African Union (AU) has unveiled statue of Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie I at its headquarters in Ethiopia's capital city Addis Ababa. emperor served as King of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. statue was created in recognition of role Haile Selassie played in the creation of the Organization of African Union (OAU) in 1963. He had vision to free all African countries from colonialism and create strong and free independent countries on continent. Speaking at inauguration of the OAU, he said: "May this union last 1,000 years." The OAU lasted for 39 years before it changed into African Union in 2002. AU continues Haile Selassie's vision of achieving greater unity between African nations.
Emperor Haile Selassie I was born in 1892 into Ethiopian family that traced its roots back to King Solomon and Queen of Sheba three thousand years ago. He was highly influential figure in contemporary Ethiopian history. He was skilled politician on the international stage during time of great turmoil. He helped lead Ethiopia to become charter member of the United Nations. Ethiopia remained country that was never colonized. Haile Selassie is revered in Rastafarian religion. Around one million Rastafarians around the world consider him as messiah who came to Earth to spread word of God. The 1973 famine in Ethiopia led to his eventual removal from throne.