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Ethiopia's PM Expected to be New AU Chair
By Marthe Van Der Wolf
January 20, 2013
ADDIS ABABA — African heads of state will choose a new chairperson for the African Union next Sunday. Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to be elected. Hailemariam has only been in office since September, after long-time leader Meles Zenawi died in August.
Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Solomon Dersso says the Ethiopian leader has shown he is involved in African affairs.
"During that period the major African engagements that we have seen was basically his trip to Somalia, where he attended the inaugurational ceremony of the new president, and his recent trip to Sudan, South Sudan, and also the facilitation that he provided for the signing of the 27 September agreements between Sudan and South Sudan," he said.
Hailemariam, who is an engineer by training and was a dean of the Arba Minch University, joined one of the four parties that make up ruling coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front in the mid-nineties.
He was the vice administrator and later also administrator of the southern regions before moving on to become special adviser to the late prime minister for social affairs. He became Ethiopia’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister in 2010.
Getachew Redda worked closely with Hailemariam at the Foreign Ministry, but says it is difficult to point out what legacy he left behind.
“I am not sure if two years is long enough for someone to leave a larger visible imprint. But one thing I know is Hailemariam’s presence here in the foreign ministry for the last two years has had very significant influence on how things are done," said Getachew Redda. "For one thing, he is not the kind of person who wants to create a cult around himself, he is much engaging with everybody. It is not just about people who are supposedly close to him."
There are some noticeable changes in Ethiopian politics since Prime Minister Hailemariam assumed office. A collective leadership has been put in place, including the appointment of three deputy prime ministers, instead of one.
A long-time friend of the prime minister and colleague at the university, Seleshi Bekele, says team building has always been part of the Hailemariam leadership style.
"The way I see it, also what they have done, having a few more deputy prime ministers, is really to bring about broad-based type of leadership. His leadership style is really transformational and at the same time also trusts on team building and team leadership," said Seleshi Bekele.
There have been few developments domestically that can be attributed to the vision and leadership of the new prime minister. Political scientist at the Addis Ababa University, Demeke Achiso, says Hailemariam just is not that powerful.
“I can not say that he is not exercising any power, of course he is enjoying power, prime ministerial power, but very much reduced as compared to Meles Zenawi. Before holding any kind of meeting, discussion, or diplomacy, he has to strongly work with the party and then he has to ventilate the voice of the party," said Demeke Achiso.
The African heads of state are expected to elect Hailemariam on January 27, the first day of the African Union summit. President Yayi Boni of Benin currently holds the position. The chair rotates between the five regions of the continent and is elected every year
The legacy of the great PM Meles Zenawi leaves on through HMD and the rest of African leaders and countries who benefited by his visionary leadership to embolden the unity fo Africans.
The legacy of the great Pm meles Zenawi lives on through HMD…….THAT WAS WHAT I MEAN.
I’m watching the NFL playoffs. Excuse moi!
Dear addis zemen,
I do not understand why tplf still does not take PM HMD as the countries PM? I do not see his pic or head lines on tplf sites. I thought PM HMD is the prime minister of tplf and…
Why do we need tplf(liberation front) at this juncture?
Why do EFFORT ’service’ one part of our society?
Do you think EFFORT has the same level of transparency than the business next door?
Well, 40 days of morning has came and past but still the cadres are crying about the dead man.
Hailemariam is the most qualified person to chair the AU. He just needs the assistance of three deputy chair persons to get the job done.
What are the tasks of the AU anyway?
Adgi ,you are once again laughing on yourself .By the way ,what a Legacy are you talking about .Do you mean ,the AU HQ ,paid by the Chinese for a bunch of Corrupted and Lazy Despots spare times . Little Tyrant HMD ,shall as usual occupy a chair ,just to make foolish and baseless boring speeches in the Name of the African Union . 50 years later ,African Peoples are still living in Misery while the Despots and Tyrants are getting more and more Wealthy
Adgi malet eko ahya new; in case you do not know that. Hope you have the brain and understand what I mean. haha
Enante ahyoch, efort woyane eyalachuh stalaznu nuru. Ahunm gmeloch ygoazalu wushoch mechoh atakortu. Viva ethiopia viva HMD.
Hyena ,Tekelkelnesh ,beteleyem Degmo Le Ahya Wondemesh betam TESMAMI YEHONE SETAME BEMEHONU NEHU…LOL !!!!!
Hyena ,Tekelkel nesh ,beteleyem Degmo Le Ahya Wondemesh betam TESMAMI YEHONE SEYAME BEMEHONU NEHU…LOL !!!!!
If it was not for our pattern of being under staunch and stark autocracy of a single head, we would not refuse to accept power sharing of the incumbent prime minister.
You think it is wrong when a single head dominates, and you don’t accept when power is shared.
Si my question is why don’t you go and lead Ethiopia?
I dont like woyanes!
But as long as they make suffer shabians, number one enemmy good for nothings then it is good DH is leading AU. Then he would drive creazy the shabi king.
To be AU chairman is as useless as being PM of TPLF for HMD. He is like those ETV news people who are required to say and only say what the TPLF propaganda machine manufactures.
What we need is a small wisdom from the 100 young but fearless Eritreans who have taken their frustration with their dysfunctional government to the limit!
Slowly but surely, the middle east spring is coming home!
Let’s go Oromos, Amharas. Gurages, and all true Ethiopian!
Adgi=Ahya= TEDDY=Gimatam=an Idiot = Jobless=welfare
Any question Teddy? go ahead start calling me woyane, shabia or something else.
When are you going to you know disappear? you and Addis Zefen are the most laughable guys.
Ayen Yelehu ,this is your own problem being brainwashed and narrow minded .Keep on your daily “Ye Abyen Be Emye ” Joke.
SERAFET ,DID ASTCHI MORON BANDA !!!!!
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