History Of Malawi

His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Asfa Wossen’s Historical Visit to Malawi in July 1966

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Crown Prince Asfa Wossen (far right) as a guest of honour, 6th July 1966, Kamuzu Stadium, Blantyre (Malawi).

His Imperial Highness Prince Asfa Wossen of Ethiopia, the eldest son of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, Heir-apparent to the Ethiopian throne, and Governor of Ethiopia’s Wollo province, visited Malawi in July 1966.

Representing His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie, the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen was the guest of honour at the official inauguration of Malawi as a Republic on 6 July 1966 in Blantyre, during which Dr. H.K. Banda was sworn in as the first President of the Republic of Malawi.

This occasion also marked the 2nd Independence anniversary celebrations for Malawi.

After arriving in Malawi on the 4 July 1966, the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, accompanied by Dr. H.K. Banda the Prime Minister of Malawi, traveled to Shire River on the following day, where he officially launched the Nkula Falls Hydro-Electric Scheme.

This was the last public event for Dr. H.K. Banda to attend in his capacity as Prime Minister of Malawi as on the following day the 6 July 1966, he would officially cease to be the Prime Minister and become the President of the newly inaugurated Republic of Malawi.

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Crown Prince Asfa Wossen (middle) at the book exhibition, University of Malawi campus, Blantyre (Malawi), 7 July 1966.

After the independence anniversary celebrations and the inauguration of the Republic of Malawi in Blantyre, the entire royal entourage, accompanied by the newly sworn in President of the Republic of Malawi,  Dr. H.K. Banda, attended a book exhibition ceremony at the University of Malawi campus in Blantyre on Thursday the 7 July 1966.

Earlier on the same day, the royal guests had visited the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre to cheer the patients.

On Friday the 8 July 1966, the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen and the President set off to Naming`omba Tea Estate in Cholo district where the two had lunch with Sir Malcolm and Lady Barrow at their residence.

Saturday, the 9 July 1966 was the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen’s last day in Malawi. In the morning, the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen and the President inspected the Malawi police and Malawi army headquarters in the capital city, Zomba.

From the army barracks, they left for Zomba Mountain Plateau where the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen unveiled a plaque marking his visit at a place called Ku-Chawe. This is located within the forests of the mountain plateau, a few kilometres away from the Emperor’s View, a spot where His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, unveiled a similar plaque on 2 August 1965.

In the afternoon, the Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Princess Woizero Worg, Princess Sophie Desta and the entire Ethiopian entourage left Malawi. They were seen off at Chileka airport by the President, diplomats, government and party officials and hundreds of people from all walks of life.

11 months earlier (2-4 August 1965), Crown Prince Asfa Wossen was part of the Ethiopian dignitaries that had accompanied His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I on his three day official visit to Malawi during which he was crowned the Great King of Malawi by three paramount kings who represented all the traditional authorities in the three regions of Malawi and their subjects namely: Inkosi M’mbelwa (Northern region), Fumu Mwase (Central region) and Fumu Mponda (Southern region).

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