He has more than 35 years of extensive experience in strategic leadership and management in complex environments at national, subregional and regional levels, focused on agricultural and rural development in Africa.
Professional career began in 1986 as a faculty member at the Haramaya University in Ethiopia and rose through the ranks as educationalist, researcher and manager contributing to design and delivery of capacity-building interventions in support of reforms and strategies on governance and agricultural transformation in his native country Ethiopia.
Abebe joined the African Union Commission in 2005 and served in various progressive managerial capacities including Director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture from 2010-2015, Some of the hallmarks of achievements while at the African Union include the successful rolling out of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) at country and regional levels; the elaboration and subsequent adoption of the 2014 Malabo Declaration on Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods; the coordination of the African Common Position on Climate Change; and the adoption of the AU Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy, Pastorlism, among others.
Abebe joined FAO in 2015 and served as Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, Regional Programme Leader for Africa, and FAO Representative to Ghana. Since 2019 he has been FAO’s Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, overseeing FAO’s programme development and delivery in 47 African countries.
He holds a PhD in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies, part of Erasmus University, the Netherlands.