Biography of Abiy Ahmed | Early Life, Personal Life, Political Life, Awards & FAQs

Biography of Abiy Ahmed

November 7, 2022

Abiy Ahmed is the fourth Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed is a popular politician who presided over the peaceful overthrow of the EPRDF led government. Abiy Ahmed is well known for the political and economic reforms that he has enacted since his appointment as prime minister in April 2018. Moreover, Abiy is listed on Time’s 100 most influential people of 2018. The influential politician, Abiy Ahmed, is also the first Ethiopian Nobel Laureate.

Early Life

Abiy Ahmed in his early age


Abiy Ahmed was born on August 15, 1976, to his father, Ahmed Ali, and his mother, Tezeta Wolde. He is the sixth and youngest child of his mother and the 13th child of his father. Abiy Ahmed is originally from  Beshasha, a small town in the Oromo Region known for its coffee farming. While his father was a Muslim Oromo, his mother was a converted Christian Oromo. This has helped him have religious tolerance and deal with both Christians and Muslims in the diverse Oromo society. Abiy in an interview with a state-run media stated that his mother had high hopes for him and had told him when he was only seven years old that he would one day become king of Ethiopia.

Military Life

Abiy Ahmed wearing a military uniform

Abiy Ahmed participated in the resistance and armed uprising against the Derg government, which ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. Subsequently, after the EPRDF formed a government, he served in the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. During his time in the military, he joined the military’s intelligence and communications department after taking formal training there. It was also in the military where Abiy developed ties with top leaders within the EPRDF. Abiy served in Rwanda as a member of the UN Peacekeeping Force during the 1995 Rwandan Genocide. Furthermore, from 1998 to 2000, he oversaw an intelligence unit during the bloody Ethiopia-Eritrea war that left many thousands of people dead. In 2010, Abiy ended his military life and started his political career.

Personal Life


Abiy Ahmed kissing his wife

Abiy Ahmed is married to Zinash Tayachew. The love story of Abiy Ahmed and Zinash Tayachew started when they both were serving in the Ethiopian Defense Force. Then, their relationship matured into a happy marriage. Abiy Ahmed often describes his wife as the replacement for his dead mother. Abiy and Zinash are proud parents of three daughters: Deborah Abiy, Rakeb Abiy, and Amen Abiy. In addition, in August 2018, the pair adopted a son named Million Abiy, who was 15 days old.


Abiy Ahmed is an Evangelical Christian. He attends church regularly with his family. Besides he occasionally serves at the Ethiopian Full Gospel Believers'(Mulu Wongel Amagnoch) Church by preaching. His wife, Zinash Tayachew, is also a devout Evangelical Christian. She serves local and foreign churches as a gospel singer. Till now, she has made numerous spiritual songs.

Abiy respects and supports all religions in addition to his own. He  is knowledgeable  about  the holy  books of different religions. He is acquainted with both Islamic and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhaedo Church doctrine. He also made a significant contribution to bringing the Ethiopian Orthodox church division to an end. Furthermore, he played a big role in the resolution of the Ethiopian Islamic Council’s administrative conflict. In addition, Abiy is the one who initiated the formation of Ethiopian Gospel Believers Churches Council.


Abiy Ahmed in a graduation ceremony

Abiy Ahmed completed his elementary education in Beshasha and his secondary education in nearby Agaro. At Micro Link Information College in Addis Ababa, he received his first degree in  computer  engineering in 2001. Later on, he graduated with a Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership from the University of Greenwich in London, England. In addition, Abiy earned a PhD from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University.

Political Life

Abiy Ahmed speaking at the Ethiopian parliament

Before taking office as Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed worked in a number of political  administrations and has rich experience with Ethiopian politics. Given his experience working in various administrative roles, he is no stranger to leadership. He has held a number of positions in the government, including vice president of the Oromia Regional Government, minister of science and technology, founding director of the information network security agency, and founder and head of the government research center known as the Science and Technology Information Center. While in his government positions, he has carried out profound reforms in the system and incorporated digital technologies.

Ethiopian Prime Minister

Abiy Ahmed assuming prime minister office

Abiy Ahmed, with the help of public support, including protests from the querro movement, disbanded the former ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. Accordingly, Abiy Ahmed assumed the position of Ethiopian Prime Minister in April 2018, replacing Hailemariam Desalegn. Since being sworn into office as Prime Minister, Abiy has tried to foster democratic reforms and unite Ethiopia. He took important measures to reform Ethiopia’s economy, politics, and military. While the political reform pledged the revision or repeal of laws that severely restricted politics, the organization of free and fair elections, and the release of political prisoners, the economic reform, on the other hand, aimed to increase the competitiveness of the private sector and expand its role in the Ethiopian economy.

Nevertheless, Abiy Ahmed, the youngest-ever head of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, met with several challenges that restricted his progress. Those challenges included ethnic conflicts, regional separatist movements, polarization in society, and political resistance from parts of the military. Particularly, he faced a big challenge from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which was the dominant party in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition. Because the TPLF led EPRDF was in power for more than 27 years, Abiy and his government struggled to break out of a web of political control in which the TPLF had consolidated control over the country’s institutions. As a result, tensions began to rise between the Abiy led central government and the TPLF ruled regional government. These accumulated tensions, in time, erupted into a bloody civil war. This tide of war has made thousands of people dead, forced more than two million people from their homes, caused around 400,000 people to face famine, and crippled the country’s economy and infrastructure. Thanks to the African Union and the cooperation of other international actors, the Ethiopian government and the TPLF signed a peace treaty that ushered in a new era of peace and stability in the country after two years of war. 


Abiy Ahmed receiving the Nobel Peace Prize

Abiy Ahmed has received many prestigious international awards. The most prominent of these is the Nobel Peace Prize 2019, which was granted to him for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea. In addition, Abiy, along with his counterpart Isayas Afeworki, has received Saudi Arabia’s highest honor, “The Order of King Abdulaziz.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is Dr. Abiy Ahmed?

Abiy Ahmed is the current and fourth Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

When is the birthday of Dr. Abiy Ahmed?

Abiy Ahmed celebrates his birth day on August 15 every year.

How many children does Dr. Abiy Ahmed have?

Abiy Ahmed with Zinash Tayachew has three daughters and adopted a son named Million Abiy.

What is the religion of Dr. Abiy Ahmed?

Abiy Ahmed is an Evangelical Christian (Pentay).

Who is the wife of Dr. Abiy Ahmed?

The wife of Abiy Ahmed is Ethiopian First Lady Zinash Tayachew.

Written by Sophonias Woldu

Sophonias Woldu is an Ethiopian author with an outstanding skill for crafting unique and captivating articles that explore different aspects of life. He had an inquisitive mind from a young age and was always fascinated by the power of language and words. He writes articles about philosophy, theology, his native Ethiopia, and basically anything and everything else. Before embarking on a writing career, he had already begun a successful career in the electromechanical engineering field, having earned his degree from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. In addition to being a prolific writer, Sophonias is also a public speaker and tech enthusiast who believes in harnessing technology to improve the lives of Ethiopians. Currently, Sophonias writes articles for on a part-time basis.

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