Timeline: PM Hailemariam Desalegne's first 100 days

Ethiopia’s newly elected Prime Minister made 100 days in office on Dec. 28, 2013.

Here is a round up of his public activities.

Note that except the dates & headlines in bold, the rest are are taken from  from news reports of ENA, ERTA, MFA, and other news agencies. (Compiled by Guesh, Melly and Fetsum) 


December 26 – Hailemariam travelled to Khartoum and Juba – capitals of Sudan and South Sudan

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is visiting Sudan and South Sudan as part of the efforts to coordinate and facilitate face-to-face discussions between the presidents of the two countries. The aim is to encourage the leaders of the two countries to complete consultations on unresolved outstanding issues including the status of Abyei and the implementation of the Addis Ababa Agreement particularly on the details of the 14 miles Temporary Security Zone Arrangement. The Premier arrived in Khartoum Wednesday (December 26) and would be travelling to South Sudan on Thursday (December 27).

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other senior Sudanese government received him on arrival at Khartoum International Airport. Khartoum’s presidential press secretary, Emad Sayed Ahmed, said Prime Minister Hailemariam’s visit “comes in the context of the Ethiopian endeavor to push ahead the peace process between Sudan and South Sudan”.

His travel to the two countries follows an understanding reached last week in Addis Ababa by the two negotiating sides for the two countries. Accordingly, the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) is scheduled to meet on January 13, 2013 to discuss on issues proposed by the discussion held in Addis Ababa last week. There is a broad consensus among partners that facilitating a direct discussion between the presidents of the two countries would pave a way for greater optimism in the outcomes of the upcoming JPSM discussion.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and African Union High-Level Implementation Panel Chairperson, Thabo Mbeki have taken the lead initiative to facilitate the face-to-face discussion between the two leaders.


December 18 – Hailemariam conferred with Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide

Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn held discussion on Monday with Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide. During the discussion, Hailemariam said Norway has doubled its cooperation with Ethiopia before a year.

Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide for his part said Ethio-Norway development cooperation would grow in triple in the next two years.

Similarly, Prime Minster Haileamriam held talks same day with Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe.

On the occasion, Hailemariam said Ethiopia is capable of implementing development projects that center the public.

Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibe for his part said Ethiopia has succeeded in reducing HIV infection by 90 percent over the past years.


December 14 – Hailemariam welcomed the new AU Commission Chairperson Dr Dlamini Zuma

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed Ethiopia’s readiness to hasten the integration of African economy. The premier welcomed AU Commission Chairperson Dr Dlamini Zuma at the national palace on Wednesday.

The chairperson said: “Ethiopia was like home away from home.” She said in the next 4 years the African Union would work to efficiently exploit human resource, in which the continent is rich in, and asked all Africans to join hands. She added, Africa is now known for its rising development, which is a good opportunity for fast tracking future development of the continent.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn responded Ethiopia as usual plays its role to get the continent’s development done as it remains a collective effort for the continent.

On the occasion Addis Ababa City Mayor Kuma Demeksa handed over symbolic keys of the city to Dr. Dlamini Zuma.


December 14 – Hailemariam Desalegn met ambassadors of EU member countries

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met ambassadors of EU member countries to see ways of strengthening cooperation in Socio-economic, good governance and regional as well as international affairs.

The ambassadors reiterate EU’s commitment to strengthen bilateral ties. They say EU is eager to provide technical assistance to further spur the development.

PM Hailemariam told the ambassadors that Ethiopia values its relations with EU as their contributions to the changes going on in Ethiopia are influential.


December – 5 Hailemariam met the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Tuesday held discussions with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in Doha, Qatar.

Hailemariam is in Qatar attending the Doha Climate Change Conference. The two leaders discussed ways of further strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.

Following the resumption of relations between Ethiopia and Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar, made a two-day visit to Ethiopia last month.


December 5 – Hailemariam addressed the Doha Climate Forum

Africa’s demand on Doha Climate Forum is implementation of previous agreements, Prime Minister Hialemariam Desalegn says. Hailemariam said Africa’s interest is to see extension of the Kyoto Protocol as well as realization of pledged funds. Qatar is the second Arab state and the first from the Gulf to host the UN climate talks. The Forum has been proceeding for a week and the leaders meeting was kicked off on Monday.

Hailemariam who is participating in the Forum speaks Africa’s expectation from the Doha Climate Forum. “We are not expecting new decisions from Doha. We are going to push especially on powerful countries to implement previous decisions. The climate financing fund has been established but it has no enough funds. So, we want them to effect the pledge they have made and find ways of making Africa beneficiary from it. The other issue to be raised is about the Kyoto Protocol. We are asking for its extension”, he said.

