Meles Foundation launchedApril, 2013
The Meles Foundation, established in honour of Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, was inaugurated on 6th April at the African Union in the presence of high-level dignitaries including Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and former First Lady Azeb Mesfin.
The Meles Foundation will serve as a memorial centre to the late PM’s great contribution towards peace, socio-economic development and his lead role in climate change negotiations and environmental protection.
VIP guests included President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, President Omar Hassan Al Bashir of Sudan, Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdi Farah Shirdon, AU Chairperson Dr Dlamini Zuma, former president of Nigeria Olesegun Obasanjo, the Foreign Ministers of Rwanda and the Seychelles, diplomats and other high-profile government officials.
In his opening address, Prime Minister Hailemariam remembered the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as an "exemplary leader in his unique leadership skills and flawless performance as chief of the executive. The establishment of the Foundation is deemed necessary as a thorough study of his life and works and their implementation thus far is important to ensure the continuity of the renaissance of Ethiopia."
Former First Lady, Azeb Mesfin, noted that the Foundation will assist researchers interested in studying Meles' academic works, through scholarships, which will help ensure the full implementation of his vision.
In a series of memorable speeches, African leaders remembered Meles as an outstanding leader, committed to the development of his country and of Africa, and his success in putting Africa on the world map.
Reflections on the life and works of the visionary leader were presented to the meeting by Professor Andreas Eshete, renowned scholar Alex De Waal and other dignitaries.
The Meles Foundation, will serve as a memorial of the late PM's great contribution to socio-economic issues, climate change and his efforts at ensuring the peace and security of the continent, among other things. It will house an international standard library, where Meles’ works will be displayed, and will serve as a research centre to advance and maintain his legacy for future generations.
A total of $3.8 million was pledged by Ethiopia’s neighbours in support of the foundation: Djibouti $500,000, Uganda $300,000, Sudan $2,000,000 and South Sudan $1,000,000.