32 Facts About Hailemariam Desalegn


Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe is an Ethiopian politician who served as prime minister of Ethiopia from 2012 to 2018.


Hailemariam Desalegn previously served as deputy prime minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi from 2010 to 2012.


Hailemariam Desalegn was then elected as the chair of the EPRDF, the ruling party, on 15 September 2012.


Hailemariam Desalegn served as the chairperson of the African Union from 2013 to 2014.


Hailemariam Desalegn's resignation was accepted on 11 March 2018, but he stayed in office as head of the caretaker government until 2 April 2018.


Hailemariam Desalegn is the first ruler in modern Ethiopian history to step down; previous leaders have died in office or been overthrown.


Hailemariam Desalegn said he wanted to clear the way for reforms.

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Hailemariam Desalegn was born in 1965 in the Boloso Sore District Hombba of the Wolayita Zone in southern Ethiopia.


Hailemariam Desalegn is from Wolayta ethnic group of Ethiopia, the first largest in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region.


Hailemariam Desalegn's family belongs to the Apostolic Church of Ethiopia, a Oneness Pentecostal denomination that is not part of the mainstream Ethiopian Protestant Christianity, which believes in Trinitarianism.


In 1988, Hailemariam Desalegn received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Addis Ababa University.


Hailemariam Desalegn subsequently worked as a graduate assistant in the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute.


Hailemariam Desalegn 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 Tigrayan People's Liberation Front split in 2000.


Hailemariam Desalegn was President of the SNNPR from November 2001 to March 2006 and was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in October 2010.


Hailemariam Desalegn has been Deputy Chairman of EPRDF, Chairman of SEPDM, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Hailemariam Desalegn led the team that drafted the Charities and Societies Proclamation law that limits the interference of international non-governmental organizations in local political activities.


Hailemariam Desalegn is credited with pushing EPRDF to re-organize its structure after the contentious 2005 elections via the '1-to-5' model that boosted the number of party members from 400,000 to five million by the 2010 elections.


In 2010, Hailemariam Desalegn was sworn into dual ministerial positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Hailemariam Desalegn became the permanent Prime Minister on 21 September 2012.


European Parliament President Martin Schulz, after meeting with Hailemariam Desalegn, said that his desire "to strengthen democracy in the country, allowing for greater pluralism and a freer civil society, to uphold the freedoms enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution" was clear.


In February 2014, Hailemariam Desalegn met in Addis Ababa with a visiting delegation from Somalia led by Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed to discuss strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.


Hailemariam Desalegn pledged his administration's continued support for the peace and stabilization efforts in Somalia, as well as its preparedness to assist in initiatives aiming to build up the Somali security forces through experience-sharing and training.


Hailemariam Desalegn suggested that Ethiopia and Somalia should increase bilateral trade and investment.


Additionally, Hailemariam Desalegn described the growing ties between both nations as a break from the counter-productive policies of past administrations, marking instead of the opening of a new chapter where mutual stability is beneficial.


Hailemariam Desalegn likewise welcomed the Ethiopian military's decision to join AMISOM.

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Hailemariam Desalegn sustained economic progress in Ethiopia after the sudden death of his predecessor in 2012.


Hailemariam Desalegn played role to complete the implementation of the Growth and Transformation Plan and to start with GTP II.


Hailemariam Desalegn continued with the ambitious projects like the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which was launched by his predecessor, Meles Zenawi.


On 14 February 2018, Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation as prime minister and chairman of EPRDF in a televised address and submitted letter to the SEPDM and EPRDF, who finally accept the letter.


Hailemariam Desalegn's resignation made him the first leader to do so in the country's recent history.


Hailemariam Desalegn's announcement came amid a political crisis and lingering unrest in the Horn of Africa country, which had been releasing thousands of political prisoners to ease tensions.


Hailemariam Desalegn is a member of the board of numerous international organizations such as International Crisis Group, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Tana High Level Forum on Security in Africa, Brenthurst Foundation, IBA Ethiopia Center for Innovation, and the Ethiopian Reconciliation Commission.