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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.

Please watch one of Hailemariam Desalegn’s rare interview with the international media



56 Responses to “Who is Hailemariam Desalegn?”

  1. I wish him success.CONGRATULATIONS to Prime MInister Hailemriam Desalegne.

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  2. anything but TPLF!

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  3. surafel August 21, 2012

    hi dawit ahun sil hilmariam desalegn yesafkew keyt tenesto yet endedres new yehen hulu setesfe gin esu yesrachwen armeni dergitoch lemen alaktetkewm mechiem atresawem awassa lay yefeseswen nisuhe dem selesum messafe nebrebet esuna berket new yeserut yan dergit ahun demo begara lela dem liyafesu eytezgagu new thank you

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  4. Amare101 August 21, 2012

    Thank you Jesus !!!!!!!!! Finally, your son has come to power. The Good News will spread all over the country.

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    • A chistian never takes a political position. what type of Bible are you reading?

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    • You arrogant for you only protestant are the son of God. This showed your arrogance. We know alot of protestant with arrogant idea and use religion as cover to take money from their follower. Any way we will know how he will do. Every body in the world the son of Jesus.

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    • You call a guy who served under a brutal dictator the son of god? What kind of god do you serve?
      Would Jesus have served alongside Meles? Would Jesus have murdered the young? Would Jesus have left widows and orphans for power?

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  5. I wish him all success and good luck

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  6. nothing can be expected from this guy who has been meles zenawi’s baby sitter for the last 21 yeas. He is there to fill his belly and to clap hands when meles speaks. No body believes he He can operate on his own.

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  7. Dawit, i didn’t see the important of his Ethnic back Ground give him a free ride and i don’t understand you point.The new Democratic Ethiopia must elect its leaders with one man on vote! period……..
    thanks………

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  8. Tollesa August 21, 2012

    You said Tigre and Amara rulled Ethiopia for the last 200 years. I have some reservstion on that. Who was Amara except Tewodros. Minilik is partly Oromo. Haleslassia was Gurage by his mother and Greek by his father. Mengistu is Oromo by his father and a black amara mother. Offcourse Amharic language was the national language, because of historical opportunities, first become language of the military communication and national governmet working language.

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    • Do not rely on myth read history haileselasie is solomonic and white amhara mengistu’s mother is from kembata and his father is amhara menelik of course had an oromo wife and he is an amhara of ankober . In the rest 3000 years of history of ethioia ,it’s amhara or tigre leader cos zey can lead…..

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  9. Why are we as Ethiopian collectively like to judge people???! just think about it.

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  10. Amhara cry August 21, 2012

    The amhara will cry even more because power is not around their corner. We will support Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Please never never bend to Amhara.

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    • Anonymous August 22, 2012

      It is easy to identify TPLF by comments they make, such as “Amhara cry”. After 21 years of TPLF tyranny and power abuse, only TPLF start to stir division by throwing unfounded charges against Amharas. I wonder, which Amhara leader you’re talking about? If it is HaileSelassae it has been almost 40 years and he was a mixed Ethiopian. And the same goes to the other bloodsucker Mengestu. TPLF came to power to divide and rule and here we go again, passing the blame on other ethnic group to divide Ethiopians. It is not Amharas that have sold Ethiopia to Arabs and committed all the despicable crimes on Ethiopians for 21 miserable years. You really has exposed yourself who you really are and what your intentions are, you poor soul.

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    • Hailemariam Desalegn is an amhara name
      His family went to south to conquer walita,For all amhara haters please know that we are born to govern,Any questions?

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      • Mr KC : don’t be fool . In order to win scholar ship he had to borrow Amhrar’s name. his former name was Buche Desalech lol

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      • Rumor: Hailemariam’s families are amahara descendants.

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      • wooooo…KC, you are so smart. How do you know that the new PM is amhara?

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  11. Hopeful August 22, 2012

    Hmmmmm…the fact this man was an adviser to the brutal coldblooded dictator, the master of deceptions, lies, thieves, and a mass murderer of Ethiopians is very troubling. Anyhow, Inquan Meles motte:: Let’s hope and pray for peace, equality and freedom for all Ethiopians.

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  12. Zemene Wolaita August 22, 2012

    Happy Ethiopian New Year

    Enquan Ke Zemene Tigre wede Zemene Wolaita Be Salam Ashegagerwo, LOL.

