Addis Ababa, April 7 (WIC) –The Meles Zenawi Foundation was officially established on April 6, 2013 at ceremony held here at the African Union (AU) Hall.
The event was launched with a moment of silence in memory of the late PM Meles Zenawi.
Present on the occasion were representatives of Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia, senior government officials, African leaders, families of the late Meles Zenawi and invited guests, among others.
The Foundation would serve as a living center of ideas and programs to further advance the works and legacy of the great leader Meles Zenawi. It would also serve as his final resting place and a site for scholarship.
“From his early age until his premature demise without a single day of rest, Meles has accomplished tremendous achievements,” Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said on the occasion.
Meles led and fought alongside millions against tyranny, designed strategies that were instrumental in extracting the country and its people out of the quagmire of poverty and lack of democratic governance, he said.
“As a Prime Minister, Meles saved his country from the brink of disintegration and put it on a solid basis of democracy and development; as a true son of Africa, he championed the cause of Ethiopia and indeed Africa in international fora,” he said.
“In a word, Meles is a treasure trove for those who are interested in an in-depth research and study on his life.”
The establishment of the Foundation is deemed necessary as a thorough study of his life and his works and their implementation thus far is important to ensure the continuity of the renaissance of Ethiopia, he said.
The former First Lady Azeb Mesfin on her part said the Foundation will assist researchers interested to study Meles's academic works through scholarships to ensure the continuity of the implementation of his vision.
The Foundation is instrumental in strengthening unity of Ethiopians, promoting education and research and ensuring the sustainability of the development activities launched by Meles Zenawi.
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister of Somalia Abdi Farah Shirdon and former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo made a memorable speech.
The Foundation would allow African leaders to contribute for the legacy of Meles- the true son and leader of Africa as well as a man who lifted Ethiopia from hunger to the fastest growing economy in Africa and the world, they said.
Reflections on the life and works of the visionary leader the late Meles Zenawi was presented to the meeting by Professor Andreas Eshete, renowned scholar Alex De Waal and other dignitaries.
A board comprising of 13 members was named for the Foundation. Azeb Mesfin and Kassa Tekleberhan were elected as president and vice president of the board, respectively.
The Meles Foundation is established in a proclamation recently passed by the House of People’s Representatives in order to promote the values and principles of Meles Zenawi.
Funding for the Foundation will come from private donations, income generating programs, contributions from the government of Ethiopia and other sources in accordance with the law.
On the occasion, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Uganda pledged to provide a total of 3.8 million US dollars for the foundation.
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