The Kyoto Protocol which was adopted in 1977 and entered into force in 2005 binds most developing nations to cut emissions by at least 5.2 percent for the period from 2008 to 2012. Experts say the Protocol is critical in reaching a long term cooperative action by 2015.There have been continued negotiations over extension of the Kyoto Protocol though there has not been major breakthrough. The conference of parties (Cop) meeting held in Durban last year decided to establish a Green Climate Fund to provide finance to developing nations. The Doha talks would now focus on looking for climate financing of $100 billion in 2020. The second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol is set to begin on January 1, 2013 and end on 31December 2017 or 31 December 2020.



November 29 – Hailemariam appointed two more Deputy PMs and Ministers

The House of Peoples’ Representatives here on Thursday approved the appointment of two deputy prime ministers and also foreign affairs, trade and health ministers. Accordingly, the House appointed Muktar Kedir as good governance reform sector coordinator with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister and also Minister of Civil Service. Dr. Debretsion Gebremichael, who is also Minister of Communication and Information Technology is named as coordinator of finance and economic sector with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister. The appointment for the first time enabled Ethiopia to have three Deputy Prime Ministers including Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Demeke Mekonnen. The House has also approved the appointment of Dr. Tedros Adhanom as Foreign Affairs Minister. Kebede Chane and Dr. Keseteberhan Admasu are also named as Ministers of Trade and Health respectively. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said that the appointment was made taking into consideration educational background, competence and work experience of the appointees. Hailemariam said it will also enable the country to boost its growth and further put into practice the succession plan. The House also referred three draft bills to pertinent standing committees for further scrutiny.


November 28 – PM Hailemariam met a Somalia delegation led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn expressed Ethiopia’s readiness to support the ongoing efforts to maintain peace and also reconstruction of different institutions in Somalia. Hailemariam here Wednesday discussed with a delegation led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia on bilateral issues. The Premier said at a joint press conference that the current situation in Somalia is hopeful towards stability since the new elections were held. Hailemariam said formation of the parliament and cabinet in Somalia indicate that the situation is getting improved. He said Ethiopia is willing to provide the necessary assistance to Somalia in its efforts to reconstruct institutions beyond helping it to maintain peace and security. Ethiopia will also send agricultural experts to Somalia to support the agriculture sector as the situation is getting improved in that country. Hailemariam said Ethiopia will provide support to Somalia in civil service reform, training professionals and reconstruct institutions. He also expressed Ethiopia’s readiness to further strengthen overall assistance to Somalia to maintain sustainable peace and stability. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his part lauded Ethiopia’s support to Somalia since the 1990s. The President also appreciated Ethiopia’s role in building peace and stability in Somalia since the downfall of the Siad Barre administration. He said Ethiopia exerted maximum efforts towards stability of Somalia and maintain peace in the Horn and East Africa region. The President also commended Ethiopia on behalf of his government for the support being provided to Somalis living here. He said efforts are underway to reconstruct towns freed from al-Shabaab and re-establish socio-economic activities. The President said that his government will strengthen activities in building federal system in Somalia. The president said that his government gives prime attention to ensuring peace and stability in Somalia. Ethiopia’s contribution in building the defense force and also in the fight against al-Shabaab is indispensable.


November 21 – Hailemariam met a Brazilian delegation led by frm. Pres. Lula da Silva

(November 21/2012) Former President of Brazil Lula da Silva called on Ethiopia to provide support towards success of the international conference on African Food Security to be held here in March 2013. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn here Wednesday held talks with a 12-member delegation led by Lula da Silva. Lula da Silva on the occasion said that Ethiopia is one of the countries, which are registering rapid economic growth in the efforts to ensure food security in Africa and said that the country is considered as model in this regard. FAO Director-General Graziano da Silva told journalists after the discussion that leaders of Ethiopia and Brazil have agreed for Brazilian companies to invest in Ethiopia in the agriculture, energy and mines sectors. Ethiopia and Brazil have good diplomatic relation and the delegation discussed with PM Hailemariam to further boost existing relation between the two countries. PM Hailemariam on his part expressed Ethiopia’s readiness to provide support towards success of the conference. The Premier said the conference will be a forum for Brazil to share its experiences , according to the Director-General for the Americas with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Taye Atske-Selassie.


November 19 – Hailemariam met Indian investors

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said Ethiopia will provide the necessary support to Indian investors. While discussing with Indian business delegation here Monday, Hailemariam said activities will be carried out to boost trade ties with India from the current 4.5 billion USD to 10 billion USD at the end of the Growth and Transformation Plan period. Hailemariam said efforts will be exerted to further enhance existing favorable situation to expand investment in Ethiopia. Trade ties will be enhanced in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, hotel, construction materials and IT, among others, he said. Delegation Head, President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) , R V Kanoria on his part expressed desire of Indian investors to engage in the industry sector in Ethiopia.


November 19 – Hailemariam met Foreign Minister of Palestine Dr. Riyad Al Malki

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn expressed Ethiopia’s desire to find peaceful solution to the conflict between Palestine and Israel. While holding talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine Dr. Riyad Al Malki here Monday, Hailemariam said Ethiopia supports ongoing efforts to bring about peace between Palestine and Israel. He said Ethiopia supports Palestine’s demand for self-determination. The Palestinian Minister told journalists after the discussion that Palestine urges the international community to impose seize fire between Palestine and Israel.


