Five Takeaways from PM Hailemariam’s new Cabinet

Just a year after forming a new government, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn returned to parliament to announce a reshuffle.

On Tuesday, the Premier presented a new cabinet to the parliament, entirely populated by the ruling party EPRDF (Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front).

The Cabinet reshuffle has been promised after last September’s EPRDF leadership meeting. The party, chaired by Hailemariam Desalegn, pledged to undertake “deep reforms” to solve the root causes of the protests that engulfed much of the nation.

One of those fixes is the leadership reshuffle. Nonetheless, in the past two months, only one of the four member parties of EPRDF undertook party leadership change. That had dampened the public expectations.

However, somehow, Hailemariam managed to come with eye-catching changes at the federal government level.

As listed in the previous post (see: List of PM Hailemariam’s new Ministers), the ministerial appointees belong to six parties. Twenty-seven were nominated by the four parties that make up the EPRDF, while three are from EPRDF allied parties.

* Eight nominated by ANDM (Amhara National Democratic Movement)

* Nine nominated by OPDO (Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization)

* Six nominated by SEPDM (Southern Peoples Democratic Movement) and

* Four nominated by TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front)

* Two from ESPDP (Ethiopian Somali People’s Democratic Party)

* One from ANDP (Afar National Democratic Party)

Here are seven points from the new ministerial appointments.

1/ New faces

Out of the 30 ministerial appointees, only fifteen were members of the previous cabinet.

Among the fifteen, only nine ministers remained in their old posts. The other six are relocated to a different ministry.

2/ Which party kept its ministers?

Six of the eight ANDM ministers kept their job. Out of the six ANDM ministers that remained in the cabinet, five are still in their old post, while one relocated to a different ministry.

The biggest change was among OPDO ministers. All the eight OPDO ministers are new to their job. However, three were members of the cabinet in charge of a different ministry.

Both SEPDM and TPLF kept two ministers each in their old posts, while they brought four and two new faces to the cabinet, respectively.

3/ Party hacks no more?

The ruling party has been pledging in the past two months that it will bring new people regardless of party loyalty. That rhetoric by itself was a departure from the old party line.

In a bid to emphasis that perception, the Prime Minister left out the political background of the news appointees when presenting their CV to the parliament on Tuesday.  

Granted, the new cabinet has less party officials than any cabinet in the past two decades.

Eleven appointees are not members of the EPRDF Council, though ten of them are party members.

One appointee, nominated by OPDO, is not even a member. That is, the new Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele (PhD) .

Still, ten ministers are members of the EPRDF executive committee. Another six are members of the EPRDF Council, while three are from the leadership of allied parties.

4/ EPRDF allied parties got a better deal this time.

The EPRDF allied regional parties often get relatively marginal ministries. But this time around, it appears their share has improved.

Out of the three ministries allotted for the Ethio-Somali and the Afar parties, two are important: The Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Construction, respectively.

5/ Work experience

One of the most interesting aspects of the new cabinet is the number of PhDs and academicians.

Out of the thirty ministers, twelve are PhD holders and two have professor affixed to their names.

Again, five appointees have been senior officers of at government-owned Universities: Presidents, v/Presidents, deans.

It appears a move to impress the Ethiopian public which attaches too much value to titles.

EPRDF officials, whom HornAffairs spoke for explanations, didn’t deny that objective. They said, it confers the ministers public recognition and that’s good. They added, bringing academicians was deemed beneficial to expedite the institution building process. On top of that, they say, the new bunch would be less inclined to personal enrichment.

One wonders whether Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who served a decade in the academia, still abodes a secret admiration for that world.


* Correction: The fourth sentence of No. 3 was edited for clarity.

View Comments (4)

  • Hi Daniel,

    This a cabinet with which I can associate closely. Three of some are my University mates. Of course they are from different ethnic group than mine. But I liked the last statement where you said the PM has still affinity to academic institutions which should not surprise any of us. We now have a cabinet of real Elites but I suspect if they live upto their expectations as many civil servants are still in protest mode. It is high time to change the Civil Servant significantly as well with fresh blood like what the President of Turkey who fired many civil servants.

