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Ethiopian Person of the Year is an annual issue of the Ethiopian news portal Jimma Times, formerly Yeroo private newspaper, which names and profiles person(s) who was (were) the most influential on events and had the most impact on Ethiopian people during the previous Ethiopian calendar year.


Jimma Times's tradition of selecting the "Ethiopian Person of the Year" honor began during the new Ethiopian millennium (year 2000) when the multi-Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele was selected. It established the multi-language (Afaan Oromo, Amharic &English) private newspaper Yeroo the following year. The word Yeroo means "Time" or "Times" in the Oromo language of Ethiopia and its style was to mirror the American TIME news magazine which also publishes its annual "Person of the Year" selections.[1] Yeroo newspaper has stopped publication in Ethiopia after only a few months but its website version "Jimma Times" continues to operate online.

Though many other Ethiopian media outlets make their own annual selections, Jimma Times's independent selection is the only one that often features interviews of the nominees and special report articles on the work of the winner(s).[2][3][4] The winner for the award during Ethiopian calendar year 2001 was the peace activist, founder of the first private bank Awash and leading politician Bulcha Demeksa while the CEO and founder of Ethiopia Commodity Exchange Dr. Eleni Gebre-Medhin won the honor in 2002.[5]

* Ethiopian calendar year 2000 refers to western calendar years of 2007 and 2008.

Persons of the Year listEdit

Ethiopian Year Choice Notes Runner Up
2000   Ethiopia Kenenisa Bekele Multi-Olympic Champion, inspirational Teddy Afro
2001   Ethiopia Bulcha Demeksa Human rights & Peace activist, private bank, OFDM Tirunesh Dibaba
2002   Ethiopia Dr. Eleni Gebre Medhin Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, "market revolution" Girma Wake


  1. ^ "Ethiopian person of the year". Archived from the original on 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  2. ^ "Interview with Ethiopia exchange CEO Dr Eleni - Jimma Times". Archived from the original on 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  3. ^ "Kenenisa: "Person of the Year" as Millennium turns". Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  4. ^ "Interview with Bulcha Demeksa". Archived from the original on 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2010-10-13.
  5. ^ "Ethiopian Person of the Year timeline". Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2019-08-11.