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HomeEthiopian NewsAdwa Museum in Addis Ababa inaugurated, President’s Key Speech  

Adwa Museum in Addis Ababa inaugurated, President’s Key Speech  

President Sahle Work Zewde opening Adwa Museum edifice in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on February 11, 2024 (Photo : PD)

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Toronto – Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated the Adwa Museum project in the heart of Addis Ababa. The Memorial Adwa Museum building has eleven blocks and five floors. In her speech during the inaugural ceremony, Adanech Abiebie, Mayor of Addis Ababa city, said “Adwa Victory Memorial – with its eleven blocks and five floors- is built with  architectural excellence  in a way that matches the fruit of the patriot’s victory.”  She described it as a timeless edifice. 

Adwa Museum Addis Ababa
Adanech Abiebie making a speech at the inaugural event of Adwa Museum (Public Domain)

The building is on five hectares of land in the location where marchers to the battle of Adwa – from the Addis Ababa area – started the long march to Adwa- North Ethiopia where the battle took place in 1896.  The facility has an auditorium with a capacity to hold 2500 participants.  The edifice has several gates; East Patriots Gate, West Patriots Gate, North Patriots Gate, South Patriots Gate, Horsemen Gate, Patriots Gate, and Pan Africanism Gate. 

“Do not doubt our stand,” Abiy Ahmed said during his speech on the occasion of Adwa Museum inauguration. He took the occasion to make a political point. It appears that he was exploiting the ceremony to send a message that the popular support he lost and the growing skepticism as to the motive of his government is rooted in “doubt” rather than the performance of his government. 

“Those of you who doubt… those of you who doubt our stand,  who our speech,  pause and pay attention. Do not let strangers take away your mind. we are not one who could not be stopped by strangers for we are the children of our fathers”  he emphasized. 

He labeled detractors of his government as “banda” (translates to collaborators). 

PM Abiy Ahmed making speech during Adwa Museum inauguration (Photo : PD)

Ethiopian President, Sahle Work Zewde, was the last person to speak at the ceremony. The speaker after her was an Artificial Intelligence (AI) power version of Emperor Menelik II – the remarkable Ethiopian Monarch who mobilized Ethiopians for the Victory of Adwa and put Ethiopia on a modernization path. The AI-powered speech did however sound anachronistic in the sense that words of political cadres from the regime are easily traceable. 

Sahel Work Zewde said, “The rise of a brother against a brother is not a pride for any country. It is something that causes one to hang one’s head in shame,” stressing her point with a pointed index finger.

Highlighting that Ethiopians have been proud of what our fathers did in history, she said “We have to achieve victory in our own time and pass. This [the conflict in the country] never fits [our history]” 

She particularly highlighted the conflict going on in the country.  Expressing her views with “that is it” kind of body language expression and looking in the direction of front-seat government leaders including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, she said  “It is obvious what the solution is. We all have to come to our senses, have dialogue, and move the country forward,” she said. Implied in her speech is that the government of which she is a part has to work for peace too. 

Sahle Work Zewde also recognized the contributions of all those involved in the project. She credited Abiy Ahmed for the initiative and particularly praised Adanech Abiebie, Mayor of Addis Ababa city, for the project. 

In a speech at the event, Adanech Abibie said “The victory of Adwa is the outcome of genuine  and strong unity that all generations  learn from.” 

Pan Africanist feature at the Adwa museum (Photo :

Public Reaction to Adwa Museum

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed lost the support he enjoyed – in the country and abroad – soon after he made his first speech in the Ethiopian parliament following the ruling party’s disclosure  – in April 2018 –  that he was selected to replace Hailemariam Desalegn who resigned in February 2018. 

His failure to protect the security and safety of Ethiopians, especially in the Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia, the devastating wars he has been waging for more than three years now – first under the guise of fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) but devastating three regions (Afar, Amhara and Tigray) and now in the Amhara region (it has been more than seven months now), the prevalent and deepening corruption across government structures and the unbearable (and worsening) cost of living the country are among some of the issued that are casting doubt on his rhetoric about the prosperity of Ethiopia. 

The level of kidnapping and anarchism in the Oromia region has been worsening to the point that traveling a mere 40 kilometers outside of the capital Addis Ababa has become a risky business that could cost life and property.  

The Oromia regional administration has demolished hundreds of thousands of homes under the guise of “illegal construction” and reduced hundreds of thousands of families to homelessness.  

