Seyoum  Mesfin

Seyoum Mesfin

Ethiopia's Ambassador to China; Former Minister for Foreign Affairs; Deputy Chairperson of the TPLF; Executive Member of the EPRDF; Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines

Date of Birth: 25/01/1949
Place of Birth: Tigray province

With his January appointment as Ambassador to China, Seyoum Mesfin steps back from the day-to-day battles in Addis politics. He will, however, maintain a central role in his country’s relations with Beijing, which is an increasingly important ally. Seyoum was among those senior figures who resigned in 2010, making way for a new generation of politicians under the unshakeable Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)Chairman, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

Seyoum will be charged with attracting investment in infrastructure and encouraging more projects like the China-Africa Development Fund-backed leather processing plant that opened in November. Ethiopia-China relations do not seem to need much improvement: in January, China Eximbank approved a US$293.5 million loan to Ethiopian Shipping Lines, which will buy nine new ships.

Born in 1949 in Tigray Province, Seyoum holds a degree from Bahir Dar Polytechnic Institute and taught for four years at the science faculty of Addis Ababa University. He was a founding member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and acted as TPLF Foreign Affairs Secretary in its formative years. With the overthrow of Mengistu Haile Mariam’s regime in 1991, he took the Foreign Affairs portfolio in the new EPRDF-led government. He was a member of the House of Peoples’ Representatives, the lower house of Parliament, for Adigrat.

Seyoum left the Foreign Ministry in September 2010. He was replaced by Hailemariam Desalegn, who also took over from him as TPLF Deputy Chairman. Shortly before departing for Beijing, Seyoum quit his post as Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines; former Deputy Prime Minister Addisu Legesse takes over there.

Displaying 1-10 out of 27 results.

Vol 55 N0 10


The end of the beginning

Even Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who, with Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, led the mediation team from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), looked cautious...

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Vol 55 N0 9


Calling time on the killing

Led by Ethiopia's former Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, the officials urged Riek to respect January's truce and rein in his forces, and their allies such as the White Army...

Vol 55 N0 1


The state cracks

Ethiopia is more circumspect, lending former Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin to mediate on behalf of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development...

Vol 54 N0 7


‘With the thoughts of Meles’

The one exception was Tigray, where four of the nine members of the TPLF Politburo retired, among them political heavyweights and veterans of the armed struggle Seyoum Mesfin, ex-Foreign Affairs Minister and current Ambassador to Beijing; Berhane Gebrechristos, State Minister in the Foreign Ministry and formerly Ambassador to the European Union and the United States; and Arkebe Uqbay, the respected former Mayor of Addis Ababa...

Vol 52 N0 3


A five-year exit plan

A first big change is the retirement of Seyoum Mesfin after 19 years as Foreign Minister and his appointment as Ambassador to China, showing the importance Ethiopia attaches to that connection...

Vol 51 N0 18


The new guard steps up

Information Bereket Simon and Foreign Seyoum Mesfin have stepped down as members of Parliament...

Vol 51 N0 10


Opposing Issayas

Chairman Woldeyesus, Mesfin and Adhanom met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (6 March), Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin (18 March) and other officials...

Vol 51 N0 6


More troops for Mogadishu

The witnesses were Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin; Gabon’s Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; Ambassador Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia; plus representatives of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development Partners’ Forum and the League of Arab States...

Vol 51 N0 1


Dry times for a quick election

Others who may not object to being dropped include Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin and the head of the Government Communications Agency, Bereket Simon...

Vol 51 N0 1


Dangerous neighbours

Ahlu Sunna’s leaders visited Addis for talks with Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin in December...

Displaying 1-10 out of 27 results.