Ambassador Ofato [aka Opatho] was born to his father Alew Ochan and his mother Dhorgi Olok in Abobo woreda of Gambella State.
After completing his elementary education in Gambella, Ambassador Ofato, went to Dembi Dollo, Wellega in September 1977 where he attended 11th and 12th grades. Bethel Evangelical Secondary School (BESS), where he attended his high school, was one of the popular private schools in Western part of Ethiopia.
At the time, Gambella did not even have a single high school. However, Ambassador Ofato persevered and he paid school tuition from the money he saved when he was teaching at Pokow elementary school. Most of students from BESS joined universities in the country because of high results they scored in Ethiopian High School Leaving Examination. He was one of those who scored high results in the national examination. He, then, joined Addis Ababa University in 1980 where he studied English at the Department of International Languages. He was the first Anyua who graduated from Addis Ababa University with BA in foreign languages.
Ambassador Ofato started his career in Ministry of Information as a journalist from 1983 to 1991. He was an English newspaper editor in the ministry of information. In 1990, he was sent to United Kingdom to upgrade his journalism skills.
He was also the first Anyua to be appointed as an Ethiopian Ambassador and also the first Anyua to reach such great height in the Ethiopian Government system in more than 3000 years of the Ethiopian history. As Ambassador he served in the Sudan and Kenya. These two neighboring countries, in terms of security, were critical areas for the survival of the transitional government and required someone with journalism experience to encounter negative campaigns of opposition political parties based in Nairobi and Khartoum. Ambassador Alew had contributed a lot towards weakening of opposition political parties in those two countries.
He was recalled to the Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Addis Ababa in September 1995 where he served as advisor in the office of Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Later on, he served in various departments of the ministry of foreign affairs including General Directorates of Policy and Planning as well as that of press, information and documentation.
While in Addis Ababa he also served as an amateur or volunteer in the Executive Committee of Ethiopian Football Federation. He was a member of the committee and coordinator of Public relations of the Federation.
Ambassador Ofato Alew was a strong activist who fought for democracy to prevail in his country among his people. He had contributed in strengthening Gambella Peoples Liberation Movement (GPLM) during struggle against Communist regime and later played a great role in the formation of Gambella Peoples Democratic Congress (GPDC).
Ambassador Ofato Alew was a responsible husband and father. Two of his children are attending Universities. One of them is at Addis Ababa University, Ariet Kilo branch, and another one is at Harare University. Two of his elder children are now working in Gambella.
Ambassador Ofato Alew Ochan passed away on October 5, 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the age of 51. His funeral was conducted at the Holy Trinity Church on October 6th, 2008. May his soul rest in peace!!