International Prizes and Awards of the Late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

Honorable Meles Zenawi, the late Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has received several international, regional and local awards and prizes. Among them, the most notable are:

  • Before Honorable Meles joined the Medical Faculty of Addis Ababa University, was awarded the Haile Selassie I Prize Trust, a highly selective award given only to the most outstanding graduating students.
  • The Rwanda government awarded Honorable Meles Rwanda’s National Liberation Medal, the "Uruti," in July 2009 for helping to liberate Rwanda and end the genocide in the country. 
  • Alongside two other African leaders, Honorable Meles was also given Rwanda's highest accolade, the "Umurinzi" medal, Rwanda’s Campaign Against Genocide Medal.
  • Honorable Meles was awarded the World Peace Prize for his contributions to global peace and his effort to stabilize the Horn of Africa through cooperation with Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD).
  • Tabor 100, an African American entrepreneur’s organization, honored Honorable Meles for his contribution toward economic and social transformation in Africa with its prestigious Crystal Eagle International Leadership Award in April 2005.
  • Tabor 100, a U.S.-based nongovernmental organization, calling Honorable Meles “international leader of the year 2005”, also honored the efforts of the Ethiopian government in general for its war on poverty and backwardness.
  • Honorable Meles was awarded the Good Governance Award of the Global Coalition for Africa for leading Ethiopia along a democratic path during the challenging period of transition. He was selected for the good governance award by the US-based Corporate Council on Africa. 
  • Honorable Meles received the Norway-based 2005 Yara Prize for Green Revolution for initiating a good foundation for economic progress in Ethiopia, particularly in the agricultural sector, where Ethiopia has doubled its food production. During the award ceremony held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on 3 September, the director of the UN project for Africa said, "With our support, Ethiopia can lift itself from poverty and hunger. Under Prime Minister Meles the country has created the grass roots structure to enable this to happen." 
  • Honorable Meles was given the Africa Political Leadership Award of 2008 by the US-based newspaper, Africa Times. Previous winners of the award include Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and others. 
  • Ethiopia’s military honored Honorable Meles for his leadership during the 1998–2000 war with its northern neighbour when Eritrea invaded Ethiopia in 1998. 
  • Residents of the historic and ancient UNESCO town of Axum in Ethiopia honored Honorable Meles for his political and diplomatic leadership role in the return and re-erection of the Obelisk of Axum after a 68-year stay in Rome, Italy.
  • Honorable Meles received a Gold Order of Merit award from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in February 2007. Honorable Meles was given the CAF organisation's highest award for his services in advancing the progress of African football. Ethiopia was one of the founding countries of the CAF (1957) and the organization, with the dedication of AU leaders like Mr. Zenawi, was celebrating the International Year of African Football in 2007.

Key International Positions held by the Late HonorablePrime Minister Meles Zenawi 

  • Honorable Meles was a Co-Chairperson of the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA.) The Global Coalition for Africa brings together senior African policy makers and their partners to deepen dialogue and build consensus on Africa's priority development issues.
  • Honorable Meles was the co-chairperson of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Nov.2006) Ethiopia is the Forum's co-chair country. It led to the adoption of the Beijing Action Plan (2007–2009) for partnership for economic progress and cultural exchanges. It also stated to support Africa's "development [of] international political, economic, trade and financial systems."
  • In 2004, Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom appointed Honorable Meles as one of the commissioners taking part in the Commission for Africa.
  • Honorable Meles served as the Chairman of the Organization for African Unity (OAU, now the African Union – AU) from June 1995 to June 1996.
  • In 2007, the African Union elected Honorable Meles to chair the executive committee of the NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development)
  • Honorable Meles was chosen to represent Africa at the G8 Summit and the G20 summit in London. 
  • The African Union selected Honorable Meles to lead an African Delegation to the Global Conference on Climate Change at Copenhagen in 2009
  • In February 2010, the UN named Honorable Meles as co-chair of the Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, a new high-level U.N. advisory group on climate change financing.



  • Honorable Meles donated his $200,000 dollars, a financial prize given to him along with the the Green Revolution award by the Norwegian Yara Foundation in September 2005 to a foundation called "Fre—Addis Ethiopia Women Fund" (Fre-Addis Ethiopia Yesetoch Merja Mahiber).] The Fre-Addis Ethiopia Women Fund has an objective "to empower girls through providing educational opportunities" and it currently supports 514 needy and orphan rural girls to pursue their education throughout the country.