Demeke Mekonnen Hassen (Ge'ez: ደመቀ መኮንን; born 27 September 1963) is an Ethiopian politician, and the current Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia. He is also the Vice-President of Prosperity Party. He previously served as Chairman of the ADP (Amhara Democratic Party) and Deputy Chair of EPRDF until dissolution of the parties on 1 December 2019.
|Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia|
|Assumed office |
21 September 2012
|Prime Minister||Hailemariam Desalegn|
|Preceded by||Hailemariam Desalegn|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
8 March 2019 – 18 April 2019
|Prime Minister||Abiy Ahmed|
|Preceded by||Workneh Gebeyehu|
|Succeeded by||Gedu Andargachew|
|Chairman of the|
Amhara Democratic Party
8 September 2010 – 1 December 2019
|Preceded by||Addisu Legesse|
|Succeeded by||post abolished|
|Minister of Education|
30 October 2008 – 4 July 2013
|Prime Minister||Meles Zenawi|
|Succeeded by||Shiferaw Shigute|
|Born||27 September 1963|
|Political party||Prosperity Party|
|Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front|
Amhara Democratic Party
|Alma mater||Bradford University |
Addis Ababa University
Life and educationEdit
Demeke was born in Gojjam province, and later was resettled to Chagin Woreda of the Agew Awi in Gojjam province when the Derg regime relocated people to resettle in other areas. He is a MuslimAmhara.
Demeke was sent to a high school in Feres Bet, a town located in Dega Damot Woreda in Mirab Gojjam Zone, off the main road from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar. Later he joined the Addis Ababa University and studied Biology in the Arat Kilo campus and received his BA in 1988. He also earned his MA in Political Science from Bradford University.
After graduation, he returned to his native region to begin his career as a teacher. He taught biology in Feres Bet High School, for two years, before he was transferred to Bure town in the same province. It was in Bure, which housed the lone high school in the area named after former governor of the region, Ras Bitwoded Mengesha Atikim, that Demeke met Alemitu Kassaye, a student of the high school at that time, and his future wife and mother of his three children.
Demeke joined Amhara's ruling ADP in the early 1990s. Demeke first took part in the national election held in 1995, and won a seat in the Amhara Regional Council, where he was appointed general secretary. In the middle of his term, he went to England to do his post graduate studies in conflict management. Upon his return in 2001, he was assigned to establish and lead the ethics and anti-corruption commission of the region.
He was then moved to head the administrative and security affairs bureau of the region, where he had served up until 2005. He was then promoted to the vice presidency of the regional state following the highly contested election in 2005, under the presidency of Ayalew Gobeze. A year later, he was elected to the executive committee of ANDM, a member of the EPRDF coalition formed in 1983, in Jerba Yohannes of Wag Himra Zone. Finally, he was elevated to the position of deputy chair of the party replacing Tefera Walwa; and in 2010 became the first non-combatant chairman of the ANDM, replacing Addisu Legesse.
Demekes first role on the national level within the ruling EPRDF coalition began 2008, when he took over the post of Minister of Education under the then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. He continued to serve as Minister of Education until July 2013, when he resigned due to his heavy workload as Deputy Prime Minister. Demeke had assumed the role of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia in September 2012 under Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
In late 2015, the lower than expected spring and summer rains and the upcoming El Nino event resulted in a severe drought in Ethiopia in 2016, considered the worst drought in 30 years, with up to 10% of Ethiopians in the eastern and southern parts of Ethiopia requiring international assistance to survive in 2016 and 2017. The Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen was assigned to the task to organize the government response and to organize the food aid provided by international organizations.
On 15 February 2018, the then Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his resignation. It was then expected, that the ruling EPRDF would name the Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen as the successor to Hailemariam, but this did not happen. Instead, Hailemariam continued as a caretaker until the election of a new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali, on 2 April 2018. Demeke Mekonnen was kept as Deputy Prime Minister under the new government.