Debating Africa

H.E Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe

Prime Minister of Ethiopia (2012 -2018)


Hailemariam Dessalegn was the second Executive Prime Minister of Ethiopia who served from August 2012 following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi until his resignation and handover to his successor Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed in April 2018. Previously, he served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs Minister and Government Chief- Whip Minister, under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He also served as Governor of the Southern Regional State for six years. Born in 1965, he holds a Civil Engineering degree from Addis Ababa University. In 1990 he won a scholarship to Tampere University of Technology in Finland, earning a Master’s degree in Water and Environmental Engineering. He also earned a second Master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University in Califorina, USA in 2006. Upon his return from Finland, he served in various academic and administrative capacities, including the Dean of the Water Technology Institute. He is the first leader in Modern Ethiopian history to step down voluntarily setting stage for sweeping reform. With annual economic growth rates averaging over 10% during his tenure as Prime Minister, he viewed his resignation as vital in the bid to conduct reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy. After leaving office, Hailemariam co-founded and is the chairperson of Hailemariam & Roman Foundation. The foundation focuses on mother and child healthcare, prevention of non-communicable diseases, nutrition and climate smart agriculture and conservation-based ecotourism. Currently, he is serving as board member and chairperson of various local and international organizations such as Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Tourism Ethiopia, International Crisis Group (ICG), The Brenthurst Foundation, Global Commission for Post-Pandemic Policy (GCPPP), Friends of Europe, Elephant protective Initiative (EPI) and the Global Steering Committee for the Campaign for Nature. He also engages in giving public lectures on domestic and worldwide pressing issues.

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