Known by many as the “Father of Modern Ethiopia” Emperor Menelik II born Aug 17 1844
After rising to power, Menelik began negotiating with the Italians to officially recognize him as emperor of Ethiopia. On 2 May 1889, the Italians and Menelik signed the infamous Treaty of Wichale.
There were two versions made; the Amharic version gave Menelik the choice of "using Italy's good offices for contacts with other countries. The Italian version obligated Menelik to make all such contacts through Italy, thus making Ethiopian an Italian protectorate." When Menelik II discovered the misunderstanding, he immediately wrote to Britain's Queen Victoria, to the ruler of Germany, and to the president of France insisting that Ethiopia was still an independent nation. In 1893, #Menelik II denounced the treaty and by 1895 #Ethiopia and #Italy were at war. On March 1896 Menelik's troops crushed the Italian army at #Adwa , Ethiopia. Later, Italy did recognize Ethiopia as an independent nation.
After the Battle of Adwa, Menelik refocused his attention to expanding Ethiopia's territory further south and west. One of the first major acquirement was of Kefa in 1897. One major obstacle was the British; they were in control of regions that are today Kenya and Sudan. The threat was not going to hinder Menelik; he continued expanding into territories the Europeans believed were theirs. As well as expanding Ethiopia's frontiers, Menelik did much to modernize the country. During his reign, electricity, the telephone, and indoor plumping where introduced. Advancements in health and education were made and Ethiopia become a member of the International Postal Union. His most outreaching achievement was the construction of the railway from Addis Abeba to Djibouti. It was instrumental in connecting the country to the outside world as well as increasing trade commerce.