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Posts Tagged ‘Hailemariam Desalegn’

In Switch, Egypt May Join Ethiopia In Nile Dam Project

Posted by Ethio Tribune on October 22, 2013

At a news conference Oct. 7, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that his country welcomes the participation of Egypt and Sudan in the construction of the dam and stressed that his government considers the dam to be jointly owned by Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt. Cairo viewed his statement as a positive step toward reaching a consensus on the project, despite its earlier sharp criticism of it.

In a telephone conversation Oct. 17, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib told Al-Monitor: “Egypt doesn’t mind joining the Ethiopian government in building the dam for the service and development of the Ethiopian people. But we must agree on a number of items in a clear way to prevent any damage to Egypt as a result of the dam construction. The Egyptian government always opts for cooperation and participation. … During the coming negotiations with Ethiopia over the dam, we will clarify our position regarding the policy and method of operating the dam, the size of the storage lake attached to it, and how to fill it with water in times of flood and drought.” He stressed, “Egypt will definitely not participate in the construction unless these policies are agreed upon and agreements regarding them are signed.”

Posted in News & Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bashir heads to Ethiopia for commemoration of late PM Zenawi

Posted by Ethio Tribune on August 19, 2013

August 18, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir will fly to Addis Ababa on Monday paid to participate in commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

JPEG - 12 kb
FILE PHOTO – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (h) speaks to the media during a joint news conference with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir (Reuters)

Zeanwi, 57, died last year unexpectedly in Brussels where he was being treated for an undisclosed illness.

Sudanese media said that Bashir will also hold talks with Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on developments regarding relations between Khartoum and Juba with respect to the progress on implementing cooperation agreements they signed this year.

Ethiopia has been the main venue of negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan and also played a crucial role in helping bridge differences over the years.(sudan tribune)

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Li urges further Ethiopian ties

Posted by Ethio Tribune on June 14, 2013

(China Daily)

Premier Li Keqiang talks to his Ethiopian counterpart Hailemariam Desalegn during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday. Hailemariam is on a five-day official visit. Feng Yongbin / China Daily

The Chinese government supports domestic companies getting more actively involved in investment cooperation with Ethiopia in a wide range of sectors from infrastructure to manufacturing, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

China’s aid to Africa has never been “conditional”, while Africa has long been a reliable and good friend and partner for China, and bilateral cooperation has progressed well during recent years, Li said during his meeting in Beijing with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Hailemariam started his five-day official visit to China on Wednesday, also his first since he was appointed prime minister to replace Meles Zenawi, who died from illness late last year.

While emphasizing the two economies are highly “complementary” to each other and there is huge potential for the two countries to enhance cooperation, Li said China is willing to join hands with Ethiopia to take bilateral cooperation to a “higher level”.

The Chinese government “supports capable companies to invest in Ethiopia in infrastructure, industrial zones, energy and resources, manufacturing and agriculture,” he said.

China is also “willing to enhance cultural exchanges with Ethiopia, deepening cooperation in education, culture and tourism”, Li said.

China is a major investor in Ethiopia, with reports saying more than 400 Chinese companies have set up businesses there, but there is still huge room for growth, experts said. China has a special economic zone in Ethiopia.

Huajian, a leading Chinese shoe maker and exporter which opened its first factory in Ethiopia last year near the capital, Addis Ababa, said recently it would increase its investment in Ethiopia in the next decade.

The Guangdong-based original equipment manufacturer plans to partner with China Africa Development Fund to set up an industrial chain in the African country with cumulative investment expected to reach $2 billion in the next 10 years.

Senior Ethiopian officials said in late May that the country will sign agreements with China’s ZTE and Huawei Technologies in the next few weeks to expand its mobile phone infrastructure and double subscribers to 40 million.

Li said, as developing countries, both China and Ethiopia are both committed to developing their own domestic economies and improving their people’s livelihood.

Seyoum Mesfin, Ethiopian ambassador to China, told China Daily in a recent interview that the country welcomes Chinese manufacturers to take on a larger presence and open more factories.

Li called on the African nation to “continue to provide preferential policies, improving the business environment”.

Hailemariam said “Ethiopia is willing to deepen the pragmatic cooperation with China in a wide range of sectors, encouraging Chinese companies to invest in Ethiopia and willing to protect interests of Chinese companies.

“Ethiopia is a long-term and reliable partner for China, and we much appreciate the efforts that China has made in issues including helping Ethiopia train quantitative talents,” he said.

