Dr. Richard Pankhurst passes away at 90

Dr Richard Pankhurst

Addis Ababa (FBC) – The doyen of historians and scholars of Ethiopia, Dr. Richard Pankhurst has passed away at the age of 90.

Dr. Pankhurst was one of Ethiopia’s greatest friends during his long and productive life, and his scholarship and understanding for Ethiopia will be sorely missed.

The son of Sylvia Pankhurst, a staunch supporter of Ethiopia’s struggle against Italy in the 1930s, Dr. Pankhurst came to Ethiopia in 1956 and devoted his life to Ethiopian studies, writing over 20 books and editing many more on aspects of Ethiopia’s history, culture and economics.

He was the founding Director of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and a leading figure in the Friends of Ethiopia.

He was also instrumental in the successful campaign to get the Axum Stelae re-erected in 2008, back from Italy to Ethiopia, for which he was given an award of recognition by President Dr. Mulatu Teshome.

He was also awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British government for his services to Ethiopian studies.

Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, offered his profound sympathy to Mrs. Rita Pankhurst, to his children, Helen and Alula, and to all his family, friends and colleagues.

Source: MoFA


4 thoughts on “Dr. Richard Pankhurst passes away at 90

  1. Sad news for one who devoted his life to documenting and preserving the rich history and culture of Ethiopia. He encouraged me to write articles in the Journal of Ethiopian Studies on Gurage Architecture and on Chronicles and Irak History of the Gurage. In 2009 , While teaching at Addis Ababa University, I made a presentation on Identity and Social Change in Gurage Culture that he attended. I considered him as both a personal friend and a devoted friend of Ethiopia

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