May 17, 2013 - President Girma Woldegiorgis in a letter sent to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn asked for a statue to be erected in honour of the late Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile-Selassie I, according to the Reporter.
“A statue must be erected to commemorate the Emperor…he was the first leader of Africa and I think he deserves a statue,” the president said during the interview.
According to the president, the Ethiopian government is making good progress on the matter and hopes that it will materialize.
It is to be recalled that Kwame Nkrumah's statue, which was unveiled at the African Union (AU) headquarters, has sparked anger amongst Ethiopian scholars, historians and politicians, who feel Haile-Selassie deserved the honor.
Back then, Members of Parliament have also been drawn into the debate and raised the issue with former prime minister, the late Meles Zenawi.
Meles downplayed the request and defended the decision to honor Nkrumah, the former Ghanaian leader, whom he described as a pan-African.
What has further angered locals was that, with the AU headquarters being in Addis Ababa, many expected a statue of Haile-Selassie to be erected.
Ethiopian historians said they also remembered Selassie for his leading role in the creation of the OAU.