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Etenesh Abera

Addis Abeba, April 19/2018 – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has today formed his new cabinet members. The Prime minister presented sixteen names, of which ten are new names for ministerial positions, while the six were recycled from one ministry to another.

However, all members of Parliament who were given the chance to ask questions have expressed their concerns, reservations and objections to the proposed list on various grounds. Among the reservations expressed by MPs is the lack of women members of cabinet. Out of the sixteen, there are four women cabinet members, higher proportion compared to previous experiences.  They are: Hirut Woldemariam (PhD), Minister of Works & Social Affairs; Yalem Tsegaye, Minister of Women and Children Affairs; Ouba Mohammed, Minister of Communications & Technology; and Fozia Amin, Minister Culture and Tourism.

The other concern raised by an MP was the replacement of Dr. Girma Amente from the Ministry of State Enterprises by Teshome Toga, who was Ethiopia’s Ambassador the EU. The MP defended Dr. Girma’s track record at the Enterprise said she objected his replacement. Dr. Girma moved to lead the urban development and housing bureau of the Oromia regional state.

But the most critical argument raised by three different MPs is the decision to merge Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources with the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery. MPs expressed their concerns that given the abundance resources of livestock and fishery in the country, the sector needs its own ministry. In addition, an MP also raised concern that the attempt was previously tried but has failed. The decision to merge the two was however approved by the house. Accordingly, Shiferaw Shigute, deputy chairman of SEPM and Secretariat of the EPRDF will be the new minister leading the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Resources.

After responses by PM Abiy Ahmed to the questions and concerns raised by MPs, the parliament has approved the new cabinet members who were sworn in before end of the 21st regular session of the parliament.

Accordingly, the new list of members of the Prime Minister’s cabinet is comprised of the following sixteen ministers:

– Shiferaw Shigute, Minister of Agriculture & Livestock Resources

– Siraj Fegessa, minister of Transport

– Brehanu Tsegaye, Attorney General

– Ubah Mohammed, Minister of Communications & Technology

– Teshome Toga, Minister of State Enterprises

– Hirut Woldemariam (PhD), Minister of Works & Social Affairs

– Amir Aman (PhD), Minister of Health

– Meles Alemu, Minister of Mines & Energy

– Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD), Minister of Industry

– Ahmed Shidie, Minister of Government Communications

– Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Defense

– Fozia Amin, Minister of Culture & Tourism

– Umar Hussien, Director General of Revenues & Customs Authority

– Yealem Tsegaye, Minister of Youth & Women

– Melaku Aebel, Minister of Trade

– Janterar Abay, Minister of Urban Development & Construction

For live update from the parliament’s session and background information on some of the appointees, please refer to the following thread:

In a related development, the parliament has elected a new speaker, replacing Aba Dulla Gemeda, who was the speaker for the last six years. Accordingly, Muferait Kemil, former Minister at the Women Affairs Ministry, is now the new speaker of the House of people’s Representatives, making her the first female speaker of the house.  Her appointment will also make the position of both the speaker and the deputy to be held by women. Shitaye Menale is the deputy speaker. AS

 

 

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