African Leaders witnessed the unveiling of Nyerere the Statue on Sunday

Julius Nyerere’s Statue Unveiled at African Union Headquarters

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union unveiled the statue of Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania during the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union at the AU Headquarters.

Situated on the grounds of the building complex named in honor of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere hosting the AU Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, the statue pays tribute to his pivotal role in Pan-Africanism and peacebuilding.

It stands atop of a granite base inscribed with Nyerere’s impactful words from October 22, 1959.

It reads: “We would like to light a candle and put it on top of Mount Kilimanjaro which would shine beyond our borders giving hope where there was despair, love where there was hate and dignity where before there was only humiliation.”

Nyerere first became the Prime Minister of independent Tanganyika (1961), and subsequently the first President of the new state of Tanzania in 1964.

He played a key role in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963.

On Sunday, Nyerere joined the distinguished ranks of monuments that the AU hosts at its Headquarters in Addis Ababa.

In 2012, the statue of Ghanaian Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah was unveiled, followed by the statue of Emperor Haile Selassie in 2019, recognizing their pioneering role and contributions to the OAU.

“A teacher but also a peacemaker”

AU Commission chairperson Musa Faki Mahamat paid tribute to the former President of Tanzania at the statue unveiling ceremony.

The Statue of Nyerere at the AU headquarters
The Statue of Nyerere at the AU headquarters

“The legacy of this remarkable leader encapsulates the essence of Pan-Africanism, profound wisdom, and service to Africa,” he said.

“A teacher but also a peacemaker, Nyerere played a key role as mediator in African conflicts, particularly the crisis in Burundi. He remained a wise statesman who gave his counsel and advice selflessly to our Union until the end of his life.”

The unveiling ceremony took place in the presence of the President of Mauritania and AU Chairperson, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, and the current President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The event also brought together leaders from Angola, Comoros, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, South Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe as well as the AUC Commissioners, and Heads of Regional Economic Communities (RECs).