Ethiopia: Minister Abay Tsehaye Doubles as Director-General

The Prime Minister assigned Abay Tsehaye to a new post on Friday. Abay Tsehaye is to head the new giant sugar corporation as a Director-General, Minister with without Portfolio. Though, he is still serving as National Security Advisor to the PM.

The Prime Minister assigned Abay Tsehaye to a new post  on Friday. Abay Tsehaye is to head the new giant sugar corporation as a Director-General, Minister without Portfolio. Though, he is still serving as National Security & Intelligence Advisor to the PM.

Abay Tsehaye has been Minister of Federal Affairs from 2002-2005. After 2005, Abay briefly served as Public Mobilization Advisor to the PM, then moved to a newly crafted post National Security & Intelligence Advisor to the PM; Minister without Portfolio in both cases. Abay Tsehaye is a veteran member of TPLF. He had been member of the Executive committees and Councils of EPRDF and TPLF until last September.

No one is appointed to replace Abay as National Security & Intelligence Advisor to date. There is no indication that the post is eliminated. In fact, even after the appointment of the new cabinet, in this month, Abay attended  the peace agreement ceremony of ONLF & the government as National Security & Intelligence Advisor. None of the newly appointed advisors to the PM are likely to be charged with the tasks of National Security advisor.

It appears that Abay Tsehaye is to double both as National Security Advisor and Director-General of the new Sugar Corporation, at least for a while. However, it is probable that the former Deputy Prime Minister, Addisu Legesse, may replace Abay as National Security & Intelligence Advisor in the coming weeks.

It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Reporter Newspaper reported about the formation of the new corporation, on Oct. 10/2010. Here is an extract of the news report:

A new corporation that would administer the sugar industry, a job formerly and partly managed by the Ethiopian Sugar Development Agency (ESDA), together with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) are set to directly report to the Prime Minister under the new government’s restructuring process. The three sugar plants in the country, Fincha, Wengi and Methehara, including Tendaho Sugar plant which is under establishment are going to fall under the supervision of the new corporation, not to mention its responsibility to oversee the construction of the new three sugar factories in the  next five years. The new plants would have their own sugarcane plantations around Tana Beles basin in the Amhara Regional State, Dedessa gorge in Oromia Regional State and the Omo River Basin in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPR) covering a total of 200,000 hectares of land.

According to sources close to the matter, about 30 professionals are working on the reorganization of the sugar corporation under the direct order from Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who is keen to strictly follow-up the corporation and its projects. According to the plan, the corporation is expected to take control of the leadership of the sugar plantations while working on producing improved ethanol production for local and international markets. Previously, the ESDA was accountable to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), which is split in to two independent ministries Trade and Industry in the new cabinet design. However, the corporation would be doing a little bit of both tasks and the seriousness of these responsibilities, according to sources, is one of the reasons for the decision of the PM to bring the corporation under his office.

Furthermore, the new corporation is also planning to build its headquarters with an estimated cost of 330 million birr, around Mexico Square.

Related Materials(in this blog):

Who’s Who in the New Cabinet.

Ethiopia: 48 State Ministers Appointed

Ethiopia: PM Appoints 36 Ambassadors, inc. 7 Former Ministers

Ethiopia: Arkebe, Shiferaw Return as Ministers without Portfolio

Daniel Berhane