The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed…




The administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has formed its Economic Policy Council in the past few weeks, gossip disclosed. Remaining inactive for a couple of years now, the Council is a club of high brass in the economic sector, proposing policy measures to ensure macroeconomic stability, claims gossip.

For a change, it is interesting to see an administration with policymakers with the knack to play by the rules of the market when it comes to the underground currency market, gossip observed. It is a marked departure from tradition where the state uses its hard power of closure and a campaign of arrests to clampdown on the alleged operators of the parallel market.

Last week witnessed a shock by the bosses of the nation`s banking industry who were caught by surprise with the flood of Birr and foreign currency going to their many branches.

First was a meeting between the new Governor, Yinager Dessie (PhD), and presidents of the many banks. Then followed the rumors that the administration is prepared to appreciate the value of the Birr against major currencies by about four to five Birr, and the notes may likely change with new features. Complement this with public statements the Prime Minister has been signaling, advising members of the private sector to exchange their foreign currency in the formal market before it gets too late.

The outcome is an amazing narrowing of the value of the Birr against foreign currencies not seen since 2008, gossip observed. The parallel currency market was beaten in its own speculative game, claims gossip. No less significant is the increase in the banks` deposit mobilisation.

This could serve as a good lesson to the new Economic Policy Council under the chairmanship of Girma Birru, a seasoned macroeconomist who recently assumed the role of chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Ethiopia. The Council also comprises the Governor, as well as the ministers of Finance & Economic Development, Abraham Tekeste (PhD), and National Planning Commission, Eyob Tekalegn, gossip disclosed.

The administration has also carried out the latest bout of appointments of the country`s diplomats, adding in its ranks several politicians such as Shiferaw Shigutie, the recently appointed Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries Resources. He will be going to South Korea, replacing Shiferaw Jarso, who has been moved to Khartoum, a crucial mission for Ethiopia, gossip disclosed.

Redwan Hussien appears to have come out of his political exile from where he served as an ambassador to Ireland; he is now moved over to Asmara, the first top diplomat to serve in Eritrea after two decades. Tough negotiations with the Eritreans over the implementations of the Algiers Agreement as well as the international commissions on border and claims, Redwan ought to have won the confidence of the Prime Minister to take such grand responsibilities, claims gossip.

Among the new entrants to the world of diplomacy is Alemayehu Tegenu, former advisor in the Prime Minister`s Office and once a minister of Water Resources. He is most likely to take up the mission in Moscow, replacing Girum Abay, a career diplomat moved to Brussels, another valuable mission for Ethiopia, which receives a large amount of development aid from the European Union, gossip disclosed.

Another career diplomat is Girma Temesgen, who will go to Ankara, replacing Ayalew Gobeze, who once had served as president of the Amhara Regional State, disclosed gossip. Girma`s place in Abidjan will be taken over by Mulugeta Zewde, who leaves behind a post in Khartoum to Shiferaw, claims gossip.

Another strategically important post is the mission in Cairo, left by Taye Astkesellasie who has been appointed as Ethiopia`s ambassador to the UN in New York, replacing the veteran Tekeda Alemu (PhD). It is very likely that the Cairo post is given to a diplomat currently serving as head of the International Affairs Directorate at the headquarters, gossip disclosed. However, one very crucial mission remains open in Beijing, after Brehane Gebrekirstos was recalled last month, claims gossip. It will be a heavyweight politician in the current administration, perhaps one of the closest allies of Prime Minister Abiy, who will be trusted to replace Brehane and take up this mission, gossip claims.



Published on Jul 28,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 952]


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