Politics

Prime Ministers Of Ethiopia Through History

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa, and borders Eritrea, Somali, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, and South Sudan. The country occupies a total area of 1.1 million square kilometers, with Addis Ababa being its capital and largest city. Ethiopia is a federal parliamentary republic with the Prime Minister as the head of government. The prime minister is nominated by the president from among the members of the House of People’s Representative. The Prime Minister is the Commander-in-Chief of the Ethiopian forces. He or she also nominates cabinet ministers, attend a parliamentary session, represents the country in various delegations, and is also ensures that relevant bills pass through the legislature. Notable Prime Ministers throughout the country's modern history are looked at below.

Makonnen Endelkachew

Makonnen Endelkachew served as Ethiopia’s prime minister between 1943 and 1947 under Emperor Haile Selassie. He is described as the “Mountain man” because he weighed over 300 pounds. Despite his size, he was gentle, kind, and friendly. He was also sharp and intelligent and an accomplished author. Makonnen Endelkachew was a ceremonial Prime Minister who was given to intellectual pursuit as opposed to the political pursuit. Because he was not fluent in English, he could not participate in international debates. He retired on November 1, 1957.

Abebe Aregai

Abebe Aregai was a military officer who led a group of fighters during the Italian Occupation before his appointment to the role of Ethiopian Prime Minister on November 27, 1957. He was also the commander of the Addis Ababa Metropolis police. Abebe Aregai played a critical role in the restoration of Emperor Selassie, who had left the country during the Italian Occupation gaining the name “Ras” in the process. On the Liberation Day on May 5, 1941, Abebe Aregai lined up his men along the streets of Addis Ababa to welcome the Emperor. He also served in several ministerial positions including defense and interior as well as governor general of Tigrai. He was killed in the attempted coup of 1960.

Aklilu Habte-Wold

Aklilu Habte-Wold was Ethiopia’s foreign minister before his appointment as Prime Minister under Emperor Haile Selassie on April 17, 1961. He was also the Tsehafi Taezas alongside the premier position. Because of the political rivalry and power struggles that existed within the Imperial Family, Aklilu Habte-Wold’s policies on land reforms and constitutional changes were opposed. His influence in the country cannot be identified because his interest was on politics rather than reforms. His leadership was characterized by protests, economic downturn, and military unrest. By 1973, he had grown weary because the premier’s position did not come with the authority that was required to deal with these challenges. He finally resigned on March 1, 1974, but was heavily criticized for abandoning the government without restoring the law and order in the country. Aklilu Habte-Wold together with his brother and other 60 men were arrested and executed on November 23, 1974, leading to a worldwide protest.

Hailemariam Desalegn

The incumbent Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has served Ethiopia since 2012, succeeding the late Meles Zenawi. He was the Deputy Prime Minister under the same late Zenawi, and had also served as the Chairperson of the African Union between 2013 and 2014.

Prime Ministers of EthiopiaTerm in Office
Makonnen Endelkachew
1943-1957
Abebe Aregai
1957-1960
Aklilu Habte-Wold
1961-1974
Endelkachew Makonnen1974
Mikael Imru1974
Vacant under Provisional Military Government1974-1987
Fikre Selassie Wogderess
1987-1989
Hailu Yimenu
1989-1991
Tesfaye Dinka
1991
Tamrat Layne
1991-1995
Meles Zenawi
1995-2012
Hailemariam Desalegn (Incumbent)2012-Present

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