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  13. I would be happy if he succeeds. However, I highly doubt that Hailemariam will be able to get 100% support from EPRDF, especially some individuals from TPLF and the whole chauvinistic chain of ANDM. All objective reasons imply that EPRDF will eat itself and will disintegrate in the next few years if not in few months.

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    • even Meles never had 100% TPLF support. Did anybody listen to what Siye had to say? He has come a long way. I am happy for him because I can tell he has a clear idea as to who he is.

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  14. tnx beyene
    the copy the whole thing word by word. #SHAME

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  15. Name (required) August 22, 2012

    Bewch hager yemtnoru dedeboch hager yemtwedu kehon lemn metachu hagerachu lay aserum eza temechtowachu eyenorachu felfela attrubn kusam hula hager endemiwed ayargachu arfachu shntbet tregu.

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  16. Congratulations Ato Hailemariam!

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  17. Calibrate August 22, 2012

    Lets wish he will eventually be developed to a character. We know he has not been popular since Meles was literally doing everything.

    Ethnically, we know only minorities rule in Ethiopia, both Oromos and Amharas distroy the country. I would be happy to see an Oromo person come to power, I dont have a problem with Amhras either. It is just the tragedy of multi-society politics that few rule for good, unless we are conscious enough one day to co-exist peacefully.

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  18. No name August 22, 2012

    Let us see what he is going to do. I believe he will not have the full power like Meles used to have. All government key positions are held by WEYANE. He will be just a symbol like the President. Please note Amhara will not cry. But struggle for their equality and freedom like all Ethiopians who lack freedom and equality. I am very happy for we got rid of Meles, the very most enemy of Amhara.

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  19. It least he belives in GOD

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    • Yes, that’s why he was working under a murderer Meles, because he believes in god. He was a godly example and I’m sure he’ll continue to be. Sarcasm of course.

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  20. Name (required) August 22, 2012

    He is acting PM not PM ! He is a pupet for the actual PM Bereket Simion. By the way Meles is dead so ethinic group division is also dead thus please let us celebrate and remove from your mind to call his is from xyz ethinic group, otherwise we will distroy Ethiopia then we will have “Republic of Mekele”, “Republic of Arusi”, “Republic of Gondor” … then after we will have “Republic of Keble 18″, “Republic of keble 19″ …. DO YOU WANT THIS TO HAPPEN???

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  21. Henok Taddese August 22, 2012

    The Bottom line is black people! we know all the nasty joke and stereotypes about Amhara,Oromo,Ti-gray, Gambela (anuak,Nuer,Dinka)Gurage,Afar,hammer.etc. Brothers and sisters we need to honor and respect each others tradition and custom and value. We are Africans brothers and sisters! when we wage war,hate,propaganda so called ethnic supremacy we are making it worse to live in harmony. Lets us embrace our unique culture, as long people live within different regions it always going be uniqueness. This a great opportunity for us to create a united cultures republic of Ethiopia! Lets condom any ethnic supremacist propaganda most importantly hate and jealousy,distinctive behaviors. Religion and political affiliation is one’s personal chose,that should not make that individual an outcast of society. Even if someone has no religion that is the individual chose period. All ethnics culture and tradition should be embraced and honored,respected. Let us resonate love energy,heal our self from the fret of past mistakes and ignorance. When love resonate so high hate,judgement,personal ambition,selfishness,greed,cruelty,jealousy,power hungriness,manipulative character,lie,ignorance,conspiracy,fear,
    anger,doubt,hopelessness,betrayal,arrogance,pride,loftiness,cunning) etc will disappear from that beautiful nation for ever. Love is the God(Most High Plan) for us,let us open our heart today,lets us listen our heart what does it say?

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  22. legara selam August 23, 2012

    pente(prostant) silehone bicha ‘yeGeta lij’?! Ende afih yargilinina selamin, netsanetina ekulinetin bayenachew. Gin min yaregal wedefit kegna ante kedmeh tafiraleh. Endim argo yegeta lij yelem!

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  23. History August 23, 2012

    I AGREE with one of the commenter about Amhara in power in Ethiopian History. Amhara lead the country before Menilik but after that mixed race persons leads the country. Specially mixed race of Amhara and Oromo leads the country. Minilik was mixed, Hileselassie was mixed, and Mengistu was also mixed. Finally as I heared from credible sources Meles had also mixed race. His father was half Amhara. Asres was Amhara that went to Adwa and lived there.