Posted in News & Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ethiopia: Meles Foundation Launched

Posted by Ethio Tribune on April 6, 2013

The inaugural meeting of Meles Foundation opened this morning (April  6, 2013) at the African Union Hall. The meeting is attended by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn , President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti , President Omar Hassan Albeshir of Sudan, Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdi Farah Shirdon , AU Chairperson Dr. Dlamini Zuma ,former president of Nigeria Olesegun Obasanjo , Foreign Minister’s of Rwanda and Seychelles and other high level dignitaries .

In his opening address, Prime Minister Hailemariam remembered the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as “exemplary leader in his unique leadership skills and flawless performance as chief of the executive” and added that “the establishment of the Foundation is deemed necessary as a thorough study of his life and his works and their implementation thus far is important to ensure the continuity of the renaissance of Ethiopia.” Former First Lady, Azeb Mesfin, on the occasion noted that the Foundation will assist researchers interested to study Meles’s academic works through scholarships to ensure the continuity of the implementation of his vision.

Djibouti, 500,000$, Uganda $300,000, Sudan, $ 2.000,000 and South Sudan, 1,000.000 $ pledged to support the Foundation. Reflections on the life and works of the visionary leader the late Meles Zenawi was presented to the meeting by Professor Andreas Eshete, renowned scholar Alex De Waal and other dignitaries. The Meles Foundation is established in a proclamation recently passed by the House of Representatives to serve as a memorial of the prime minister’s great contribution in socio -economic issues, climate change negotiations and for his efforts aimed at ensuring peace and security of the continent among other things.

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Ethiopia PM willing to talk to Eritrea

Posted by Ethio Tribune on December 5, 2012

In an exclusive interview, Hailemariam Desalegn tells Al Jazeera he is ready to speak to President Issaias Afeworki.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s prime minister, has said that he is willing to hold talks with neighbouring Eritrea, with whom Addis Ababa fought a border war that ended in 2000.

If Desalgen follows through with Wednesday’s statement, it will be the first time a leader in Addis Ababa has held talks with Issaias Afeworki, the Eritrean president, since the end of the conflict which left at least 70,000 people dead.

“If you ask me, ‘Do you want to go to Asmara and sit down and negotiate with Isaias Afwerki?’ Then, I will say yes’,” Hailemariam said in an interview with Al Jazeera to be broadcast on Saturday.

The two countries remain at odds over the flashpoint town of Badme, awarded to Eritrea by a UN-backed boundary commission, but still controlled by Ethiopia.

“The most important thing for us is to fight poverty … to have regional integration. If we two do that, it will be much more productive,” Hailemariam added.

Eritrea won independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year struggle, that is considered among the continent’s longest and most bitter.

Hailemariam, who took office after longtime ruler Meles Zenawi died in August, said that reaching out to Asmara was following the policy of his predecessor.

“My predecessor Meles Zenawi had asked for more than 50 times even to go to Asmara and negotiate with Mister Isaias Afwerki,” he said.

Ethiopia and Eritrea routinely accuse each other of backing armed groups to destabilise the other.

In March, Ethiopia attacked an Eritrean military base after the killing of five European tourists in blamed on Asmara.

read also:Hailemariam Desalegn tells Al Jazeera he is ready to speak to President Issaias Afeworki.

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Who is Demeke Mekonnen?

Posted by Ethio Tribune on September 25, 2012

Demeke Mekonnen Hassen was born in Wello Region, and later was resettled to Chagni Woreda of Agew-Awi Zone in Amhara Regional State when the Derg Regime relocated people to resettle in other areas. He joined the Addis Ababa University and studied Biology in the Arat Kilo campus and received his BA in 1988.

