Haile Selassie Statue at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa


By Contested Histories Initiative July 2021

The 32nd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa in February 2019 was opened with the unveiling of a new statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor Haile Selassie. The statue, in honour of his founding role in the creation of the organisation, is a controversial addition to the AU premises. Opinion over Selassie remains highly divisive given his strong external commitment to Pan-Africanism and continental anti-colonial movements, while domestically he maintained a highly centralised feudal state that violently repressed demands for national autonomy and political rights. This case study explores the eight-year long debate spanning from Addis Ababa to Accra over whether Selassie should be honoured with a statue at the AU.

For the case study click here.