Ethiopia recently witnessed the inauguration of Abiy Ahmed Ali as the 12th prime minister of the country, The which calls itself the Land of the Queen of Sheba, also claims title to the Ark of the Covenant, the box of gold and acacia wood that is believed to have once contained the Ten Commandments. Ethiopian Christians say it is somewhere in the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum.
The country has had 11 prime ministers who faced criticisms and some praise. Some who faced the most criticisms are
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 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 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.
The recently resigned 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. He was accused of human rights violation and was forced to resign