November 18 – Hailemariam awards public, private employees for contribution to the Renaisance Dam

The Government of Ethiopia on Saturday awarded certificate and trophy to public and private employees to recognize their contribution to the success of the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the occasion said it is important to give recognition to the efforts of the public and private employees for the construction of the Dam. The Government has been investing on huge projects with a view to expand infrastructure in the country, he said, adding, the construction of the Dam is one of these huge projects being undertaken by the Government. He said the construction of the Dam will realize the dream of Ethiopians to the equal utilization of the Nile. More than 27 government institutes, regional administrations and pensioners receive the certificate from PM Hailemariam and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen.


November 18 – Hailemariam confers with Turkish, Iranian Foreign Ministers

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn here on Friday conferred with Turkish and Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministers on bilateral issues. Accordingly, the Premiers first held talks with Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu on bilateral issues. After the discussion the Minister told journalists that the bilateral cooperation between the two countries is getting momentum, particularly in trade and investment. Currently, 330 Turkish companies with a combined capital of more than 1.8 billion US dollars are engaged in Ethiopia, he said. According to the Minister, the two parties discussed on ways of creating free trade zone and issuance of free visa between the two countries. During the discussion PM Hailemariam said the bilateral cooperation between the two countries has been strengthened. He said now it is difficult to reply to the request made by Turkey to create free trade zone, as Ethiopia is on the process to accede to WTO. The other request from Turkey, which is issuance of free visa with a view to facilitate trade relation between the two countries he said needs some study, according to a high level official who attend the meeting. Similarly, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn here on Friday conferred with Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ali Akbar Saleh on bilateral issues and Horn of Africa. The Minister during the discussion said that his country is keen to boost the bilateral relation with Ethiopia. The two parties agreed that the 6th meeting of the Ethio-Iran Joint Ministerial Commission to be held in Tehran. The Minister came to Ethiopia to extend his government’s condolence over death of late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.


November 15 – Hailemariam conferred with Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn here on Wednesday conferred with Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Africa, Maged Abdelaziz on MDGs, post 2015 agendas as well as peace and security issues. The Premier on the occasion said Ethiopia is working hard to boost its economy. He said that the country is contributing to maintain peace and stability in Africa, according to a high level official, who attended the meeting. After the discussion, the Special Advisor told journalists that the UN will continue to support Ethiopia and Africa, particularly in the economic and political sectors. He lauded Ethiopia’s role in building peace in Africa and affirmed UN’s commitment to support efforts of the country towards peace building.


November 15 – Hailemariam held talks with a Senior Advisor to Sudanese President

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn here on Wednesday held talks with Dr. Nafe’ Ali Nafe’, Senior Advisor to Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir on various issues. The discussion was mainly on issues that need to be settled between Sudan and South Sudan, in particular on the future of Abyei, Kordofan and Blue Nile State. The Premier on the occasion said that he will continue discussion with the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir Mayardit respectively to find solution to the issue, according to a higher level official, who attend the meeting.


November 13 – Hailemariam met with Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn expressed Ethiopia’s commitment to make use of nuclear only for peaceful purposes. The Premier here Tuesday held talks with Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukia Amano on ways to work in collaboration in tse tse fly eradication, control of cancer and water management. Hailemariam on the occasion confirmed Ethiopia’s readiness to work in collaboration with the Agency towards the same purpose. The premier called on the agency to further strengthen support to eradicate tse tse fly making use of integrated technology. He also urged the agency to further strengthen cooperation in water management , ground water development and in the ongoing efforts of the country to prevent cancer, according to Science and Technology Minister Dessie Dalke, who attended the discussion. The director, who visited Kaliti Tsetse Rearing and Irradiation project Centre, on his part said cooperation of the public is significant towards success of such a big project. Amano lauded commitment of the Ethiopian government to eradicate tse tse fly. He said the Agency will further strengthen the necessary technical support to the ongoing efforts to eradicate tse tse fly and control cancer in Ethiopia. Ethiopia has carried out successful activities to eradicate tse tse fly and control cancer and this is exemplary to other African countries, the director said. The Agency is providing support to the project since 1997.


November 13 – Hailemariam awarded top researchers, students and innovators

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said the government will give prime attention to establishment of centers enabling to promote job creation in technical and vocational education training institutes and also universities. Speaking at the 3rd nationwide award ceremony for top researchers, students and innovators here Tuesday, Hailemariam said the government has given due attention to job creation as it is a factor to decide the future of the country. The Premier said the award enables to increase interest among students to study science and mathematics. He said it also helps instructors to give attention to science and mathematics. Science and Technology Minister Dessie Dalke on his part said a national science and technology council is set up to monitor the country’s science, technology and innovation policy and strategy. The Minister said members of the council headed by higher level government executives are drawn from higher learning institutions, prominent figures and representatives of manufacturing and service providing institutions, among others. He said this shows prime attention given by the government towards development of science and technology. More than 200 students and instructors, researchers and innovators, among others, received awards on the occasion. Some 39 of them are females.


