Hope Against All Odds

The anticipation has ended, and the EPRDF’s Council has presented the country with a Prime Minister-Designate – Abiy Ahmed (PhD). He is the third chairman of the ruling coalition that has been at the helm of politics for the past three decades and the first from the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO).

The election has been met with palpable optimism – a sort of honeymoon period. The public has been amused with Abiy`s modest beginnings in a small town called Beshasha, west of Addis Abeba, from a large family. That his parents have different religions and that he is the first leader born after the revolution of 1974 have been discussed as much.

Others remain sober. Opposition figures and pundits point to the mountain he is expected to climb, however optimistic they may be. Ethiopia, especially the Oromia Regional State, has been rocked by violence for the past three years. Lives were lost, and properties have been damaged. The intractability of the political stalemate has led to the resignation of the outgoing Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and the declaration of two emergency decrees.

The one-time minister of Science & Technology and Vice President of the Oromia Regional State will also inherit a difficult macroeconomic situation, where foreign currency is scarce, domestic and external debts are rising, unemployment is soaring, and inflation is rearing its ugly head.

Abiy’s instalment as the next Premier by parliament will come on Monday, April 2, 2018 – together with the sorts of challenges any chairman in his ruling coalition has ever faced before. Time will tell if he is a diehard reformist many in the public are led to believe, or a rabble-rouser few are cautioning he may be. YOU CAN READ THE FULL STORY HERE.

Published on Apr 01,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 936]



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