Cultural encroachments to Ethiopian values through agreements that his government signs have also caused great skepticism in the country. Recently, Ethiopia’s Religious Council released a statement in that regard.

The source of financing for big prestige projects like the estimated $15 billion palace construction – which is also known as “chaka project” – is not known to Etihopians and to the Ethiopian Parliament.  PM Abiy Ahmed declined to reveal the financial source to the parliament. 

The inauguration of the Adwa Museum in Addis Ababa came weeks after the latest string of atrocities government forces committed in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. More than 100 civilians were brutally executed in the streets of Merawi – a town thirty-five kilometers from Bahir Dar. Shocking video released on social media on Monday this week purportedly shows bodies littered in the streets of the town

While the edifice in the heart of Addis Ababa to commemorate Adwa is something that residents in the city and Ethiopians in general see as positive ( based on conversations ongoing on social media platforms), it does not appear to have the power to entice Ethiopians to forget what Abiy Ahmed’s government brought about to many families – in the capital Addis Ababa and the northern parts of Ethiopia. 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. It is supposed to be about “Adwa Museum in Addis Ababa inaugurated.” You turned the body of the article into a protest piece and in support of all-issues Amhara (reading too much into President Sahle-Werk’s speech, and against PM Abiy, etc). You remember Abugida? It tried to do journalism-cum-ethnic bigotry; it did not survive its own machinations. I don’t know if Borkena is capable of learning from mistakes. Please focus on the topic at hand; you could address yourself to other matters in other venues. Be respectful of your reader’s intelligence.

    • Your comment seems to overlook the context in which the inauguration of the Adwa Museum in Addis Ababa took place. See, the event was not just a simple inauguration; it was also a political platform, the ruling party, which has lost support due to its actions against Amhara, held to regain public support event if it did serve the oposite. If you had watched the event or read the article in its entirety, you would understand that it was the prime minister who exploited the event for political gain, including attempting to put words in the king’s mouth which was seen mocked as childish.

      And, the topic should indeed be about the plight of Amhara.

      As for the Abugida, it belongs to the people it was created for, and if you prefer Latin alphabets, feel free to use them, but, it would be nice if you had some self-judgement before criticizing others for not clapping for the PM. It would be nice if you had empathized for those perished in Merawi at the hands of their own country’s military. If you had at least shown interest to learn the truth and asked if such a lavish celebration is even apropriate at such times.

      • Kibkab,
        You seem to have a weird sense of humor. I mean deceptive. All politicians exploit situations to their advantage. Nothing unique about Abiy on that (btw, I am not Abiy supporter; he is a danger to the long-term security of the nation). I prefer to think about the plight of Ethiopians everywhere, not just Amhara. Amhara’s cause has been hijacked by low-life merchants of civil strife who will not allow divergent views! I am talking about tunnel-visioned people like yourself. My comments on Borkena article stand.

        • As long as you call me deceptive, I think I have the moral freedom to call you stupid. You are everywhere on this website and I come to understand that eithor you’re so passionate about this, or you are some paid troll. Your responses seem to be driven more by emotion than reason, and it’s evident that you have strong feelings about Abiy Ahmed and his supporters. “btw, I am not an Abiy supporter…” is the motto of conflicted Abiy Supporters like yourself haha. I was trying to tell you, in my previous comment, that the article was discussing a political event (the inauguration was just political), so it’s natural for political opinions to arise, but you missed that too and redirected your hostility towards me. Good luck in your life!

  2. My dream and wishes have finally been answered. I have been advocating for such monument built in the capital for decades so every member country of the AU and legations of many other nations would see and be proud of the feat our ancestors achieved at that historic place in Tigray. The victory those patriots scored on that fateful day in 1896 is a victory for all colored people throughout the world.

    But I am not happy or mused by how the writer of this story capped it. It should have been about the ceremony of the monument and the monument only. But it turned out to be a diatribe about who the writer hates with passion, Abiy. It turned out to be a propaganda piece to demonize one person, Abiy. This amounts to desecrating the tombs of those who gave their Allah blessed live for the right cause in 1896. It has all the hallmarks of a hired cadre’s jeremiad. I’m sure the dear editors understand the motive and mission of the writer. This is how things are turning out to be these days. It is so saddening.

