At the helm for a mere six month after replacing the long-time commissioner, Fitsum Arega; the recently promoted commissioner of an institution that has become an important government agency in charge of luring foreign investment and changing the narrative of the nation, Belachew Mekuria (PhD) has cited family obligations as a reason for his resignation.
“It’s truly been an honor to serve our country. Our national & family duties though inseparable will always compete,” he said in a statement announcing his retirement on Wednesday. “Ultimately, it begins from the closest and in both failure isn’t an option. As things stand, I could not do both without compromising the other”.
An alumnus of the Addis Ababa University Law School, the 40-something father of three is set to join his wife, Mintewab Zelelew Tafesse who is currently serving as a Program / Partnership Specialist with UNDP in Brussels, Belgium.
Within the EIC, Belachew was known as a reformist intent on helping expand the scope of the institution, including leading the final landmark negotiation to open a new Volkswagen factory within Ethiopia.
“Words are inadequate to express my gratefulness and appreciation of the incomparable work performance and attitude he had displayed within our industrial park development corporation and he had been a valued team member,” Lelise Neme, the CEO of the Ethiopia Industrial Parks Development Corporation Ethiopia told The Reporter. “He has a good determination, dedication, grit, commitment and hard working spirit. He also has a sound management skills and a good sense of humor.”
Belachew completed his PhD at the University of Surrey and joined the ranks of the United Nations, most recently serving in Nigeria in the Office of Drugs and Crime Coordinating Justice reform team. This was before he ascended to the position, Deputy Commissioner in charge of the industrial parks in 2016.
Before that, he served as dean in Bahir Dar University Law School. He has briefly served as an assistant judge with the Amhara National Regional State Supreme Court. He is said to have much interest on the issues of human rights, mentorship and equity issues and was said to be proudest of helping introduce the Young Professionals Program and mentor the future stalwarts of the agency.
“It has been an honor to work with and be mentored by you (Belachew), said Saron Lakew, a noted architect and aspiring public servant. “You are a role model I look up to, an example while I think serving in public office”.