After graduation, he returned to his native region to begin his career in teaching. Demeke was sent to a high school in Feres Bet, a small town located in Dega Damot Woreda in West Gojam Zone, off the main road from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar. He taught biology in Feres Bet High School, for two years, before he was transferred to Bure town in the same regional state.
It was in Bure, which housed the lone high school in the area named after former governor of the region, Ras Bitweded Mengesha Atikim, that Demeke met Alemitu Kassaye, a student of the high school at that time, and later on a mother of his three children.
Demeke joined the ruling EPRDF in the early 1990s.
Demeke first took part in the national election held in 1995, and won a seat in the Amhara Regional Council, where he was appointed general secretary. In the middle of his term, he went to England to do his post graduate studies in conflict management. Upon his return, he was assigned to establish and lead the ethics and anti-corruption commission of the region.
He was then moved to head the administrative and security affairs bureau of the region, where he had served up until 2005. He was then promoted to the vice presidency of the regional state following the highly contested election in 2005, under the presidency of Ayalew Gobeze. A year later, he was elected to the executive committee of ANDM, a member of the EPRDF coalition formed in 1983, in Jerba Yohannes of Wag Himra Zone. Finally, he was elevated to the position of deputy chair of the party replacing Tefera Walwa; and in 2010 became the first non-combatant chairman of the ANDM, replacing Addisu Legesse.
His service terms have been as follows:
Public Posts: Commissioner of Amhara Region Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission;
Head of  Amhara  Region Administrative & Security Affairs Bureau and Amhara Region Cabinet member( till – 2005);
Vice President and Head of Capacity Building Bureau of Amhara Region (2005 – 2008);
Minister of Education (2008 – present);
Member of House of People’s Representatives (2010-present).

(source: Capital)

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US State Department on Ethiopia’s Selection of New Leadership

Posted by Ethio Tribune on September 22, 2012

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 21, 2012

The United States warmly welcomes Ethiopia’s selection of Hailemariam Desalegn as the country’s new Prime Minister and Demeke Mekonnen as the new Deputy Prime Minister. We commend the Government of Ethiopia for undertaking an historic, peaceful, and constitutional transition of power.

We have had a productive relationship with Mr. Hailemariam in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. We look forward to working with him in his new position to advance issues of mutual concern to the United States and Ethiopia, including strengthening economic development, advancing democracy and human rights, and promoting regional security.

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Cause for Optimism in Ethiopian Politics

Posted by Ethio Tribune on September 17, 2012

Cause for optimismAddis Ababa, September 16, 2012 ( – The first week of the Ethiopian New Year has brought with it a resolution to the question of succession to the late Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi. The EPRDF Council announced on Saturday its election of former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as the leader of the party and consequently the prospective Prime Minister of the country pending rubber stamping by the Parliament when it convenes for the new session at the end of this month.


The official selection of a leader has laid to rest questions of unrest and division within the ruling party. The issue of succession, which was perceived as pretty straightforward in the immediate aftermath of Meles’ death was clouded over with confusion soon after for several reasons.

The confusion arose because of uncertainty on pertinent sections of the constitution as well as anxiety about the party’s ability to continue into the future as a cohesive unit in the absence of its charismatic leader.

The tension was particularly exacerbated by fears that the party will resort to some form of communal leadership due to an inability to commit to one person or forego plans of succession within the party and resort to one of the leaders of the armed resistance.

On Saturday, many took a deep breath of relief when all such fears were discredited with the successful placement of the logical successor, with no visible division within the party.  

Hailemariam Desalegn is representative of the new breed of leaders in Ethiopia. If Melese Zenawi was representative of the generation of firebrands who took to the streets to bring down the imperial government and to the bushes to fight against the bloody military junta, Hailemariam is representative of the generation which matured in reflection of the bloody consequences of civil war and which is ascending to positions of authority by peaceful nomination and succession.

Where Meles Zenawi and others of his generation symbolize the passion and idealism of African politics in the 1960’s and the 1970’s the generation immediately after it, of which Hailemariam is a member, is identified with pragmatism, and a quieter and more reflective form of intellectualism as a direct consequence of the experiences of the generation before it.

This fact and the reality of such succession being possible in the ruling party, where the leaders of the armed resistance are handing over power even at the highest levels is cause for great hope for many and a great relief for those who had feared the worst in the past couple of weeks said Melku Yohannes, a young business man in Ethiopia.

Many people are content with the succession simply because it is a symbol for hope in the coming year he noted. The new Prime Minister however will be faced with a difficult task to justify this hope according to Melku.

Tension has been brewing on several fronts in the last year not least of which has been the double digit inflation rate the effect of which has been felt in food prices. The ability of the new leader to deal with this crucial problem effectively will go a long way towards determining the first impression created of his tenure. It is hard to see how this far reaching problem can be resolved in the short term but the severity of the problem makes it doubtful that the Hailemariam will be afforded much time before final judgment is passed on his ability to deal with the problem..

Another area for concern which will be inherited by the new Prime minister will be the degree of unrest amongst segments of Muslims. This issue, which has proven difficult to resolve quickly and which is suspected of being deep rooted in some areas is one that will require astute leadership and will serve to determine the new Premier’s skills of sensitive decision making.

