According to Ethiopian state media reports, the Beijing based Chinese University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), gave Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn an honorary professorship for his “extraordinary leadership.”
The Chinese university reportedly said “The University considered the economic growth the country has been registered, efforts to elevate poverty and realizing global goals set to reduce poverty and improve access to basic services such as MDGs to bestowed the honor upon the Premier.”
Although the position of the Prime Minister in Ethiopia is important, the current Prime Minister Hailemariam is not believed, by many, to hold any significant power at all. He assumed the position when the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi passed away in 2012.
Several Chinese universities have been awarding honorary doctorates and professorships to many government and military officials of the Ethiopian government.
China is the number one foreign country with the largest investment and development contracts in Ethiopia.
Last month Tampere University of Technology in Finland cancelled its plan to award honorary doctorate to Hailemaraim after protests by activists and review of the current Ethiopian government’s rights records.