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  24. Elsabeth August 23, 2012

    Reading all this comment I see how much damage has been done and how long it will take to repair. People let us all think of being one …. we are Ethiopians first let us not fall for the division that was the strategy used to divide and concure Ethiopians. Who cares about someones clan. The Sum is grater than the whole. Unity is strength.

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    • Mengie is oromo by his father, but his mom is an Wolaita who gave birth to him at Wolaita distric and the family as the whole brought to Addis and his mom died when Mengie is 8yr-old. However his mother was often labeled as Amhara cos of existing ethnic oppression by the then Amharas and you can all browse or look for reliable sources than just putting speculations.

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  25. Name (required) August 23, 2012

    GOOD LUCK HAILEMARIAM DESALGN

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  26. Dear Elsabeth,
    The mistake is from the righter of the article who said Amara and Tigre rulled Ethiopia for the last 200 years. Then difference comments given agaist that sentence. Big is always better than small, but it needs tolerance and compromise to live together. Differenc is not bad if manageged properly it will rather have synergical effect in political and economic endeavors.

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  27. Meles inquan Mote August 24, 2012

    Woyane is woyane it does not matter whether he is a menafiq or pagan.

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  28. Freedom August 24, 2012

    To the editor.
    Why you worried about race issue like our government? Do you think journalist also have to fell in trap of this race issue all over?
    Am really sorry for ur narrow minded writing..
    please try to focus on unity of our county, Ethiopianism instead of divisionist idea………..

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  29. Dawit i was reading your articles for long time since you are in Ethiopia .I like some of them ,but I disagree with some fallacy history of the country . this country doesn’t have that much History as you are saying .please try to distinguish the abisinia(Habesha people country) which was the part of Ethiopia after the habesha people had arrived and gotten power separated some land from the ancient ethiopia then there declared their fedom as recently the eartrian did ,the ancient Ethiopia(kush Land) and the present Ethiopia History .if we have desire to make a strong unity in the our country , we have to start discussion about our true background .

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  30. One must fool himself if the premier designate will have any real firm grip and power base. It should be a forgone conclusion that we are made to believe there is a change in the realm of power but this has a neutralizing effect on collective psych and issue of governance. The fundamental decision makers and power brokers behind close doors remains to be a closet secret. I hope without any real possibilities that one day we will come to our sense and stop hate because I think hate and suspicions are utterly wrong and breads more hate and more hate.

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  31. ahun gena ye egziabher ej bete mengst geba eyesus geta new sexan temeta hayhemariam tsely tsely

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  32. yes non Amhara

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  33. Oh my goodness,
    Its very disapointing that this man who is semi-illiterate will lead this great nation. His English is upside down. I think he haven’t seen the 4 corners of the class room. Really feel mercy for Ethiopia!!

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  34. Don’t worry about his ethnic group,if he is a capable to lead country, why don’t be setan ? It doesn’t matter!

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  35. Name (required) September 4, 2012

    God’s right hand lead him and Ethiopia.Please regardness of ethinic group &religion pray for the country.

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  36. Ithink all u wrote about ethinic group wther cur of isaias or meber of HGDEF

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  37. Previously ~half of the wolaitas were named with Amhara names it may be cos of the National language or the previous ethnic oppression, to clarify you can further go to his grandpa; But ethnicity shouldnot be the worry but genuine democracy, galloping G and D and solidarity of the partioned Ethiopia into one.

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  38. Babe please dont direct ur fingers into this man for whatever wrong has happened in snnrp which may be due to interethnic violations or someother person involved accidentally or intentionally from central government; This man is just a mature and fair minded man and he will definitely not dare do such type of cruel measures, therefore he is for sure free of the issue u have raised.
    Am optimistic abt this man; He will bring a brand new ethiopia with exponential growth and development, fair and genuine democracy.

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  39. Ethiopia is ONE and anybody born on the land is Ethiopian regardless of ethnic or racial background. Haylemariam is Ethiopian and it is God that positioned him to lead the nation. All we have to do is to love and accept him and stand by him. His religious background is his business but must be respected. May God bless you Prime Minister Haylemariam. Am Ethiopian and ethnically Amhara. I believe in equality,human dignity and freedom of expression.

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  40. Why u go back to 15 century u are the 1 who from illetrate peole. Please come to our era!!!!god select him to lead us &he has power to manage even etiopia, he can africa.think as like educated person!think twice commenters from amhra,tigre,&somali

    Reply

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