November 12 – Hailemariam met with United Kingdom’s parliament delegation

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said existing development cooperation between Ethiopia and the UK will further be strengthened in all sectors. While discussing with a UK parliament delegation here Monday, Hailemariam said Ethiopia and the UK are working closely on issues related to peace and security. The Premier said Ethiopia is one of the leading beneficiaries from the existing development cooperation with UK, which helps the country to achieve its Growth and Transformation Plan. In particular business companies of the UK are engaged in different activities in Ethiopia, he said, adding, the two countries will further enhance existing cooperation in the development and security sectors. Ethio-UK Friendship Committee Chair Laurence Robertson also said the development cooperation of the UK is being implemented properly in Ethiopia. He said the discussion with the Premier was on ways to further continue the existing ongong development cooperation between the two countries. The nine-member delegation is here for a four-day working visit. The delegation also includes members from the UK business firms, according to a higher level official of the foreign affairs ministry.


November 8 – Hailemariam met with President of the Forum Federations Rupak Chattopadhyay

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said Ethiopia will further continue support to the Forum of Federation. While discussing with President of the Federation Rupak Chattopadhyay here Wednesday Hailemariam said the country will further strengthen building ongoing federal system, which enables to ensure equality of the people. He said Ethiopia will share its best experiences with neghbouring countries in building such system. Hailemariam also expressed readiness of the country to further continue cooperation with the forum , according to head of the office of the House of Federation, Habtamu Nini. Rupak Chattopadhyay on his part told journalists that the forum is keen to work in collaboration with Ethiopia. The president said Ethiopia is exemplary not only for Africa but also for the world in its activities to build a federal democratic system, which helped it to register rapid economic growth. The discussion with the Premier was successful, he said. The 5th international conference on federalism was held here two years ago. Members of the forum include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Mexico and Switzerland.


November 7 – Hailemariam met U.S Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn here on Wednesday held talks with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman on bilateral issues. The Premier on the occasion said Ethiopia is keen to further strengthen the existing cooperation with the U.S., in particular in the areas of economy, security, human rights and democracy. He said Ethiopia has gained significant support from the US in such areas. Hailemariam also expressed hope that the Under Secretary’s visit will further boost the cooperation and the development assistance the US provides to Ethiopia, according to a high level official, who attended the meeting. Under Secretary Sherman on her part said the discussion with the Prime Minister was successful. She affirmed that the existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries will continue strengthened.


November 6 – Hailemariam convened EPRDF Executive Committee

Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) concludes its regular meeting after discussing various issues. The committee put directions on the preparations of the 9th EPRDF congress to be conducted this Ethiopian year. It also assigned a committee in charge of organizing the congress. EPRDF Secretariat said in a statement that the committee also discussed the upcoming local and Addis Ababa City Council elections and put directions on the activities to be done to make the elections free, fair, and democratic. It said members of the committee exchanged views on the activities to be carried out to help EPRDF win the elections through genuine competition. The meeting also evaluated the moves made to prepare regional states for the successful accomplishment of plans set for this fiscal year, according to the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.


November 5 – Hailemariam met Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani

Ethiopia and Qatar signed four agreements that would them enhance their cooperation in various fields here on Monday at the National Palace. After the bilateral discussion held between the two countries high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn and Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani,they signed the agreements. The two countries have signed the in the areas of bilateral cooperation, labor, civil aviation, investment, trade, private sector cooperation and agricultural and food security. Briefing journalists, PM Haile-Mariam said Ethiopia and Qatar have agreed to further enhance their cooperation. He said Ethiopia seeks to work closely with Qatar in the area of investment, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and other sectors. The premier said the two countries have agreed to work closely to ensure peace and stability in the horn of Africa. The Qatari Foreign Affairs and Premier on his part said his country is ready to further consolidate its cooperation with Ethiopia. He said the two countries have agree to their embassies in respective capitals to further enhance the revive cooperation. The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Dina Mufti on his part said the agreements between the two countries would help revamp their tie that has been stranded for the last three years. Separate discussions were held by ministers of agriculture, finance and transport as to how further enhance cooperation in the sectors, Similarly, the Qatari delegation had held discussion with President Girma Woldegiorgis here on Monday at the National Palace. The Premier Haile-Mariam hosted a dinner banquet at the presidential palace in honor of Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, and members of the delegation on Sunday . The banquet was attended by a number of ministers, senior government officials and Arab ambassadors to Ethiopia. The Qatari delegation has arrived here on Sunday for an official working visit to Ethiopia.