The issue of unemployment and job creation will probably serve to showcase Hailemariam’s ability to build up on and refine the partially successful attempts to organize young people towards entrepreneurial tasks begun in the past few years.

As a former academician it can be hoped that Hailemariam will have a better understanding of the needs of college educated young people and how best to utilize this growing taskforce within the framework of the national development plans.

The new administration’s interpretation and application of controversial policies such as the much debated lease proclamation and the anti-terrorism act are also points that will determine the character and quality of the leadership according to some.

“At the end of the day it is unlikely that there will be significant changes in policy in the coming three years before election. As has been said unanimously by leaders of the government and the party from day one after Meles’ death, the party can be expected to stay true to the policies and agendas that it has set” according to Essayas, a young accountant who considers himself a ‘political critic’.

What may change is the way things will be implemented and everyone will have to wait and see if this change will be for the better or the worse he added.

Significant changes in policy or at least in implementation that will change some policies notably are not outside the realm of possibility, disagrees Melku.

“That is the essence of the hope that people have. It doesn’t even necessarily emanate from opposition to existing polices. It’s just a hope that the new leader will have the chance to leader in a manner that reflects his unique abilities and skills according to Melku.

Only time will tell how able the new Prime Minister is able to discharge the great responsibility that he has been given for the present however many Ethiopians are hopeful that the new leader will serve the nation well in the new year and beyond.


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Who is Hailemariam Desalegn?

Posted by Ethio Tribune on August 21, 2012

Awramba Times (Washington DC) – Bereket Simon, head of government communications office has disclosed that Hailemariam Desalegn became acting prime minister and will be sworn in as prime minister after an emergency meeting of parliament following the death of Meles Zenawi.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Acting Prime Minister of Ethiopia

“According to the Ethiopian constitution the deputy prime minister will have to go to parliament and take the oath, and the government is organizing the parliament to be summoned as soon as possible,” Bereket Simon said.

Haile Mariam Desalegne is an Ethiopian politician who has served in the government of Ethiopia as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2010.

After the announcement of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi‘s death on 20 August 2012, Hailemariam was named acting prime minister. He is the first Protestant Christian head of government in the history of Ethiopia.

Hailemariam is from the Wolayta ethnic group, which dominate the politics of Ethiopia’s southern region. As Ethnic Tigray, Amhara and mixed people of Ethiopia have traditionally dominated the politics of the country for the last 200 years, Hailemariam would be the first fully non-Tigray and non-Amhara head of government in the history of the nation.

Born in the Wolaita Zone Boloso Sore District of Southern Ethiopia, Hailemariam studied and spent most of his youth in Wolaita.

He was President of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) from November 2001 to March 2006 and was promoted as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in October 2010. He has been performing leadership roles as deputy Chairman of EPRDF, Chairman of SEPDM, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His service term has been as follows:

Public Offices:

Vice President of the SNNPR (2000–2002); President of the SNNPR (2002–2005); Member of the House of People’s Representatives (2005–present); Social Affairs Special Advisor to the PM, then Public Mobilization & Participation Special Advisor to the Prime Minister (2005–2008); Government Chief Whip, with a Ministerial portfolio (2008–2010).

Party Posts:

Member of the Executive Committee of the EPRDF and the SEPDM (2000–present); Chairman of the SEPDM (2002–present); Deputy Chairman of the EPRDF (since Sept 2010).

Hailemariam Desalegn obtained a bachelor degree in civil engineering from the Addis Ababa University in 1988. He subsequently worked as a graduate assistant in the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute (now Arba Minch University). After two years of working in this capacity, he won a scholarship to Tampere University of Technology in Finland and obtained a masters degree in sanitation engineering. Upon his return to Ethiopia he served in different academic and administrative capacities, including the dean of the Water Technology Institute, for 13 years.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he became seriously involved in politics as member of the EPRDF (Ethiopia’s ruling party) and became the deputy president of the SNNPR. He replaced Abate Kisho who was removed from power on corruption charges, but it is believed that Abate was demoted for supporting the anti-Meles Zenawi faction when the TPLF split in 2000.

After his tenure as President of the SNNPR, Hailemariam worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as the advisor on Social Affairs and Civic Organizations and Partnerships for two years. In 2010 Haile Mariam was sworn in to dual ministerial positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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