May 1955 — August 2012
The Abyssinian Baptist Church
27 October 2012
GTAH co-sponsored the Memorial for Meles Zenawi, along with the United African Congress and the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations. GTAH’s participation was in recognition of the outstanding accomplishments of the Zenawi Government in advancing the development of Ethiopia in almost every aspect of life. Zenawi was recognised by most world leaders, financial institutions and world economists as the most successful and inspirational Head of State in Africa in many years. In fact, for several years during the last decade, Ethiopia and China enjoyed the highest rate of economic growth of any country in the world. In the area of education, Zenawi’s Government built as many as thirty new universities throughout the country.
During the 1990’s and early 2000’s Ethiopia was frequently devasted by drought and famine requiring international aid to feed millions of its people. That situation has changed and in recent years Ethiopia has found itself sending food aid to other countries in Africa that were experiencing drought and famine. Zenawi supported green policies and espoused ideas to address climate change and global warming. No other country in Africa has made as much progress as Ethiopia in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Ethiopia is a country of many ethnic groups which had fought each other for hundreds of years. Zenawi instituted a Federal System of Government which granted autonomy to the various regions and this has proven to be successful and has brought about relative peace and new-found prosperity in the country.
The high regard in which Zenawi was held by world leaders is reflected in the calibre of the dignitaries who attended the memorial service and who spoke in glowing terms about him. The list included the Secretary-General of the United Nations – Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the United Nations – Ms Susan Rice, Senior Director at the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President of the United States – Ms. Gayle Smith, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Bush Administration – Ambassador Jendaye Frazer, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia under the Bush Administration – Ambassador Tibor Nagy and Ambassador of Benin to the United Nations and Representative of the Chairman of the African Union – Jean Francis-Zinsou. Also, from Academia, Professor Jeffery Sachs of The Earth Institute, Professor Akbar Noman, Columbia University, and Professor Awash Teklehaimanot of the Mailman School of Public Health. Prominent New York Pan Africanist and President of the United African Congress – Sidique Wai also spoke.
The Reverend Calvin Butts officiated over the secular event which included beautiful renditions of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song and Michael Jackson’s Heal the World performed by saxophonist Jerry Johnson, as well as musical numbers by the Abyssinian Baptist Church Cathedral Choir and its soloist. A 17-year old young lady Ferda Fuad representing the youth of Ethiopia performed a poem she wrote in honor of Meles Zenawi.
The event was hosted by Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the UN , H.E. Tekeda Alemu, co-ordinated by Dr. Mohamed Nurhussein and produced by Gordon Tapper.
The Permanent Represen-
tative of Ethiopia to the
United Nations delivering