Haile Selassie was the last Emperor of Ethiopia, a nation he led for more than four decades before his eventual overthrow. The famed emperor is remembered for being an inspirational leader and visionary who brought about much-needed change to his country during a time of great unrest. Despite being deposed as monarch in 1974, Haile Selassie’s legacy still stands today and his wealth has remained one of the most intriguing topics surrounding his life and reign. In this article, we’ll take a look at how rich the Ethiopian Emperor actually was and what caused his financial status to reach such heights.
Introduction to Haile Selassie
Haile Selassie, born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, was the 225th ruler of the Solomonic Dynasty which had governed Ethiopia since 1270 AD. He was proclaimed Emperor on November 2nd 1930 and ruled until 1974 when a coup d’etat ended his imperial rule. During his lifetime, Haile Selassie served as a symbol of hope and progressivism in Africa and was widely admired by people all over the world. As well as being responsible for various political and economic reforms in Ethiopia, Haile Selassie also oversaw several ambitious business ventures that helped increase his wealth significantly.
Haile Selassie’s Business Ventures & Investments
Throughout his long reign, Haile Selassie built up quite a fortune from successful business investments. His first venture was into gold mining; he set up a number of gold mines around Ethiopia that provided him with both financial stability and access to new sources of income. This allowed him to further expand his wealth through investing in foreign businesses and industries, including shares in companies like Fiat Motors and Standard Oil. Additionally, Haile Selassie established the National Bank of Ethiopia which granted him additional profits from issuing currency notes.
Haile Selassie’s Land Ownership & Property Empire
Aside from gold mining, Haile Selassie also owned large tracts of land throughout Ethiopia which he used to generate income. These included farms and estates where produce such as cotton and coffee were grown, as well as royal palaces and residences spread across the country. According to some estimates, it’s believed that Haile Selassie may have owned up to 70% of Ethiopia’s entire agricultural production area. His property empire extended even beyond the borders of Ethiopia too; he also owned land in other countries such as Switzerland and Italy.
Ownership of Gold Mines & Shares
In addition to his extensive land holdings, Haile Selassie also acquired substantial amounts of gold which he invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other assets. He made sure to keep a portion of his riches in reserve so that if ever necessary, he could access them easily. Apart from gold mining operations in Ethiopia, he also bought shares in many foreign gold mines located outside the country. These investments not only gave him greater control over the market but also ensured that he would be able to accumulate wealth at a faster rate than others.
Inheritance from Family Members & Donations from Supporters
Another significant source of wealth for Haile Selassie came from donations and inheritances given to him by members of his family and supporters worldwide. He received generous sums from royalty across Europe, African rulers, American tycoons and individuals looking to benefit from the emperor’s influence. Some experts estimate that these contributions added up to millions of dollars throughout Haile Selassie’s reign as Emperor.
Influence of Foreign Banks & Financial Institutions on Haile Selassie’s Wealth
The final major factor contributing to Haile Selassie’s wealth was his involvement with foreign banks and financial institutions. Throughout his years as emperor, he sought out numerous loans from international banking groups to fund various projects or cover unexpected costs incurred during state visits or military campaigns. Many of these loans never needed repayment due to their extremely low interest rates or generous terms. This enabled Haile Selassie to accumulate vast amounts of money while maintaining good relations with those providing the funds.
Luxury Items Acquired by Haile Selassie Throughout His Lifetime
Given the amount of wealth accumulated during his lifetime, it comes as no surprise that Haile Selassie was known for his extravagant lifestyle and taste for luxury goods. It is said that he owned multiple properties decorated with lavish furniture, priceless artwork and opulent décor items purchased from around the world. Furthermore, he also had a personal collection of expensive cars, watches, jewelry and clothing pieces. All these luxurious items contributed to Haile Selassie’s overall net worth considerably.
Haile Selassie’s Finances After Being Deposed as Monarch
Unfortunately, after being overthrown as Emperor in 1974, Haile Selassie saw a dramatic decline in his finances due to having limited access to his previous sources of income. He was forced to sell off much of his prized possessions, including some of his beloved artworks, in order to pay for basic living expenses. By 1975, it is believed that most of the emperor’s wealth had been depleted due to a combination of these factors.
Overview of Haile Selassie’s Net Worth Today
Today, the exact size of Haile Selassie’s net worth remains largely unknown; however, some believe it could range anywhere between $100 million USD – $2 billion USD depending on the value of certain assets held at the time of his death in 1975. One thing is certain: Haile Selassie was an incredibly wealthy man whose influence and impact continue to be felt today despite his passing nearly five decades ago.
Conclusion: The Last Word on Haile Selassie’s Wealth
In conclusion, although there is much speculation regarding just how wealthy Haile Selassie really was, it can be assumed that he managed to amass a considerable sum over the course of his reign as Emperor. From shrewd investments in gold mines and stocks abroad, ownership of land holdings throughout Ethiopia, generous donations from friends and family members plus numerous high-value luxury purchases, it’s clear that the famous monarch enjoyed quite a bit of financial success prior to being deposed as emperor in 1974.