The Father of Ethiopian Tourism: Hapteselassie Tafesse (1927-2017)

Hapteselassie Tafesse

The man known as the father of Ethiopia’s tourism, Habteselassie Tafesse, died on Wednesday, August 9th. Known to have coined the phrase “13 months of Sunshine”, he was instrumental in helping make Ethiopia a tourist destination, rather than the face of poverty to the world.

A gifted communicator, an orator, he was an advocate for the transformation of the country as a unique nation, one that can market its culture and bring resources to its coffers. The 90-year-old was born in 1927 in Addis Ababa to a career diplomat – Tafesse.

He lived his formative years abroad in major international cities, giving him world exposure in earnest and the ability to speak eight languages eloquently. However, mastering the Amharic language became a lifelong struggle for him. He graduated from Teferi Mekonnen and went on and eventually graduated from Ohio’s Oberlin College Government and Public Relations.

His first voyage to public service was as the head of press affairs with Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry. He became a natural fit becoming the hub for international journalists and foreigners with the Ethiopian government.

Read more at: The Reporter