Posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014

Worldwide Gala and VIP Reception

The Worldwide Festival continues with The Worldwide Gala Sunday, September 7th McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax Please join us at our annual fundraiser!  We have visiting dignitaries and friends coming from our Sister Cities in Brest, France and Nairobi, Learn more

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Annual Axum Committee Picnic

Picnic in the Park Saturday, August 17th 2:00 – 5:00 pm   City of Axum Park          

Posted on Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Worldwide Festival

Worldwide Festival Sunday, September 7th McNichols Building Civic Center Park 10:00 am – 4:00 pm  Become a sponsor! Vendor Sign Up Celebrate the art, crafts, food, dance and cultures of Denver’s ten Sister Cities! Entrance to the daytime fair Learn more

Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Celebration of Colorado Sister Cities

Wednesday, April 2nd 8:00 am – 9:15 am State Capital Building, Rotunda Join us as we celebrate and honor the sister city programs throughout the state and the many volunteers involved with these organizations. Sponsored by State Representatives Paul Learn more

Posted on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

2014 Holiday Event

Celebrate the Holiday with the Denver-Axum Committee Sunday, January 26th, 3-6 p.m. Africana Cafe, 5091 E Colfax Ave *Authentic Ethiopian Meal *Coffee Ceremony *Report on 2013 Trip to Axum Adult Members $25, Adult Non-Members $30 Students $20, Children (Under 12) $10 Purchase Learn more

Posted on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Sincerely Ethiopia

Experience the film, Sincerely Ethiopia,  September 29th, 5:30 PM, University of Denver, Lindsay Auditorium.  The price is $12 and it is a Fundraiser.   It is Hosted by Regis University and University of Denver Students for Africa.   ” Learn more

Posted on Friday, June 28th, 2013

Multi- Cultural Picnic

Picnic in the Park Come to Axum Park Map  to celebrate the many cultures of Denver. Sunday, August 25th, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. City of Axum Park Martin Luther King Blvd & Cherry Street We will have hot dogs, Learn more

Posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Timkat Holiday Party

Join us in celebrating the culture of Ethiopia at our annual event: What:  Ethiopian Buffet Speakers Traditional Coffee Ceremony Date:  January 20, 2013 Time:  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Location:  Africana Restaurant 5091 E Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80220 Learn more

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Tour Ethiopia in 2013

Plans are underway for a delegation to Ethiopia.  Travel will include Addis Ababa and the historic cities of the north. Dates and prices will be available soon. Contact Gayle Stallings at if you are interested in joining us. Learn more

Posted on Monday, February 20th, 2012

Cutting for Stone – Book Group Selection

We will be reading Cutting for Stone the debut novel and New York Times best seller by Abraham Verghese.A riveting saga of twin brothers born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at Learn more

  • Axum is located in the northern region of Ethiopia.
  • This over 2,500 year old city is reported to have been the capital city of the legendary Queen of Sheba. As archaeological expeditions take place, more artifacts are being discovered that attest to the high levels of engineering and architectural achievements of the Ethiopian empire. Obelisks built over 2,000 years ago still stand in the city, as well as the recently unearthed ruins of a complex and sophisticated palace that are claimed in legend to be that of the Queen of Sheba.
  • The thriving commerce of this empire could be attributed to the minting of its own currency and establishment of a written language, Geez.
  • When Christianity became the state religion in 350 A.D., Axum rose as one of the earliest holy cities in Ethiopia.


  • The history of Axum dates back from about 2nd to 1st century BC
  • The early city was located on the trade route between India, Arabia and Africa – the seat of a large empire that stretched from the Nile River in the west to southern Arabia
  • It became one of the earliest holy cities in Ethiopia when Christianity became the state religion in 350 AD.
  • The same year, the Saint Mary of Zion (Orthodox Church of Ethiopia) was the first church to be built. This church is reputed to house the Ark of the Covenant in its vault.
  • Having found Palace ruins outside of town, archeologists believe the Queen of Sheba (1000 BC) lived in the area of Axum
  • The Axumite Empire (100 BC to 1,100 AD) was one of the most powerful empires of the day. A highly advanced civilization, the Axumites developed writing and minted gold coins to carry out their maritime commerce with the Roman Empire, Persia, India, and China.