    Meanwhile, I suggest the museum officials to come up a model of this museum and take it on a tour first to the neighboring countries. The first stop should be in Asmara and stay there for a month so citizens can see and enjoy it. Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan should follow for one week in each country. Then off to the rest of Africa, Latin America, The Caribbean, USA and Canada. When it gets to USA I want to see it stay in Minnesota for 3 months in a kind of ‘In your face, bigots!!!’

      • I don’t usually respond to comments but I decided to do so to yours just to tell you that in my book you are free and entitled to your opinion. I’m sure you will let me have an entitlement just the same. I am not looking at this museum as a propaganda piece. Governments always push propaganda. You name any regime in any country/system. They have to in order to maintain their upper hand. I’m looking at this museum as a tomb for those selfless patriots who sacrificed their Allah blessed lives so their country remains free of domination by a brute foreign power. May All Rest in All Glory and Eternal Peace!!!

  3. I have read extensively about the Battle Of Adwa (BOA) and the implications that followed. My conclusion is that we are being deceived or we are lying to ourselves. Maybe both. We got help from two other nations throughout the fighting. Outside interference invalidates our claim of being independent.

    British and Russian army forces both ensured our victory. The Russians gave us weapons and the British were working against the Fascist Italians. Keep in mind, the British liberated us from Mussolini during World War 2. That means in theory the British gave us our freedom. We would have been an official colony of Italy if not for the Englishmen.

    More so than that, there is an important fact that seems to be overlooked. Adwa is in Tigray. It is the most northern part of the Tigray region and the least Ethiopian of all, especially when compared to western and southern Tigray. After two years of civil war, to build the BOA museum in Addis Ababa is a contradiction of the highest level! I am baffled by the hypocrisy.

    • You’re acting like the fly in the ointment. You seem to have no life outside of spewing hate. Hope you’re a good student willing to learn new lessons.

  4. Nice Pic. I see the beautifulll Arada Hintsa, my childhood tower to heights. Not sure if it is the next target in the efforts underway to destroy the historicity of Piassa

  5. Looks like a 2nd grader designed that abomination. “Pan Africanism” is dumb. Opening a rehabilitation center for drug addicts would be more poignant for a city like Addis.

  6. The deception is that, while doing what Ethiopians like, the govt is undoing other things on the side. It is not govt’s or politicians to own Adwa but Ethiopians themselves. Therefore, politicians or govt are not doing favor for Ethiopians by celebrating Adwa, it has to do it, we still remind to restore peace in Ethiopia, fix constitution, etc, every issue that tplf or Derg must be fixed.

  7. This is hot off the press from the Midwest. Upon seeing the face of Menelik on the screen, reports are coming in with incidences of mass suicides by drowning in Minnesota, Oslo, Flint, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Melbourne in Down Under. They were identified to be as certified serial bigots responsible for the killings on innocent civilians in Oromia. Good riddance!!!

  8. Firstly i want to express my joy that mr’s Ittu Aba Farta dream of an Adwa memorial is finally built. Secondly i would like to say that all governments use propaganda, but this government is simply creating its own narrative and if you don’t like it or speak against it you find yourself in jail or worse. Thirdly, how is it possible not to disclose the source of 15 billion $$ to fund Abiy’s messianic projects!! There are also some millions of $ that Oromo government officials cannot answer as to where they went!! They disappeared in some deep pockets but no one is held accountable. At the same time that people in Tigray and Ahmara are starving to death. Who did the nationwide theft of the international community help for the vulnerable people of Ethiopia, consequently forcing the UN to stop the distribution of help. No answer from the government…no justice, no accountability, no truth and no future.
    Lastly, which version of history will be presented in this museum?. History is a science, but not in Ethiopia where every tribe has got its own version of history and Ethiopianess… .when you cannot agree on a common history, when language and religion become divisive agents instead of unity promoters, when your tribe and the (powerful) people one knows and not merit and qualifications is what advances certain people financially and socially, when millions of $ are missing and misspent, when people starve or die from drone attacks (the Turkish manufacturer of which received a medal of honour from this mhahahhaha PM) , when you don’t want or cannot implement a “peace” agreement within your own country, when you have made all your neighbouring countries an enemy by being irresponsible and opportunistic then there is NOTHING in the present to be proud of. Ethiopia is going downhill on an increasingly fast rate. The country is still in existence because of the innate wisdom of the simple people, because the international community wants to avoid another destruction in the Horn of Africa and the millions of refugees that will follow. State terrorism full jails as well as China amd the UAE which have invested heavily in the country don’t want to see their own investments disintegrate.

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