Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Address: Menelik II Avenue P.O. Box 393 Addis Ababa
Tel.: +251 11 551 7345
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia
Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is currently the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He took up his post in November 2012. Prior to this he served as Minister of Health from October 2005 to November 2012. Minister Tedros also served in a number of expert and leadership positions within the Ministry of Health at both federal and regional levels, including the positions of Minister of State and as Head of the Tigray Regional Health Bureau. First joining the Ministry in 1986, Minister Tedros has dedicated his entire career to public service and scientific research, focusing on health concerns.
A globally recognized researcher on malaria, Minister Tedros Adhanom has co-authored numerous articles on the subject in prominent scientific publications, including Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, The Lancet, Nature and Parasitologia. One of his key contributions to this field was a study of malaria incidence among children living near dams in northern Ethiopia which was published in the British Medical Journal in 1999. This seminal contribution earned him the distinction of ‘Young Investigator of the Year' from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2003, the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA) also recognized his important research work through its prestigious "Young Public Health Researcher Award". Minister Tedros was also the first non-American recipient of the "Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award", in 2011. This is an award conferred by the US National Foundation of Infectious Diseases to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to improving the health of humankind. In March 2012 he received the 2012 Honorary Fellowship from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This is the highest honour bestowed by the School and goes to those who have achieved exceptional distinction in international health or tropical medicine.
In addition to his specific work on disease and malaria in particular, Minister Tedros has also been recognized for his leadership in the rapidly evolving field of global health, working steadily to enhance Ethiopia's active engagement in a number of major international forums. In May, 2009, he was elected to represent Ethiopia as the Chair of the Fourth Conference of Ministers of Health of the African Union (CAMH4). On July 4th 2009 he was elected Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, for a period of two years. Previously, he served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) until May 2009, as Chair of the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board (PCB) from January to December 2009 and as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) from 2005 until December 2009. He has also served as a member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) Board as well as of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). In 2009, he also served as a member of the High-Level Task Force for Innovative Financing for Health Systems, co-chaired by World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, and UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
Minister Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2000. He obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London (UK) in 1992 and completed his undergraduate studies in Biology (BSc) at Asmara University in 1986.
Ethiopia is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with a history spanning over three thousand years. Throughout this long history it has enjoyed varied relations with the outside world. Ethiopia's modern diplomatic history can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Theodros II in the mid-nineteenth century who sought to forge strong diplomatic relations with the outside world, most notably with countries in Western Europe. Theodros' tradition of contact with western powers was closely followed by the Emperor Yohannes IV (1874-1889) who was equally aware of the value of maintaining good relations with the rest of the world.
The regime of Emperor Minelik saw an increased flurry of diplomatic activities with Ethiopia reaching out to more capitals in Europe than ever before. The onset of the so-called scramble for Africa increased the necessity for more intense diplomatic activities by Ethiopia as it had to grapple with the colonial ambitions of various European nations, notably, Britain, France and Italy.
Ethiopia's resounding victory at the battle of Adowa went a long way to further cement Ethiopia's position as the only independent nation in the entire African continent. It rapidly led to treaties with Italy, France and Britain regularizing Ethiopia's relations with these three colonial powers. It also led to a significant increase in the nation's diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. A number of diplomatic missions from all parts of the world arrived in Ethiopia and formal diplomatic relations were established with Italy, Germany, the UK, France and Russia as well as more than a dozen other European countries. In 1903, following a nine-day mission headed by Robert Skinner, the American Consul-General in Marseilles, a Treaty to Regulate Commercial Relations between the US and Ethiopia was signed.
Diplomacy was to take centre stage as the country began to take more serious steps to modernize following Ras Tefferi's growing access to power as Regent from 1916 and then as Emperor Haile Selassie from 1930. This was symbolized by Ethiopia's growing adoption of western life styles and development, with more and more diplomatic missions being sent abroad and equally numerous foreign delegations being received in Addis Ababa. Ras Tefferi's coronation as Haile Selassie in 1930 attracted visitors from all around the world.
While Ethiopia's entry to the League of Nations in 1923 was perhaps one of the most important milestones in Ethiopia's diplomatic history, as important in public relations terms was Ras Tefferi's visit the next year to Jerusalem, Egypt, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, and Greece. Membership of the League of Nations was considered important in ensuring the acceptance of Ethiopia's independence.
Ethiopia became a founding member of the United Nations and it has subsequently played a significant role in all subsequent efforts to make sure that the success of collective security. Ethiopia's participation in the United Nations operations in Korea and then in Congo, as well as later in Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia and Sudan are a testament to the country's unyielding commitment to collective security.