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Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia

Meles ZenawiMeles Zenawi was born on 8th May 1955 at Adwa in Northern Ethiopia. He received elementary education at Queen Sheba Junior Secondary School and completed High School in 1972 at General Wingate School in Addis Ababa. He then joined the Medical Faculty of Addis Ababa University where he studied for two years.

Meles interrupted his studies in 1974 to join the Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). He was elected to the Leadership Committee of the TPLF in 1979 and to its Executive Committee in 1983. He is chairman of both the TPLF and the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 1989. EPRDF is a political alliance of the four main political organisations in the country.

Upon the defeat of the military junta, Meles became president of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia and Chairman of the Council of Representatives (the legislative body of the transitional government) from 1991-1995. He was elected Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 1995 and re-elected for a second term in 2000.

He has served as chairman of the OAU from June 1995 until June 1996. He is also serving as co-chairman of the Global Coalition for Africa. He has also been actively involved in IGAD's efforts to end the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia, and Africa initiatives to seek a solution to the crisis in Burundi.

Meles acquired a First Class MA in Business Administration from the Open University of the UK in 1995 and an Msc. In Economics from the Erasmus University of the Netherlands in 2004.

Meles is married and is a father of three.