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Can Ethiopia lead the Horn of Africa to Peace and Prosperity?

By Prof Said Sh. Samatar
Jan 19, 2010

My remarks center around a simple question, which goes as follows: CAN ETHIOPIA LEAD THE COUNTRIES OF THE HORN TO PEACE AND PROSPERITY?  I must answer the question in the affirmative.  If I don’t, I fear I’d perish of despair.  I believe that Ethiopia holds the key to the future of this desperate region.  Or to put it differently, Ethiopia, in my view, represents the last best hope to lift the countries of the Horn out of abject poverty, social stagnation and cultural death. Making this claim raises a further question:  what set of qualities combine to uniquely qualify Ethiopia to play a leadership in the march towards a better future for the poverty stricken masses of the Horn?  First, Ethiopia, with its teeming millions, enjoys an unrivalled demographic weight.  Then, there are the ancient glories.  At the risk of repeating the obvious, this is a country steeped in an epic history, whose origins go back to that legendary union between the Great King Solomon, and even the Greater Queen of Sheba.  Everyone knows the legend.  Our unsuspecting queen journeyed to the royal court of the Wise Solomon, with a caravan laden with gifts of gold and silver, in order to “drink wisdom at Solomon’s feet.”

Editor’s Note: Following is a presentation that Said Samatar, professor of African History, made at the Ethiopian Studies Association, which took place in Addis Ababa at the end of last year.
Read here: http://www.ethiox.com/print.php?type=N&item_id=1171

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