Ethiopia’s resilient prime minister: The two sides of Meles Zenawi | The Economist

 HE HAS run Ethiopia as prime minister since 1991, but Meles Zenawi, still only 54, has two faces. One belongs to a leader battling poverty. In this mode he is praised by Western governments, with Britain to the fore, for improving the miserable conditions in the countryside, where 85% of Ethiopia’s 80m-plus people live. Mr Meles takes credit for building new roads, clinics and primary schools, and for an array of agricultural initiatives. He also wins plaudits for his country’s low crime rate and for keeping its parliamentarians more or less on the straight and narrow, especially in terms of wealth. They get paid only about $3,240 a year compared with the $120,000 earned by Kenya’s fat-cat MPs. Moreover, in the past few years Ethiopia’s economy has grown fast. Mr Meles says it will grow this year by 10%, though the IMF’s figure is about half as big.

Ethiopia’s resilient prime minister: The two sides of Meles Zenawi | The Economist

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