The Administration of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn…

The Administration of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn could be one with a few too many influential advisors, directing his decision making process, gossip observed. Politicians, such as Abay Tsehaye, Bereket Simon and Abadula Gemeda, are possibly his closet allies, while chiefs of the army, Samora Yenus (Gen.), and the intelligence, Getachew Assefa, have as much credibility afforded to their views before he has made up his mind, claims gossip.

On the macroeconomic policy front, however, the cache in the Revolutionary Democratic camp, hence the government it controls, may have an interesting opportunity to come out into the public. Nonetheless, who the EPRDFites would want to speak on their behalf, at a two-day high profile forum The Economist is trying to put together in Addis Abeba, remains a subject of debate, claims gossip.

After its highly publicised event planned in Addis Abeba was cancelled a few years ago, due to disagreements within the EPRDFites under Meles, the beacon of global liberal forces is back with a plan to hold a forum on high growth markets, gossip disclosed. The very decision by the magazine’s editors to choose Addis Abeba as a venue for such an event, dubbed “high growth market”, is a staggering recognition to the sense of accomplishments the EPRDFites feel they have earned through hard work over the past two decades, gossip observed.

Unsurprisingly, they are determined to leave behind a legacy to the “renaissance generation” of a nation that has reversed its bad fortune of 500 years. This progress has evolved during the four decades they have set out to rule. Beginning, in earnest, when they ousted the Marxist military junta in the early 1990s, claims gossip.

There are institutions that have popped up recently, designed to provide them with tools both on the political and economic policymaking front, according to gossip. Indeed, each is vying for resource and attention from the Prime Minister, claims gossip.

Take for one the newly created, four-man strong, strategic advisory team, temporarily housed in an office near the National Electoral Board, according to gossip. It may well have been created to fill a gap in the void created by the passing of the ideological father of the Revolutionary Democrats. It is very plausible, however, that its chief ideologues – Bereket and Abay – will stamp their marks as much on macroeconomic policymaking as they will in the political direction of the movement, gossip observed.

Yet, the newly formed National Economic Council, whose forte is to advise and influence the decisions Hailemariam would make on macroeconomic policies, is also being developed, according to gossip. The architects of this Council – Michael Merid and Hashim Ahmed – are pushing the Administration for resources to hire top-notch experts and setup their outfit. The policy recommendations forwarded free from ideological bias would inevitably compete with those other institutions encompassing the Prime Minister, claims gossip.

Indeed, the Planning Commission, formed recently under the stewardship of Mekonnen Manyazewal, has made its request to the Administration to hire a 17-strong team, with competitive salary packages, gossip disclosed.

It appears that the competition among these entities – in the form of head hunting – has already begun, claims gossip. They all eye the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), under the leadership of Neway Gebreab, chief economic advisor for two decades now, to scout their human capital, gossip disclosed. Mekonnen, for instance, wants to bring onboard economists from both the EDRI and the planning department of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) under one roof, housed inside an old edifice of the legal research department of the MoFED, onKing George VI St, gossip disclosed.

Interestingly though, who the EPRDFites finally settle on to speak on their behalf during the December event will tell a lot about the heavyweight position these people have in the policymaking corridors of the Administration, gossip anticipates.

Published on Sep, 15, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 698]



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