November 2 – HaileMariam met UN Special Envoy for Sahel Region Professor Romano Prodi

Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn said Ethiopia will support UN efforts to ensure peace and stability in Sahel region. While discussing with UN Special Envoy for Sahel Region Professor Romano Prodi here on Friday the premier said Ethiopia is ready to support any peace initiative to resolve the crisis in Sahel region. The problems in Sahel region is a pressing issue of Africa, he said adding Ethiopia will extend support to AU and ECOWAS peace efforts for the same cause. The premier reaffirmed that Ethiopia will continue playing its role in bringing peace and stability in the continent with UN and AU organizations. After the discussion with the premier, Professor Prodi told journalists that he had fruitful discussion with the premier as to how further Ethiopia could play its significant role in ensuring peace and stability in Africa. He expressed hope that Ethiopia would seize its recognition in the continent to resolve the crisis in West Africa region. Professor Prodi said UN Security Council and European Union have agreed to resolve the crisis in Sahel region in peaceful means.


November 2 – HaileMariam met IDEA’s Secretary General, Vidar Helgesen

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn Thursday held talks with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) Secretary General, Vidar Helgesen on electoral and democratization issues. On the occasion, the Premier said Ethiopia is keen to work in collaboration with IDEA on electoral issues and on ways to strengthening the democratic system in the country. He said the electoral code of conduct that IDEA prepared during the 2002 EC national and local elections has gained credibility among all parties. The Premier called on the Institute to propose new ideas on electoral and democratization issues in the future. The Secretary General on his part expressed hope that the new administration will follow the footsteps of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He said the new leadership should work hard to strengthen the ongoing activities towards building democracy in the country. The Secretary General has arrived here to attend the three-day conference held on Youth and Democratization in Africa under the theme Lessons Learned and Comparative Experiences.


October 25 – Hailemariam met EU’s Special Representative to the Horn of Africa Alexander Rondos

Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn held discussion with the European Union Special Representative to the Horn of Africa Alexander Rondos on the current situation in Somalia on Thursday. The two sides have conferred as to how further enhance the current auspicious security development in that country. The officials have also discussed on the effective implementation of the cooperative peace agreement signed by the two Sudans in Addis Ababa last September. On the occasion, PM Haile-Mariam told the representative that there is ample investment opportunities where European investors can be engaged. He reaffirmed government commitment to extend all the necessary support for interested European investors. The two parties have also discussed as to how the EU will back Ethiopia’s’ efforts in connecting the East African region by power and road infrastructures, according to an official from the ministry of foreign affairs.


October 24 – Hailemariam conferred with Ethiopian Investors

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the government will provide the necessary support to investors engaged in the industry sector in a bid to realize the Growth and Transformation Plan and thereby enable the country join the middle economies. The Prime Minister made the remark here on Wednesday while discussing the existing challenges in the sector with Ethiopian investors. The government as always is committed to support the sector and solve the various challenges related to tax and customs, he said. The PM said that the government is aware of the existing problems in the sector related with transportation, logistic and power supply, land as well as port service. Hailemariam affirmed that the government will work to solve these problems step by step. According to him, government is also aware of the illegal activities of some investors engaged in the sector who try to get illegal wealth. Hailemariam on the occasion promised to meet twice a year with the investors with a view to discuss and solve the problems existed in the sector.


October 13 – Hailemariam addressed the 8th African Development Forum (ADF VIII)

Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn said Africa should design anew ways about how to manage and harness the natural resource in order to promote development. The 8th African Development Forum (ADF VIII) is underway here on Tuesday under the theme Governing and Harnessing Natural Resource for African Development. Addressing the Forum the premier said African can and ought to do much in effectively using the resource to meet the challenges including population, climate change and the legitimate demands of its citizens for economic empowerment He said Africa continues exploiting its natural resource in the same way as colonial-era administrations rapaciously extracted resources to prop up their home economies. Hence, he said Africa should focus to add value to its exported natural resources that brings lower earning and unable to back the growth of other sectors of the economy. The Premier said Ethiopia has been taking steps to ensure that natural resources are placed front and center in the development programs. He said Ethiopia has consistently placed a premium on food security and enhancing and modernizing agriculture. Haile-mariam said nation has launched Climate Resilient Green Economic Initiative to ensure that economic development has minimal adverse impact on the environment. He mentioned a case in point that the mining sector has generated revenues more than 500 million US dollars which is still far below the sector’s potential. Haile-mariam praised Botswana for its achievements in turning out its natural resource development for the benefits of its people. He said “Today Botswana is middle income country. For Botswana diamonds turned out not to be a curse, but a blessing.” UN-ECA executive secretary Carlos Lopez on his part said Africa has along way to go in order to harness the full potential of its natural resources and speed up social and economic progress. He said government, private sector, civil society organization and ordinary citizens, stakeholders and workers are responsible to focus on long term development options in the sector. He expressed gratitude for partners who have been very supportive in the effort to establish an African Minerals Development Center. AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Dlamini Zuma on her part said “ we were colonized because of our natural resources ,our current status in the global economy is defined by our natural resource and our future will be determined by the manner in which we utilize our natural resource.” She said the Forum should address the challenges that Africa faces currently with respect to the utilization and management of its natural resources. Former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae on his part said, government officials, development partners, UN agencies, NGOs, scholars, civic associations, private sectors and prominent personalities are taking part in the three-day forum. The ADF is a biennial event of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). It was created in 1999 and is a multi-stakeholder platform for debating, discussing and initiating concrete strategies for Africa’s development. It is convened in collaboration with the AUC , the African Development Bank (AfDB), and other partners.


