News / Africa

    Former U.S. Diplomat Lauds Selection of Ethiopia’s New Ruling Party Leader

    Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.  Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
    x
    Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
    Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
    Ashenafi Abedje
    Ethiopia’s ruling party has elected acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as its new chairman. The vote by the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front puts Hailemariam in line to become the next Prime Minister. 

    David Shinn, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, said he is not surprised by Hailemariam’s elevation to the party’s top spot.

    “I think it was almost predictable in that Hailemariam was being groomed by Prime Minister Meles to succeed him. I think a lot of thought has gone into this selection,” he said.

    Shinn said all of the speculation, particularly in the Diaspora, that Meles will be followed by another Tigrayan, was “widely off the mark.”

    The former diplomat, who currently serves as Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University, explained what he sees as the importance of the EPRDF Council’s decision.

    “I think it’s trying to acknowledge that the EPRDF must broaden its base, reach out more widely to different ethnic groups, and that the Tigrayan leadership, which in the past has controlled so many of the key slots, has to share more power,” he said.

    “After all,” Shinn noted, “Tigrayans constitute only 6.1 percent of the population.

    The former diplomat said with the new hierarchy, there will likely be more consultation within the EPRDF, not necessarily the TPLF, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.

    “Someone who is as relatively new to the position as he (Hailemariam) is cannot be expected to have the kind of authority Meles had,” said Shinn.  “Hailemariam will have to rely more on advice from other members of the EPRDF for key decisions.”

    With the change in leadership lead to possible policy changes? Ambassador Shinn doubts there will be significant policy departures.

    “There will inevitably be nuanced changes. Whether there will be really significant changes, it is very difficult to predict,” he said. “I’d hope in the government’s approach to the pace of democratization, opening of the political process and handling of human rights issues, that there will be significant change.”

    Shinn said whether or not the emerging leadership undertakes such changes will determine how the West will view the new government. For now, he said, there’s a long way to go in improving those aspects of Ethiopian policy.

    Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinn
    Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinni
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: FETEH from: SWITZERLAND
    September 17, 2012 4:07 PM
    With great respect i agree with ur comment but i dont know why you have ignored the recent rush by the TPLF generals to promoto about 37 high military officials before the rulling party selects PM Hailemariam. in the absences of a primier where among 34 of them are tigryans which was a signal to the ethiopian people that still there is too much to go to bring a power share despite TPLF alowing the two top postions please lets not forget that all the millitary and security are still complitly controlled under TPLF knowing that will HD have the path of his own I doubt and they repeatedly mentioned to continue the legacy of the late PM Melese. They told us there won't be any change (I mean, policy,...). The other question is, who really has the real power? I think the ball is under the hands of TPLF who had controlled the military and the security ...., not..... Anyway, let's wait and see. PEACE!!

    by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
    September 17, 2012 3:21 PM
    I wish Mr. Shinn stop telling us what the EPRDF regime is thinking, and start telling us - what the U.S. government would do to promote democracy, inclusive political party system, Human Rights and etc. He can answer if and when the U.S. would stop subsidizing the terrorist organization in Ethiopia. It didn’t work in Egypt, so why is the U.S. think it will work in Ethiopia???? … can Mr. Shinn answer why the U.S makes the same mistake and not learn from the past?

    I know the U.S. policy is not to force democracy on to other society. Neither should it be helping undemocratically elected regimes. The sad part about US-Ethiopia relation is that U.S. is as much despised as in the Arab world. The funny part is that the U.S. policy maker and administration could NOT figure out why they're despised so much!! .... I don't know if I can make this easier for U.S. law makers to understand, but I will try .... STOP SUPPORTING THEIR TORTURER REGIME!! ... and, see if that makes a difference. If there's a regime that's undemocratically elected, the U.S. should STOP subsidizing the regime!
    In Response

    by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
    September 18, 2012 3:50 PM
    One important fact to keep in mind - that you're not even denying you're a dictator or dictator-lover!! ... And, history tells us, dictators won't last long (case be point to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria,...). "...Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow..." we can agree on that if you're referring to ALL Ethiopians - regardless of their political and religious background - and, not communists like yourself! ... United States will never stand with commies and we'll make sure of that!!
    In Response

    by: Mike from: Oregon
    September 18, 2012 1:22 AM
    I think you are off line and totally wrong by your remarks. With our without you and your likes, Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow. Thus I know people like you will never be happy no matter what. Go figures!
    In Response

    by: anti extrimism from: USA
    September 17, 2012 9:04 PM
    Hi "Feteh", the US government did not, and is not supporting the regime. the US government is giving aid for poor ethiopians throu the ethiopian gov`t. if you do not want to see new schools, hospitals, roads etc. untill their is a regime change, you should have stayed in ethiopia to make a difference. but it is not fair to ask the US government to stop its support for poor ethiopians while you are living a good life abroad. may be your immediate families do not need help, but look the situation macroscopically.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.