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Remembering Meles Zenawi: His Vision and His Legacy ( By: Hermela Yifter)

Remembering Meles Zenawi: His Vision and His Legacy ( By: Hermela Yifter)

August 20, 2013 marks a year since the sudden and tragic death of the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi.  The anniversary will be commemorated nationally to mark the former Premier's legacy. It will pay tribute to the brilliant and life-long achievements as an untiring and unforgettable leader who made an outstanding contribution to the current renaissance of Ethiopia. He was the architect of the country's National Security Policy and Strategy and played an influential role in the construction of the policies. His astute knowledge, negotiating skills, and an uncanny capacity for communication allowed him to become a major influence in the development of Africa and in the engagement of the continent's international diplomatic efforts. Meles Zenawi had an unyielding conviction of the importance, and the necessity,  of reconciliation, peace building, and above all - trust. He devoted his life to the peace and security of Africa, particularly the Horn region. His brilliance as a politician was commended and recognized by many of his peers on an international level. It inevitably raised Ethiopia's diplomatic and economic influence not only in Africa but in many international fora. 

Poverty can be said to be one of mankind's worst enemies; and no one can deny that Ethiopians have seen the worst of it. Indeed, the country's name even became synonymous with poverty. By the same token, Ethiopia has never seen a leader who worked so tirelessly to fight to overcome the country's level of impoverishment, a major source of shame. Zenawi was a man who strongly believed that development and democratization were the keys to success, but he was not someone who merely followed ideological concepts. He believed that development should bring tangible benefits to the people at home.  His economic policies were designed to lead to the economic developments that also led to the construction of schools and health stations. The results were that millions were lifted out of poverty.    

Zenawi was a modern leader in the best sense of the word. He believed that increasing women's participation and the protection of their rights necessarily contributed to a healthier socio-economic path for Ethiopia. The pro-poor economic policies that he pursued and his vigilant fight against corruption and other malpractices enabled Ethiopia to register one of the fastest growing economies in the world for a decade. His vision allowed Ethiopia to establish a strong developmental state, a success story for other African countries to emulate. It was designed to lift the country out of poverty and foster the country's ambition to be a part of the group of middle-income countries by 2025.

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