October 19 – Hailemariam met the presidents of IFRC and ICRC

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn held talks on Friday with the presidents of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Tadateru Konoé and Peter Maurer respectively. While discussing with Ethiopia presidents of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) International Red Cross Society he Hailemariam said Ethiopia seeks to further enhance its relations with the two entities. The Premier told IFRC President Tadateru Konoé that his federation should work closely with Ethiopian Red Cross Society He expressed gratitude for the federation for its support during conflicts and food shortage in the Horn of Africa. IFRC President Tadateru Konoé on his part said the Federation would continue cooperation with Ethiopia. Hailemariam said the Federation is undertaking various activities in Ethiopia. The two sides have also discussed on the situation in Somali and the two Sudans according an official from the ministry of foreign affairs. After the discussion the ICRC President Peter Maurer told journalists that he held constructive discussion with PM Hailemariam. He reaffirmed that ICRC would continue cooperation with the Ethiopian government.


October 19 – Hailemariam addressed the 2nd annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn calls for African common position in the upcoming Doha Climate Change conference as it has been negotiating on the issues over the past years. The premier made the call at the 2nd annual Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa here on Friday under the theme Advancing Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Climate Change and Development at UN ECA Convention Center. Hailemariam said Ethiopia is ready to share its green economy development experience to sister African countries. Addressing the Conference Premier Dessalegn said African should advance its concerns on climate change with one voice in the upcoming Doha, Katar Climate Change Conference. He said African should seize the conference to advance the cause of Africa at international forums as the late PM Meles Zenawi had done s so. The fund for African green economy development is not closed and should get its compensation for the devastated effect of climate change it faces, he said. He noted that Africa should negotiate on climate change based on substantiated scientific researches. PM Hailemariam said the African Climate Change Policy Center established by the Economic Commission for Africa should capacitate negotiators, countries and institutions in policy and analytical researches. He said focus need to be given for adaptation and mitigation and the conference would facilitate for the upcoming conference in Doha. The premier said Ethiopia would extend all the necessary support in campaigning for Africa in the conference. Ethiopia is willing to share its Climate- Resilient Green Economy and results kindled by the late PM Meles for sister African countries, he said and added, all rounded efforts is underway to attain the carbon free economy by the year 2025. As part of the efforts, he said government is running huge projects on renewable energy resources including water, wind and geothermal. The premier said similarly African nations should be politically committed and solicit social mobilization for the same cause. UN-ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes on his part said Africa is being affected in various ways including increasing of temperature, more frequent and sever incidents of drought and floods, retreat in glaciers and rising sea level. He said sectors like health, energy, water, sanitation will impacted by climate change and require appropriate policy responses. He said the theme of the conference is appropriate as knowledge which is informed by practice to design policies that will promote development in the face of climate change. He said member states and regional institution need to scale up investment in climate change data information and service, chart out clear policy and development that are climate resilient and low carbon intensity. The executive secretary said Africa position in the climate change negotiations continues to be well prepared so as to obtain access to more finance, appropriate technology and capacity development needs. The two-day conference would deliberate on research papers and is expected to adopt African common position on climate change in the upcoming Doha Conference.


October 18 – Hailemariam conferred with Executive Secretary of ECA, Dr. Carlos Lopes

Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn here on Thursday held talks with the newly appointed Executive Secretary of ECA, Dr. Carlos Lopes in connection with his appointment. The PM on the occasion said Ethiopia will continue to support the activities of the ECA. Dr. Lopes on his part said ECA will further strengthen its efforts for the realization of institutional transformation in the continent. He reiterated ECA’s readiness to support Ethiopia’s ongoing development activities with a view to contribute to the successive economic growth of the country. He said ECA will work to share best practices of the successive economic development registered in Ethiopia to other African countries. Dr. Lopes takes office following the retirement in August 2012 of Abdoulie Janneh who took office as UN Under-Secretary and Executive Secretary of ECA in 2006. Dr Lopes has been serving as Director of the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) at the level of Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) since 2007.


