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Ato Hailemariam Desalegn

Ato Hailemariam DesalegnThe Council of Ministers of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia informed the Peoples of Ethiopia that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had led the country for the last 21 years, died on August 20th at 11:40 pm at the hospital where he was under medical treatment. His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will, in accordance with the FDRE Constitution, continue to carry out the responsibilities of heading the Council of Ministers.

Ato Hailemariam Desalegn was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in September 2010. He had previously been Government Chief Whip Minister in the House of Peoples Representatives (2008 – 2010) and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Affairs, Civic Organizations and Partnership with the rank of Minister (2006-2008). Ato Hailemariam previously served as President of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional States (2001-2006) and as Vice-President 2000-2001, and was a member of the SNNPR House of Representatives’ Council between 1995 and 2008.

He is Chairman of the Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Movement and Deputy Chairman and member of the Executive Council of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front. EPRDF Central Committee members from such non Tigrean People's Liberation Front's (TPLF) component parties shed much of the antiquated Marxist rhetoric while still clinging adamantly to the top-down imperative approach of bringing democracy to the people. Hailemariam Desalegn has argued that due to poor education and illiteracy the Ethiopian public is too underdeveloped to make a well reasoned, informed decision, and so Revolutionary Democracy is the political bridge by which the "enlightened leaders" can lead the people to democracy.

Ato Hailemariam served as a Member of the House of Federation (1995-2008) and as Member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives since 2008. Ato Hailemariam taught for 12 years at the Arbaminch Water Technology Institute where he held the positions of Registrar, Vice-Dean, and of Dean (1996-2000), and at Arbaminch University. He also attended courses on Training Approaches for Environmental Management in Industry (University of Mauritius) and Higher Education Management (University of Warwick, UK).

Ato Hailemariam has served as Board Chairman for Hawassa and Wolayta Soddo Universities, and for the Addis Ababa Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, the Construction Design Share Company, the Ethiopian Railways Corporation, the Ethiopian Maritime and Transit Service Enterprise, the Privatization and Public Enterprise Supervising Agency, and currently he is Board Chairman for the Walta Information and Public Relations Center and Ethiopian Railways Corporation.

Ato Hailemariam was born 19th July 1965 and took a BA in Civil Engineering at Addis Ababa University, an MSc in Engineering at Tampere University of Technology, Finland, and MA in Organizational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University, California.

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