President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended Ethiopia for its ability to resist imperialism during the colonial era, describing the country as a historic icon in Africa.
Kenyatta, who was speaking during the Grand Social Ceremony at the National Palace in Addis Ababa, pointed out the importance of African nations understanding their history so as to understand their present.
“Ethiopia is endowed with a rich and colourful history that makes it unique on the African continent. As one of the few countries to resist and defeat efforts at colonialism, it serves as a constant reminder of the need to preserve our culture and sovereignty,” he stated.
Further, he acknowledged Ethiopia’s efforts to promote democracy and national unity as well as gender inclusivity.
Kenyatta urged his fellow leaders to safeguard the independence of Africa, which was hard-earned from the colonial masters.
The Grand Social Ceremony was held to inaugurate Unity Park, a museum inside the Ethiopian National Palace meant to document the country’s history.
Some of the historic icons honoured in the Museum include Emperor Menelik II and Emperor Haile Selassie.
“Preserving and restoring African cultural heritage and the protection of our environment is a huge investment that we as leaders must continue to champion tirelessly,” President Kenyatta said.
Other leaders who were in attendance include Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir, and Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.
Preservation of the African heritage, Kenyatta said, will restore the dignity, honour, and well-being of Africans.