Africa Union unveils Ethiopia Emperor Haile Selassie’s statue at headquarter
A statue of former Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie has been unveiled at the headquarter of the African Union on February 10. The statue is the second to be erected inside the continental body's offices in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, after one of Ghana's first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, who championed pan-Africanism.
The unveiling of the Emperor's statue came at the opening of the 32nd AU summit at the headquarters of the 55-member pan-African bloc, with the attendance of AU heads of state and government, foreign diplomats and prominent personalities, among others. The statue of Haile Selassie was carved by sculptors of Ale Felege Selam Art School of the Addis Ababa University, Xinhua reported.
Ethiopians have cheered the statue's erection, the first on Ethiopian soil since Haile Selassie was mysteriously killed at the age of 83 in 1975 when a military junta called the Derg overthrew the imperial dynasty that existed in Ethiopia for 3,000 years. He is considered among the key African leaders who founded the Organization of African Unity, which became the African Union. He oversaw the maiden meeting of the continental body in 1963. Ethiopia was never colonized and Haile Selassie is credited for helping a number of African countries to gain independence.
In 2012, in recognition of the same cause, AU unveiled the statue of another prominent African figure, Ghana's former President Kwame Nkrumah. Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa has been the seat of the headquarters of the pan-African bloc since its establishment in 1963.