'It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression. It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations.'
Soon after his country had been subjected to a biological attack by the Italian army in 1935, Haile Selassie I made an impassioned appeal before the League of Nations in Geneva, where he posed the prophetic question ‘are States going to set up the terrible precedent of bowing before force?’. The years that followed bore out his concern: WWII was long and bloody and Italy was firmly in the camp of the fascists. However in his VE day speech Selassie I states that his people speak ‘without bitterness’ as the time had now come for the Axis alliance. What would the world look like now if the League of Nations had heeded Selassie I’s warnings? Today, 75 years after that speech, we spend an evening with some of Ethiopia and Eritrea’s new visionaries. What are the subjects that interest them today? What does the world’s oldest civilisation have to
say to the future?