The ceremonial Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, is to receive Honorary Doctorate from his former university where he finished his MSc, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), in Finland.
According to the information on the university’s website, TUT’s Academic Board has decided to invite 11 people to be conferred honorary doctorates at the spring 2017 ceremony. These include:
Professor Weinong Chen, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Professor John Dudley, Mayor Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, President & CEO Pekka Lundmark, Professor Marja Makarow, Chairman of the Board Marjo Matikainen-Kallström, Professor Jan Rabaey, CEO Timo Salli, Director Alexander Joseph Schwarzkopf, and CEO Jorma Turunen.
The individuals receiving the award include former students of the TUT. The university added “Tampere University of Technology invites persons from Finland and abroad to accept honorary doctorates in recognition of excellence in fields represented at the University and other exceptional scientific, artistic or social merits.”
Under Prime Minister Hailemairam’s premiership, over 1000 Ethiopian civilian protesters, mostly young students, were killed by government forces for opposing the administration.
Hailemariam comes from the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), which does not have any meaningful power within the regime’s apparatuses or the coalition of the ruling Front, EPRDF. His ascendance to premiership is also accidental which happened when the late Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi suddenly passed away, Hailemariam was assigned as Prime Minister leaving his Deputy Prime Ministerial position, yet it is widely believed that his power is ceremonial since he is at the mercy of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).