October 16 – Hailemariam addressed questions by Members of the Parliament 

Prime Minister Hailemarima Dessalegn said various measures taken by the government have enabled to reduce the inflation from 40 to 19 percent. The House of People’s Representatives approved on Tuesday the motion of thanks to President Girma Woldegiorgis’s speech made at the opening of the joint session of the House of People’s Representative and House of Federation earlier last week. Expressing government’s stand to the Premier said regulating the finance circulation, enhancing agricultural productivity and modernizing the trade system are the major measures taken to reduce the inflation. He said government has covered the budget deficit by selling treasury bills and limited the gap to 1.2 percent. The Premier said a study that aimed at addressing problems related to wholesale and inflationary problems would be implemented in this budget year. As to the improvement of agricultural productivity last year more than 2.2 million quintals of select seed and fertilizers were distributed among farmers, he said and adding efforts would further be enhanced in this fiscal year. Haile-Mariam said government would continue supplying wheat, edible oil and sugar to low income families with fair prices. He said job creation is the priority concern of the government and efforts would be exerted to create jobs to women and the youth in this budget year. Against to the rumor of shortage of foreign currency, the premier said currently there is no shortage of currency rather the reserve by the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in 2004 E.C. has surpassed the previous year by 12.5 percent. As to the effort to promote the culture of saving, government has aspired to increase saving to 15 from 6 percent of the GDP, he said and adding the saving has reached nine percent. Expanding micro-finance institutions and banks to the district level has enabled to enhance saving by 35 percent, he said and adding government will take various measures to foster the culture of saving thereby financing ongoing huge development projects. Haile-mariam said the construction of the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam is well in progress as per the schedule and 11.4 percent of the project has been completed. He said government has signed agreements with China, Japan and South Korean governments for the construction of railway projects. Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway project has already been launched last June. To address the problem with telecom quality service installation of wave transmission equipments on tall buildings in the metropolis and fiber optic on poles will be carried out, he said. The premier said the public should protect the damage in power transmission lines that causes power interruption. He said government would continue in implementing various packages to ensure education quality that has resulted in commendable achievements over the past years. Despite relentless efforts of the government to ensure democracy and good governance, there are still public grievances in some public offices, he said and noted much more effort should be exerted by all actors including political parties and the public. He said EPRDF would take the lead to address public grievances and urged members of the Front to play their role in mobilizing the public towards this endeavor. The Premier said the government would work closely with the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to make the upcoming local election fair and democratic.


October 15 – Hailemariam met African Union Chairperson and Beninese President, Bony Yayu

      Addis Ababa October 15/2012 Prime Minister Haile-Mariam Dessalegn said the relation between Ethiopia and Benin will further be strengthened. While discussing with the current African Union Chairperson (AUC) and Beninese President, Bony Yayu here on Monday, PM Haile-Mariam said the late PM Meles Zenawi has carried out commendable tasks to help prevail peace and stability in Africa. He said Ethiopia is proud of the late PM Meles who has played significant role to advance the agendas of Africa. PM Haile-Mariam said he is interested to realize peace and development in Africa and will materialize these objectives by closely following the footsteps of the late PM Meles. According to him, the launching of Ethiopian Airlines flight to Benin will help further intensify people to people relation between the two countries. The president on his part said he is confident that the ties of the two countries will enjoy amicable relation as kindled by PM Meles. His invitation extended to PM Haile-Mariam to pay a visit to his country with a view to strengthening the relation of Ethiopia and Benin has been accepted, he said.


October 8 – Hailemariam went to Uganda

A delegation led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on Monday left for Uganda to attend on the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Independence of that country to be held on Tuesday. The delegation left for Kampala as per the invitation of President Yuweri Musevini. Uganda gets its independence from the British colonial rule in 1962.


October 6 – Hailemariam discussed with UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker

UK companies expressed their readiness to transfer technology to Ethiopia in its effort to build green economy development. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn held discussion with UK delegation led by UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker here on Friday. On the occasion, Minister Barker said his country would closely work with the Ethiopian government in its plan to build carbon free economy by the year 2025. He said UK companies have reputable experience in developing renewable energy resource including wind, geothermal and solar sources. Ethiopia has immense renewable energy resources and is the leading country in Eastern Africa to launch green economic development, he said. PM Hailemariam on the occasion said UK companies have ample opportunities to take part in the country’s green economy development endeavor. He said government is ready to facilitate ways for the UK companies to participate in the sector. While here, the delegation held discussions with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Federal Environmental Protection Authority.


October 04 – Hailemariam met Germany’s parliamentary delegation head, Dagmar Wehrl

Germany will continue to support Ethiopia’s efforts in renewable energy development, education and realization of MDGs, German Parliamentary delegation said. After discussing with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn here on Thursday delegation head, Dagmar Wehrl said Germany will also support Ethiopia’s good governance and democracy building activities. She said it is Germany’s wish that Ethiopia will strengthen its peace building activities in the Horn of Africa. PM Hailemariam on his part asked Germany to strengthen the support to the renewable energy and green economy development activities of Ethiopia. The delegation is here to visit the development projects being undertaken with the support of German Government from 2 to 6 October 2012.