  • Axum is a popular destination because of its ancient history and its artifacts. It plays a key role in the major industries in Northern Ethiopia – tourism and agriculture.
  • In addition to the rumored original Ark of the Convent, the St. Mary of Zion Church houses an impressive collection of bibles, crosses and crowns of early rulers.
  • The city is equally famous for its tall stellae (obelisks) located in a historic portion of the city. Among the greatest human architectural and engineering marvels, these upright stone works are carved from single granite blocks – many of the original are still standing, nearly 85 feet high. Most impressive is that tools and evidence have been found that the massive stellae were constructed and transported from 5 km in distance.
  • An estimated seventy-five percent of the people in Axum are members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church
  • Significiant religious celebrations are the T’imk’et Festival in early January, and Festival of Maryam Zion in early November

Modern Day

  • Due to their historical value, UNESCO added Axum’s archaeological wonders to its list of World Heritage Sites in 1980
  • In 2005, the country of Italy diplomatically returned a 24m tall, 1,700 year old obelisk to Ethiopia after soldiers from WWI had taken the engineering marvel back to Rome. As a symbol of national identity, the return of the obelisk was met with a joyous and large public celebration. In July 2008, the obelisk was fully erected and re-installed in the city of Axum.
  • The Axum-Denver relationship began when Daniel Yohannes, the late Councilman Hiawatha Davis, Tsegaye Hailu, and others prepared an application for Axum to become Denver’s ninth sister city.
  • After nearly 20 years of civil war and recurring drought and famine, the city of Axum needed peace-loving people from around the world to reach out and embrace it.
  • Recognizing the many similarities between Axum and Denver, the relationship evolved into a natural fit. Axum was a gateway between the east and west, as Denver is becoming today. Economic well-being in both cities came from natural resources and dedication to the environment.
  • On January 20, 1995, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb signed the proclamation and declared the day as Axum Day. On November 12, Mayor Webb, First Lady Wilma Webb, Lieutenant Governor Gail Schoettler, and Daniel Yohannes led a delegation of ten prominent officials and business leaders on a visit to Axum. To commemorate the occasion, a Denver Street was named in the middle of Axum.
  • The long-term goals of DSCI in Axum are to improve the health and welfare of its citizens through improved water and sanitation facilities, which will help the Axum economy that is heavily dependent on the tourist industry.
  • The last several years have led to numerous cultural, educational, and humanitarian initiatives.
    • Forty thousand dollars was secured in collaboration with MSU Denver to build the Gessesso School, which opened in the summer of 2012.
    • Over 400 pairs of Crocs shoes were donated between 2011 and 2012.
    • Nine tons of books were raised in a book drive for the University of Axum and two water pumps were donated to the Axum water department.
    • By partnering with the Tigray Association, the Axum committee raised $30,000 to purchase and deliver a septic truck to Axum.
    • Nine hundred and fifty visitors were hosted in Denver for the 2012 Tigray Association’s International Conference, including several Ethiopian dignitaries.
    • The Axum committee also facilitated a two week study abroad program for three professors and 15 students from MSU Denver.
    • Culturally, the committee has sponsored a month long historical photo exhibition of Axum at the Denver Public Library. Other smaller initiatives have also taken place, such as the sending of cameras to Axum in order to document the lives of the community members to ultimately be shared on DSCI’s website.
    • Other similar initiatives have also taken place such as the sending of cameras to Axum in order to document the lives of the cimmunity members to ultimately be shared on DSCI’s website
    • Through a grant with Proctor and Gamble, the committee was able to provide water purification packets and education to students at Hawelti School.  Absenteeism was reduced significantly in the school year.

Axum Alumni Association:

Denver Water:


City of Denver Wastewater Management:

Tigray Development Association:

Ethiopian Airlines:

Relief Society of Tigray:

The Axum Committee meets every the second Wednesday of every month.

The long-term goals of DSCI in Axum are to improve the health and welfare of the citizens, through improved water and sanitation facilities, which in turn will help the City’s economy that is heavily dependent on the tourist industry. In 2010, we completed the PUR pilot program and latrine at the Hawelti Elementary School, initiated the sale of affordable water-purification packets in shops in the City, continued the pen-pal and City in a Suitcase programs, and continued to raise funds to obtain the septic tank truck. We furthered our Partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver in improving facilities at the University in Axum and their construction of Gessesso School.   The Axum Committee is always in need of new members to volunteer their time and ideas to help meet these goals, and to participate in DSCI activities.

Chair: Chuck Kreiman