President Isaias Afework speaks about his visit to Addis Ababa
Isaias Afwerki is the first President of Eritrea, a position he has held since its independence in 1993. He led the Eritrean People's Liberation Front to victory in May 1991, thus ending the 30-year-old Eritrean War of Independence.
Isaias Afwerki was born on 2 February 1946 in the Aba Shi'Aul district of Asmara, Eritrea. His father was Afwerki Abraha and mother was Adanesh Berhe.His father, a native of Tselot village, just outside Asmara, was a minor functionary in the state Tobacco Monopoly. His mother was descended from Tigrayan immigrants from the Enderta area. Isaias has three sisters (Nardos, Tsigereda, and Ariam) and five brothers (Amare, Erimias, Amanuel, Ephrem, and Paulos). He is a cousin of former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi.
Isaias was educated at the Prince Makonnen High School (PMSS). In the early 1960s, he joined the nationalist Eritrean student movement. In 1965, he began his studies at the College of Engineering at Haile Selassie I University (now called Addis Ababa University) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Isaias is married to Saba Haile and has two sons (Abraham and Berhane) and one daughter (Elsa)