- On a salary of just $300, Abiy Ahmed's Mission as Prime Minister in Ethiopia is not to amass wealth but to overhaul the economic model of his country. This is the type of leadership ideology Africa needs, don't you agree?
- "I work seven days a week for $300 a month," says Abiy Ahmed Ali from Menelik Palace, the Prime Minister's official headquarters in the centre of Addis Ababa.
"I am not getting rich, but I am not corrupted. I have a modest office," he indicates down the red-carpeted hallway, making the point. "But I am interested in making [the] change."
Abiy's message was clear: the authoritarian political and closed economic model of his predecessors required a thorough overhaul.
"Most politicians," he says, "know how to describe democracy, but they couldn't deliver it. It is because it's a borrowed concept, and they couldn't apply it. It's for the same reason that the TPLF struggled when talking about labour policy, or about communism. These are imported ideas.
"We have been talking about democracy for 20 years, yet there have been huge human rights violations. The party holds 100 percent of seats in parliament, yet it talks about democracy."
In the same vein, he says, "the government talks about an agrarian society, yet only 12 million people work in this sector".
Even though Abiy is critical of the impact of social media on Ethiopia's youth and their values, "you can't talk about democracy and block bloggers and jam the voices of our society", he says, taking a dig at the previous government's regular clampdowns on Facebook and other social media outlets.
Ethiopia’s PM Meles says his salary is only $383 USD
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his salary is only $383 US dollars a month (around 6,400 Ethio Birr). He revealed his salary during a regular press conference he conducts in Addis Ababa in Amharic, the official language of the country. Many Ethiopians have often claimed that Meles Zenawi is worth multi-billion dollars and keeps assets in foreign banks in the west. His family’s corporation E.F.F.O.R.T is a renowned monopoly in several major sectors of the Ethiopian economy