  • በደርግ ግዜ 14 ክፍለ ሀገራት ነበሩ እነዚህም
    1. ኤርትራ ክ/ሀገር …..ዋና ከተማ አሥመራ
    2. ትግራይ ክ/ሀገር…..ዋና ከተማ መቀሌ
    3. ቤጌምድር (ኋላ ደርግ በ1980 መዠመሪያ አካባቢ) ወደ ጎንደር ቀየረዉ…….ጎንደር
    4. ወሎ ክ/ሀገር…..ደሴ
    5. ጎጃም ክ/ሀገር….ባህር ዳር
    6. ወለጋ ክ/ሀገር….ነቀምቴ
    7. ሸዋ ክፍለ ሀገር……..ዋና ከተማ አዲስ አበባ
    8. ሀረርጌ ክፍለ ሀገር….. ዋና ከተማ ሀረር
    9. ሲዳሞ ክ/ሀገር …….ዋና ከተማ አዋሣ
    10. አርሲ ክ/ ሀገር……ዋና ከተማ አሰላ
    11. ባሌ ክ/ሀገር …..ዋና ከተማ ጎባ
    12. ጋሞጎፈ ክ/ሀገር…..ዋና ከተማ አርባ ምንጭ
    13. ከፋ ክ/ሀገር ……ዋና ከተማ ጅማ
    14. ኢሉባቦር ክ/ሀገር….ዋና ከተማ መቱ

    • ኤርትራ ተገነጠለች ሀገር ሆነች ብር ሣይሆን ናቅፋን አማርኛ ሣይሆን ትግረኛና አረብኛን ብሄራዊ ቋንቋ በማድረግ በራሷ ባንድራ አዲስ አፍሪካዊት ሀገር ሆነች
    • የቀሩት አስራ ሦስቱ በዘጠኝ ብሄርን መሠረት በደረገ ክልሎች ተዋቀሩ፡፡
    o በዚህ ዉስጥ 10 ቁጥር ላይ ከለዉ አርሲ ክፍለ ሀገር ሌሎቹ በሁለትና ከዚያ በላይ ክልሉች ተከፋፈሉ፡፡ ቀድመዉን በቆዳ ስፋታቸዉ ትልቅ ና በብሄር ስብጠራቸዉ ብዛሃነት የሚታይባቸዉ እንደ ሸዋ፣ሀረርጌ፣ ሲደሞ ክፍለ ሀገር የዚህ መገለጫዎች ናቸዉ፡፡
    ሸዋ ክፍለ ሀገር
    1. ኦሮሚያ፡- ሰሜን ሸዋ-ሰላሌ(ፊቼ)፣ምሥራቅ ሸዋ (አዳማ)፣ ደቡብ ምዕራብ ሸዋ (ወሊሶ)፣ምዕራብ ሸዋ (አምቦ)፣ፊንፊኔ ዙሪያ ዞን (ፊንፊኔ) ፣ አዲስ አበባ (ፊንፊኔ) እዘህ መሃል ነዉ ያለችዉ) ምዕራብ አርሲ (አርሲ ነጌሌ፣ሻሸመኔ ና ዙሪያዋ፣ ሻላ፣ሲራሮ)
    2. ደቡብ ብ/ቤ/ብ ክልል፡- ጉራጌ (ወልቅጤ)፣ ስልጤ (ወራቤ)፣ ሀዲያ (ሆሣዒና)፣ከምባታ ና አላባ
    3. አማራ፡- ሰሜን ሸዋ (ደብረ ብርሃን)
    4. አፋር፡ ዞን-3
    The current regions vs former provinces because of the nature of formation
    1. The state of Tigray: Mainly formed from former Tigray province+wolkayit awraja from Gonder+Raya azebo from wollo
    2. The state of Afar: Mainly formed from former Harargie and Wollo provinces, +pocket areas from Tigray and Shawa provinces because of nature of new formation of the state.
    3. The state of Amhara: Principally formed former Begemidir (Gonder),Gojam and wollo provinces + pocket area of shoa as it is seen above North shoa (Debera birhan).
    4. The state of Oromia: Mainly formed former Shawa, Harargeh, Arsi,Wollega, Iluabbor,Bale, Kafa (the current Jimma zone) provinces and also Sidamo (the current Gujji and Borena zone).
    5. The state of Somalie: Mainly formed from Hararge (Ogaden area), Bale (Elkare area) and small part of sidamo (Liban zone).
    6. The of Benishangul/Gumuz: the areas cut away from Wollega and Gojjam, The region is said to be formed by five native ethnic groups but the proportion of the sum of Oromo and Amhara close 60%
    7. The state of SNNRP: Principally formed from former Sidamo (Sidama, Wolaita and Gedeo zones ), Shawa (Gurage,Silte,kambata and Hadia zones alaba woreda), Gamogofa small parts of Kafa and Iluabbor provinces of the former regime.
    8. The state of Gambella: One sub-province of former Ilubabor kiflehager (mattu or Gore)
    9. The state of Harari: principally Harar town +18 rural kebeles Harar town is considered the second religious center of Islamic world next to Mekkah. Hararis are only 8% percent of the total population of Harari region but jointly administer with Oromos (around 70%)
    So where is the demand of Gondere about wolkait? If it is because of administration system Humera was under should be under new system, the formulae doesn’t work and groundless but it is possible to oppose ethnic federalism-it is this administration system that annexed to Tigray. Tigray also given land to Afar, Iluabbabor to Gambella so what? So it is good to be reasonable.
    Federalism in its general form, it is not bad, countries like America, Canada, Australia and Europe have adopted and proved its relevance. Even it is the pills now proposal on progress for the countries in crisis like Iraq, Syria etc. In Ethiopia also the constitution is well written but the real application still requires a lot of work and improvement. Federalism is not top down but bottom up, decentralization, taxonomy, identity, autonomy etc

