ADWA, Ethiopia, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Saturday colorfully celebrated the 123rd anniversary of Ethiopia's victory of Adwa with calls to intensify anti-poverty efforts.
The battle of Adwa in March 2, 1896, which is also referred to as the first Ethiopian-Italian war, marks the first black victory against a colonizer force in the African continent.
The war is believed to have initiated other freedom fighters in the African continent to struggle towards independence.
Speaking at the ceremony in the northern Ethiopian city of Adwa where the battle occurred, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, said the Adwa victory showed nothing is impossible when fighting against a colonial force, a courage that should be repeated in Ethiopia's anti-poverty efforts.
"Adwa victory shows despite our internal problems, there is no challenge that can't be overcome if we have unity. The Adwa victory should be repeated in our anti-poverty struggle to create a prosperous Ethiopia," said Zewde.
"Our ancestors' heroism shown in the Adwa victory was heard all around the world for others who were fighting colonial forces," said the Ethiopian president.
"The Adwa victory happened at a time when it was unthinkable to fight off white colonial forces and was an inspiration for colonized people in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia," she further said.
Debretsion Gebremichael, Deputy President of Ethiopia's Tigray regional state, where Adwa city is located said the Adwa victory should be repeated in Ethiopia's anti-poverty efforts.
"The Adwa victory should be honored with sustained anti-poverty efforts as well as efforts to fight any foreign interference in Ethiopia's sovereignty," said Gebremichael.
Gebremichael also said Ethiopia should construct permanent memorials, to help the Adwa victory tales be told to future generations to serve as an inspiration.
"The place where the Adwa victory occurred should be converted to a memorial place including a museum that can attract tourists, as well as those on educational trips," he said.
"There are efforts to create a Pan-African University in Adwa, a university of scholarly research and education especially for African researchers. Tigray regional state will give logistical and financial support to the tune of 150 million Ethiopian birr (5.2 million U.S. dollars) to realize the university," said Gebremichael.
The Ethiopian government has already allocated some 150 hectares of land for the construction of the Adwa Pan-African University.
The Battle of Adwa victory ceremony also saw young Ethiopians who travelled for months on foot to reach the battle site to honor their heroic ancestors.
One such individual is 24-year-old Michael Daniel, who travelled 720 kilometers on foot for close to two months from central Ethiopia to Adwa city to honor the Adwa victory.
"Adwa victory is an inspiration for Ethiopia and Africa in general. It's a great victory that should be honored, as it was an inspiration for other anti-colonial fights," Daniel told Xinhua.
I want to extend my deep gratitude to the Ethiopian people who extended support to me, during my road trip honoring the Adwa victory," he further said.