BY ADDIS STANDARD STAFF
Addis Abeba, October 06/2021 – The House of People’s Representatives held the 6th round, 1st year, 1st Special Session, which has seen the formation of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s new government.
MPs in today’s session also discussed and approved a draft proclamation deciding the powers and functions of the executive branch of the federal government.
Accordingly, the Prime Minister proposed 22 ministerial positions as his new cabinet which has been approved by the Parliament with two votes against and 12 abstention.
The cabinet proposal saw the changing functions and jurisdiction of a number of ministries and government institutions and the including, for the first time, of three opposition figures taking up ministerial positions.
The other major development in the formation of the new government today is the inclusion of twenty institutions, including key intelligence, security and financial institutions, to become directly accountable to the Prime Minister’s office.
The proposed ministerial portfolios
Ministry of Agriculture (MoA); Ministry of Industry (MoI); Ministry of Trade and Regional Integration (MoTRI); Ministry of Mines (MoM); Ministry of Tourism (MoT); Ministry of Labor and Skills (MoLS);Ministry of Finance (MoF); Ministry of Revenue (MoR); Ministry of Planning and Development (MoPD); Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT); Ministry of Transport and Logistics (MoTL); Ministry of Urbanization and Infrastructure (MoUI); Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE); Ministry of Irrigation and Lowland Areas (MoILA); Ministry of Education (MoE); Ministry of Health (MoH); Ministry of Women and Social Affairs (MoWSA); Ministry of Culture and Sports (MoCS); Ministry of Defense (MoD); Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA); Ministry of Justice (MoJ); and Ministry of Peace (MoP).
Accordingly, Demeke Mekonnen retained his position as Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs; as are Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance; Dr.Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health; Takele Uma, Minister of Mines; Oumer Hussein, Minister of Agriculture; Leake Ayalew, Minister of Revenue; Melaku Alebel: Minister of Industry; and Dagmawit Moges: Minister of Transport and Logistics.
Former federally appointed Tigray Interim administration head, Abraham Belay (PhD), was moved to MoD from the MoIT; as are Muferiat Kamil, from the MoP to the MoLS. Ayisha Mohammed, leave from the now defunct Ministry of Construction and Urban Development and is appointed as the new Minister of Irrigation and Lowland Areas; and Gedion Timothoes became the Minister of the newly established MoJ, leaving his position as Federal Attorney General. Ergego Tesfaye (PhD), the former minister of Labor and Social Affairs, was appointed as Minister of the newly established MoWSA.
New appointments in the cabinet included: Habtamu Iteffa Geleta (PhD) who became the Minister of Water and Energy, replacing the all too familiar minister, Seleshi Bekele (PhD). Ambassador Nassise Chali, who was Ethiopia’s Ambassador to Canada, became the Minister of Tourism; and Fitsum Asfaw (PhD), the forrmr director of Plan and investment commission takes up the Minister of Planning and Development. Binalf Andualem, head of Prosperity Party, has become the Minister of Peace; and Chaltu Sani became Minister of Urbanization and Infrastructure; whereas Gebre Meskel Chala assumed newly restructured Ministrt of Trade and Regional Integration.
From the opposition parties Berhanu Nega, leader of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice is appointed as the Minister of Education; whereas Belete Molla, Chairperson of the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) , and Kejella Merdassa, former senior member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), were appointed as Ministers of Innovation and Technology and Culture & Sports respectively. A faction of OLF members led by Kejella has parted ways with the OLF led by its current Chairman Dawud Ibssa in the summer of 2020.
During the nomination, PM Abiy Ahmed said that nominations were decided after taking into consideration the merit and dedication of individuals, as well as diversity including gender, religion.
The PM said that he expects his new cabinet to fight against poverty, begging and corruption while asserting that a cabinet member’s loyalty “shouldn’t be to ethnicity, but only to federal institutions.”
Twenty Institutions Under PM Office
However, today’s major development is the restructuring of government institutions and their accountable offices. Shortly after the appointments of the new cabinet members, state media posted list of institutions accountable to the Prime Minister, the National Bank of Ethiopia, the Ministry of Labor and Skill, Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Justice.
Accordingly, twenty institutions including intelligence, security institutions which were under the Ministry of Peace; and financial institutions are now directly accountable to the Prime Minister’s office.
They include: Office of the Prime Minister; Government Communication Service; The National Bank of Ethiopia; Ethiopian Capital Market Authority; Ethiopian Investment Commission; National Palace administration; Federal Police Commission; Information Network Security Agency; National Intelligence and Security Service; Financial Security Service; Artificial Intelligence Institute; Ethiopian Communication Authority; African Leadership Excellence Academy; The Republican Guard; Ethiopian National Security Council; Civil Service Commission; Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission; Disaster Risk Management Commission; Reconciliation Commission (to be revised); and Administrative Affairs, Boundaries and Identity Commission (also to be revised).
List of institutions accountable to the National Bank of Ethiopia include: Civil Servants Social Security Agency; and Private Employees Social Security Agency.
Similarly, new Ministry offices and institutions accountable to them were announced. They are:
A – Institutions accountable to the Ministry of Labor and Skill are: Technical and Vocational Training Institute; College of Agricultural Technical and Education and Training; and Tourism Training Institution.
B – Institutions accountable to Planning and Development Ministry are: Ethiopian Statistics Service; and Institute for Policy Studies, 3.Environmental Protection Agency
C – Institutions accountable to the Ministry of Justice are: Civil Society Organizations Authority; Federal Prisons Commission; Federal Justice and Law Institute; Document registration and certification service; and Federal Tax Appeals Tribunal. AS