that he has profound respect for past African leaders. I do not doubt he appreciates and respects the two original giant pillars of African unity and Pan-Africanism, H.I.M. Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. A leader who does not look back and learn from the mistakes of his predecessors is doomed to repeat them. PM Abiy is determined not to repeat the mistakes of past African leaders but to follow in the footsteps of those who have done right by Africa. Like Mandela, he is determined to correct government wrongs with human rights. Paraphrasing a line from Shakespeare, “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them.” Abiy is a born leader. Every day,… Read full this story
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