The African Union (AU) has put a statue of Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie I in its headquarters. Selassie was king from 1930 to 1974. The statue is for his role in creating the Organization of African Union (OAU). His vision was for African countries free from colonialism. He said: "May this union last 1,000 years." The OAU lasted for 39 years. It changed into the AU in 2002. The AU continues Selassie's vision of achieving greater African unity.
Emperor Selassie was born in 1892. His family's roots go back 3,000 years to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. He was an important figure in Ethiopian history. He was a skilled politician and helped Ethiopia become a charter member of the U.N. Haile Selassie is a big part of the Rastafarian religion. Rastafarians believe he is a messiah who came to Earth to spread God's word. The 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to his eventual removal from power.