Tedros Adhanom (PhD) was a darling of the west…

Serving as a Minister of Health, Tedros Adhanom (PhD) was a darling of the west, gossip recalled. He has a disarming personality, unlike many of the administration’s officials who struggle to package themselves beyond their largely perceived individuality of a cadre with a seemingly scripted rhetoric. Most diplomats based in Addis find him easily accessible, pleasant to talk to, and energetic to change things for the better, gossip observed.

Indeed, one of the oldest institutions in Ethiopia has changed so much during his tenure as a Health Minister; it is now a poster-child of success cited by global development gurus at the corridors of international conferences from the United States to Europe and from Africa to Asia.

Critics may still be delighted in pointing out to the wide disparity among Ethiopia’s different regional states. Nonetheless, his mark in the nation’s accomplishments in reducing child mortality, far ahead of the conclusion of UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2015, remains a shining star in helping a taunted image of a nation as helplessly poor and famine stricken change to the recent narratives of a land in renewal.

Moving onto the foreign service, Tedros’s style of diplomacy with openness captured the imagination of the nation’s youth who are active on the social media, gossip observed. His lead among his peers in the administration, openly engaging tens of thousands of tweeters on daily basis, remains a fascination to many of his fans, while his style neutralized even those ardent critics of the government he serves.

Unlike the leader they all adore – Meles Zenawi has had 21,350 followers on Twitter – majority of the leaders in the Revolutionary Democratic camp are not social media enthusiastic, gossip learnt. Neither are any of their political opposition digital savvy.

Of those with a presence there though, it is Tedros who leads with 15,709 followers, followed by Hailemariam Desalegn (who incidentally forgot to update his profile which still has him as Deputy Prime Minister) at 5,752; Kesetebrehan Admasu (PhD), minister of Health at 3,526; Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of Energy & Water Resources, at 2,444; and Zenebu Tadesse, minister of Women, Children & Youth Affairs, at 643.

Despite his popularity among the foot soldiers of the social media, Tedros’s digital hyperactivity is not one liked by some of his colleagues in the leadership, gossip discovered. Although some were grumbling privately over what they felt is his largess with information through the social media, it is the recent crises in citizens’ resettlement that has brought the issue in the open, gossip disclosed.

Ever since the crises of domestic workers abused in Saudi Arabia exploded in the face of the nation through gruelling and graphic photos posted on social media, thus instigated rage and protests by Ethiopians across the world, Tedros is credited and admired by many outside of the administration for helping them follow in real time the way the exodus back home is being carried out. Suffice that he had to face an occasional wrath by critics for this or that statement. Yet, many get valuable information on the matter from his personal tweets (numbered 2,153) than what the administration was prepared to tell them, gossip noticed.

Tedros’s “over exposure” to the public through the social media and the mainstream media over the issue of Saudi returnees has not been liked by his comrades in the administration, including the Prime Minister, gossip revealed. He was subjected to a meeting two weeks ago where he was derided for turning the crises into a publicity platform, claims gossip. There were couple of occasions during the meeting where he had to argue over public statements he allegedly made, claims gossip.

A particular issue of contention between them is how to rehabilitate those returned, claims gossip. While Tedros has managed to persuade members of the private sector to hire those returned and get a pledge of seven million Birr in support, this is deemed by leaders of the administration as a populist exercise with diversion from the administration’s already existing policy of providing business and job opportunities through the micro and medium enterprises development programme.

Many critics of the EPRDFites were unhappy about Hailemariam’s silence during the whole episode of the Saudi returnees’ crises. However, he finally made his voice heard on the issue two weeks ago. But read his lips; it was very brief and planned to give a different narrative from the one so far provided to the public by one of his hyperactive ministers.

Published on December 8, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 710]



With a reformist administration in charge of the executive, there has b...


The new electricity tariffs that became effective on December 1, 2018,...


Who it is that midwifed the rapprochement between E...


Egyptian companies are about to sue the federal government over their i...


A recent photo between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and George Soros...


The future is bleak. Millennials and younger generations who will inher...

View From Arada

There is heated debate on the propriety, decency and morality of breast...

Business Indicators


Editors Pick