First Lady of Ethiopia
የኢትዮጵያ ቀዳማዊት እመቤት
Zinash Tayachew

since 2 April 2018
StyleHer Excellency
ResidenceOffice of First Lady
SeatAddis Abeba
FormationAugust 22, 1995
(26 years ago)
WebsiteOffice of First Lady

First Lady of Ethiopia (Ge'ez: የኢትዮጵያ ቀዳማዊት እመቤት) is a title for the wife of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Prime Minister. Officially the concept of First Lady applied in Ethiopian politics since 1995. Although the first lady's role has never been codified or officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation. However, the role of First Lady is created by her and contributes her unique position to improve women and children's capacity but her contribution has not been known at the broader public realm.[1]


In Ethiopian history, the word ‘Majesty’ was the symbol of royal title that has been referred to a king or Queen. The wife of royal family could share a power with her royal title of ‘Queen’ which has created alliances among the other side. It means, the name of ‘Queen’ had recognized by societies and entitled with a power for the wife of a king, then she had a supreme power to advise her husband to sustain and keep a monarchal system from generation to generation (by appoint her son to be a king) such as Queen Eleni, Seble wengel, Mintewab, Empress Taytu. They were contributed their special position to their country as well as the state of subjects. They have passed their legacy to the advancement of Ethiopian women. People has followed them as their leaders equivalent to their king (Tayitu is the best example).[1][2]

After the annihilated of Monarchal system and substituted by military system (socialism ideology), the wife of Ethiopian leader had not any title for the couple of decades. But after the Transitional government of Ethiopia succeeded, the concept of first lady come alive when the wife of President Negasso Gidida (Dr.) Regina Abelt, citizen of Germany, officially became the First Lady of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in 1995.[1] Uniquely, Regina Abelt was the only person in Ethiopia history to be nominated for a first ladyship regardless of her citizenship and nomination by the behalf of president.

In 2013, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia the Office of the First Lady has established during the reign of the former First Lady Mrs. Roman Tesfaye. All programs that undertaking by of the office has its significant to the Ethiopian women's empowerment and address the national gender issues.[1][3]

List of first ladies

List of Ethiopian First Ladies, and Prime Ministers and Presidents by the time of their first ladyship
Number Name Nationality Wife of In office from To Name of Prime Minister Name of President
1 Regina Abelt Germany Negasso Gidada 22 August 1995 8 October 2001 Meles Zenawi Negasso Gidada
2 Azeb Mesfin Ethiopia Meles Zenawi 8 October 2001 20 August 2012 Meles Zenawi Girma Wolde-Giorgis
3 Roman Tesfaye Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn 20 August 2012 2 April 2018 Hailemariam Desalegn Mulatu Teshome
4 Zinash Tayachew Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed 2 April 2018 Now Abiy Ahmed Sahle-Work Zewde


  1. ^ a b c d Nigussie, Natnael (June 17, 2019). "Ethiopian First Lady's Contribution to Women Empowerment". Addis Ababa University. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  2. ^ Biseswar, I (2011). The role of educated/intellectual women in Ethiopia in the process of change and transformation towards gender equality 1974-2005. South Africa: University of South Africa.
  3. ^ "Office of the First Lady of the FDRE Vacancies and Jobs in Ethiopia | Ethiojobs". Retrieved October 19, 2020.