16 October 2018

South Africa: Demography and Democratic Yearnings - an Interview With Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali

analysis

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali shares his predecessor predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn's view that democracy is key to Africa because of the urgent need to meet seismic demographic changes.

"I work seven days a week for $300 a month," says Abiy Ahmed Ali from Menelik Palace, the Prime Minister's official headquarters in the centre of Addis Ababa.

"I am not getting rich, but I am not corrupted. I have a modest office," he indicates down the red-carpeted hallway, making the point.

"But I am interested," he states, "in making change."

Dr Ahmed swept in as Prime Minister in April 2018, upsetting the established Tigrayan-dominated political order which had effectively ruled Ethiopia since the fall of Mengistu Haile Mariam's Marxist-Leninist regime in May 1991. Abiy's predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn had resigned in February 2018 because of what he personally described as his "failure to progress reforms".

Both Hailemariam and Abiy share the view that democracy is key to Africa because of the need to meet seismic demographic changes. As Hailemariam put it:...

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