Debretsion Gebremichael

This article holds a patronymic name. This person is addressed by his name, Debretsion, and not as Gebremichael.
Debretsion Gebremichael
ደብረፅዮን ገብሬሚካኤል
Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Assumed office
29 November 2012
Serving with Demeke Mekonnen
and Aster Mamo
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Preceded by Hailemariam Desalegn
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
Assumed office
10 October 2012
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
Preceded by Position established
(Promoted to ministry status)
Director of the Ethiopian Information and Communication Development Agency
In office
19 September 2005  10 October 2010
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Preceded by Ayenew Bitewelign
Succeeded by Position abolished
(Promoted to ministry status)
Personal details
Born Shire, Tigray Province, Ethiopian Empire
Political party Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front
Other political
Tigrayan People's Liberation Front
Alma mater Addis Ababa University
(BSc, MSc)
Capella University (PhD)
Religion Ethiopian Orthodoxy
*It has been claimed that Debretsion received his PhD from Harvard University[1]

Debretsion Gebremichael (Tigrinya: ደብረፅዮን ገብሬሚካኤል?) is the current Minister of Communication and Information Technology and one of the three deputy prime ministers of Ethiopia.

Early life

Debretsion was born and raised in Adwa, Tigray Province, Ethiopia. He was described by some as being one of the best students in the province and was purportedly received a perfect score on his entrance examinations.[1] He was admitted into Addis Ababa University, however he forwent his studies to join the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and fight the communist Derg.

He was sent to Italy by the TPLF and received training in communications technology. He led the team that launched the Dimtsi Woyane Tigray (The Voice of Tigray) radio station in 1980.[2] Debretsion, along with "General Santim", were famous hackers during the Ethiopian Civil War. They routinely hijacked, jammed and sabotaged the Derg's radio, TV and military communication systems.[1]

He was part of TPLF's security department, often called "Bado sidist" 06. The department was notorious for torturing and killing TPLF fighters who didn't subscribe to TPLF's ideology as well as civilians who refuse to support the organization. It's alleged Debretsion and Bisrat Amare, another TPLF fighter, have killed countless number of fighters.[3]

After the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front's 1991 victory, he joined Addis Ababa university while working full-time as the second man to Kinfe Gebremedhin. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from. Addis Ababa University.[1] While it has been claimed he pursued doctoral studies at (or even received a degree from) Harvard University, he is on record as having received a PhD from a distance program at Capella University in 2011.[1][4][5] His dissertation was on "Exploring the Perception of Users of Community ICT Centers on the Effectiveness of ICT on Poverty in Ethiopia".[5]

Information and Communication Development Agency

In 2005, Debretsion was appointed Director of the Ethiopian Information and Communication Development Agency (EICDA).

EICTDA was established in 1995, its major objective was to manage technologies that can be used to monitor internet and telecommunication activities across the country, including those of opposition party members and journalists who often write articles critical of the government. As Director, Debretsion worked to improve the public service activity by launching the Public Service Capacity Building Program (PSCAP). In this program, ICT is treated as an important enabling tool to improve the delivery of public services and considered as one component of the program with its own action plan and earmarked budget.[6]

Personal life

Debretsion is an avid tennis player. He often works on Saturdays, due to the pressures of the job, saying, "My life is odd."[7]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mengedi, Halafi. "The real profiling of Dr. Debretsion G/Michael by Beleche". Ethiopian Review. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  2. "Dimtsi Woyane Tigray (DWET)". Infoasaid. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  4. "Cyber crime: current and future threats". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Alpha Mission". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  6. "The Ethiopian Information and Communication Technology Development Agency (EICTDA)". ZUNIA Knowledge Exchange. Development Gateway. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  7. Tigabu, Tibebeselassie (18 December 2010). "Acquaintance with Minister Debretsion Gebremichael". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
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