  • የአዲሱ ካቢኔ ሹመት ና ምልከተዎቼ
    1. አዳዲስ ፊቶች፡- የጤና፣የመስኖናኤሌክትሪክ ና የባህል ሚንስትሮች 3ቱም ከዚህ በፊት የማይታወቁ አዳዲስ ፊቶች ናቸዉ፡፡ Indeed, reading from their profile they are also highly professional. This is good beginning but it may not always work. As to me the professional back ground is not only sufficient, the appointee must have proven track record in relation to his/her assignment. I said sometimes it may not work because some times less educated people with high commitment may perform better. Profession + commitment= leads to high productivity.

    2. የጠቅላይ ሚንስተር አማካሪ የሚበለዉ ነገር መፍረሱ ደስ ብሎኛል፡፡ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ምክር አያስፈለገዉም ሣይሆን ማነዉ የሚያመክረዉ የሚለዉ ነዉ? በተለይ የፖሊሲ ጥናትና ምርምር አካባቢ እጅግ ባጣም በሙያቸዉ የተካኑ በላሙያዎች ብመደቡ ቆንጆ ይሆናል፡፡This is the area that needs high level technocrat.

    3. ቆንጆ ሥነ ምግበር ያለቸዉ ሰዎች መጥተዋል፡፡ ለምሣሌ ሦስት ግዜ የሚንስተር ቦታ ማግኘት የቸለችዉና የአሁኗ የሴቶች ሚንስተር ተጠቃሽ ነዉ፡፡ ግን የሴቶች ተዋጽኦ አንሷል፡፡

