(Austin, Texas)//State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), released the following statement regarding the passing of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Ellis has traveled extensively to Ethiopia and met with Prime Minister Zenawi on several occasions.
“Meles Zenawi’s passing is a terrible loss for Ethiopia and Africa. Zenawi’s leadership helped create a more vibrant and prosperous Ethiopia through real and systemic economic reforms. He was also a key US ally and who worked to mediate tensions and disputes in the region. We all hope for a smooth transition, but Ethiopia’s next leader will have some very large shoes to fill.
“I’ve had the distinct pleasure of traveling the region extensively over the course of my career, and Ethiopia is deep in my heart. The late Mickey Leland helped raise Americans’ awareness of the plight of the Ethiopian people and across the Horn of Africa. I have tried to follow in his footsteps whenever possible. In those efforts I had the good fortune to meet with PM Zenawi on several occasions, most recently in efforts to bring the historic Lucy Exhibit to Houston.
“We are all terribly saddened by this loss. I hope the people of Ethiopia can sustain and improve upon the progress made over the past two decades under Zenawi’s leadership.”