October 04 – PM Hailemariam met Russian President Special Representative, Mikhail V. Margelov

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn here on Thursday held talks with Special Representative of the President of Russian Federation on Cooperation with African Countries, Mikhail V. Margelov. The PM on the occasion said Ethiopia is keen to further strengthen the existing bilateral relation with Russian Federation. He said it is Ethiopia’s desire that the cooperation with Russia will be mainly on trade, investment, railway construction, human resource development and mining among others. Hailemariam said the two countries have similar stand on the peace and stability in the Horn of Africa, especially in Mali and Congo, according to a high level official who attend the meeting. The Special Representative on his part said currently his country is working to strengthen the relation with African countries. He said the first Russia-Africa Forum was held in Ethiopia with the support of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Mr. Margelov said the discussion with the Prime Minister was mainly about the 2nd Russia-Africa Forum which will be held in South Africa. According to him, the two parties agreed to hold special Russia-Ethiopia forum during this forum in South Africa in March this year. He said the Forum is expected to attract a number of Russian investors to Ethiopia. Mr. Margelov urged Ethiopia to strengthen its role in building peace and stability in East and the whole Africa.


September 29 – Hailemarim addressed the UN assembly

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn addressed the 67th UN General Assembly yesterday (September 28) at the UN headquarters in New York .Prime Minister Hailemariam started his maiden speech telling the tragedy the nation under went in the untimely and sudden death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.  He said “The passing of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is a huge loss for Ethiopia and undoubtedly for Africa as well”. He praised the late premier’s dynamic regional and continental leadership battle to help Africa has the sole authority on its own destiny saying “he was a man of prodigious intellect and was uncompromising in his insistence that Ethiopians and Africans should own and protect their development strategies and their approach to governance and democratization “. He went on to add that “The late Ethiopian prime minister and the party he led have facilitated the emergence of a new Ethiopia which has rekindled the hope of Ethiopians in the future and strengthened their confidence to overcome adversaries”.  He thanked all those who stood with Ethiopians in that time of grief.” He saluted them saying “we cherish our friendship. He in particular noted that in those trying times “Ethiopians proved their mettle and what they are made of when unexpectedly they were told the tragedy the nation faced.”  He added “It is honor and blessing to be a leader of a people who are generous and paying tribute to those like Prime Minister Meles who served them selflessly, a people who had the maturity and wisdom to see and even lucidly articulate who did what for the nation and for the people of Ethiopia”.


September 28 – Hailemariam addressed the UN mini-summit on Somalia

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is attending the UN General Assembly this week also addressed the Somalia Mini-Summit. Hailing the political and military developments in Somalia, the Prime Minister said that recent developments on the political and security fronts in Somalia had created an unprecedented opportunity for stabilizing the country. The results had “demonstrated how much focused and coordinated national, sub-regional, continental and global efforts could bring the desired result”. Speaking on the positive military developments he added: “we are encouraged to note that the multi-pronged military operations by AMISOM and TFG forces as well as Ethiopian defense forces have no doubt decisively weakened Al-Shabaab. This has resulted not only in the forced withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu but also the liberation of a number of areas in central and southern parts of Somalia.” Prime Minister Hailemariam hailed the resolve of the international community as shown by the emerging growing consensus on Somalia, as demonstrated in the London and Istanbul conferences, as well as the International Contact Group Meeting in Rome. “These had all converged to assist the people of Somalia to seize the unique opportunity to usher in a new era of peace and stability in Somalia.” Ato Hailemariam welcomed the Security Council’s adoption of resolution 2036 (2012), which significantly expanded the size of AMISOM and the support provided to the mission. He further called on the international community to continue to support Somalia while still giving due consideration to Somali ownership of the process. He concluded by emphasizing: “We in Ethiopia will continue, in the spirit of our late Prime Minister, to do the best we can, along with our friends within IGAD and the AU, as well as with the UN and partners, to assist Somalia to proceed with success along this promising trajectory”.


September 21 – Hailemariam takes oath as Prime Minister

Hailemariam Desalegn, previously Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on Friday (September 21st). An extraordinary session of the House of People’s Representative approved the nomination of Ato Hailemariam by the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which had elected him as chairperson of the party last Saturday. The EPRDF, which controls a majority of the seats in parliament, had chosen Ato Hailemariam as its prime ministerial candidate. Taking the oath of office, Prime Minister Hailemariam said:”With the decision of the EPRDF and the parliament, I am very happy to take the responsibility of being prime minister.” Ato Hailemariam vowed to continue in the footsteps of the late Premier. “He brought peace, democracy and development to the country,” he said. “Meles considered himself as a son of the people,” he added, promising to continue “Meles’s legacy without any change.”  Education Minister, Ato Demeke Mekonnen, elected last week as deputy chairperson of the EPRDF, was elected Deputy Prime Minister, taking over the post from Ato Hailemariam. “I will serve the country and faithfully serve the Prime Minister,” Ato Demeke said as he took the oath. He promised his support to Ato Hailemariam, praising his “leadership with the late prime minister” and his “significant role in the EPRDF regarding democracy, and the development of the country.”


Please check the archives for more on the issues raised above.

* This interview is part of the “Post-Meles 2012″ Special Edition of this blog.

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