    4. ፓርቲዎቹ በተለይም ኦህዲድ ና ደህዲን ፍጹም የመታደስ ዝንባሌዎችን አሣይቷል፡፡ በተለይ ኦህዲድ በክልልም ሆነ በፌድራል ደረጃ መሠረታዊ ለዉጥ ማድረጉ ይታያል፡፡ የትግራይ ነጻ አዉጭ ድርጅትም በሃያ አምስት አመቱ የዉጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስተርነትን ለኦህዲድ ለቆ በኦህዲድ ተይዞ በነበረዉ የኢኮኖሚ ሚኒስተርነት ና ከአማራዉ የግብርነዉ ሚኒስተርነትን ተረክቧል፡፡ ብአድኖች እንደገነ ወደ ገቢዎች ሚኒስተርነት … ደግማዊ መላኩ ፋንታ? ከተማና ቤቶች ልማት ሚኒስተርነት እንደዚሁ Again I read from the Amhara group did not make so much change …I feel may be fluency in Amharic gave them confidence otherwise the state of Amhara is nothing better than the others. May even worth need reform than other states.

    5. ዉጭ ጉዳይ ሆነ የተበለዉን የኦህዲድ ሰዉ በቲቪ ያየሁት ባህር ዳር ላይ አንድ የፌድራል ፖሊስ ሰዉ ገድሎ እራሱን ከጠፋ በኅላ ነዉ፡፡ ሰዉየዉ የትራንስፖርት ሚኒስተር ከሆነ በኋላ በቴሌብዠን ብቅ ይላል፡፡ ይሁንና ግን ቦታዉን ያገኘዉ ኦሮሞ ወክሎ በመሆኑ የትራንስፖርት ሚንስትር በፊት የሠረባቸዉ መስሪያ ቤቶች እሱ ወክየዋለሁ የሚለዉ ህዝብ ከሥርዓቱ ጋር ለ25 ዓመታት የነበራዉ እልህ አስጨራሽ ትንቅንቅ ስናነጽር መገረመችን አልቀረም፡፡ … በአንድ ወቅት አባዱላም እንዲህ ዓይነት ችግር ገጥሞት እንደ ነበር የቅርብ ግዜ ትዝታችን ነዉ፡፡ አሁን ግን ያለምንም ማንገራገር ከኦህዲድ የአባዱላን ያህል ተቀባይነት ያለዉ ሰዉ ያለ አይመስለኝም፡፡ ስለዚህ እንደ ሀገር ዉጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስተርነትህ እንደ ክልል እንደ ኦህዲድ ምክትል ልቀመንበርነትህ አኩሪ ሥራ ከሰራህ ሰዉ የሚለዉ ነገር ምንም አይደለም፡፡ Big prize for him personally, wow I never expected! Why he shy away from TV unlike his other compatriot.

    6. ሌላዉና አስገራሚ የአፋርና ሱማሌ የኮንትራክንና ትራንስተፖርት ሚንስተር መሆናቸዉ ብቻም ሣይሆን ወጣት መሆናቸዉ ለኔ ግርምትን ፈጥሮብኛል፡፡ በተለይ የአፋሯ ሴት መሃንዲስ …It is big breakthrough for both pastoralists. The other big surprise for me is less representation of Muslim in general Oromo Muslim in particular especially at federal level, which represents nearly 50% of the total population of the region and above 25% of the country. Why? I hope it wouldn’t create some sort of friction inside the Oromo sects and pray stick to I am Oromo first! Ideology and moving forward as African Giant!

    7. ስለ ተመጣጣኝ ዉክልና ህገ-መንግስቱ ምን ይላል? ሙስሊሞች በቁርዓን ይመራሉ፣ክርስትያኖች በመጽሃፍ ቁድስ ይመራሉ፡፡ እንደ ሀገር ዜጋ ደግሞ በህገ-መንግስት ይመራሉ፡፡ የጋራ ሰነዳችን ምን ይላል? ትልቅ ጥያቄ ነዉ፡፡

    Article 39 Rights of Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples
    1. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right to secession.

    2. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history.

    3. Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions of government in the Territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in state and Federal governments.

    In reference to Federal this can be applicable figure
    1. ኦሮሞ (Oromo)…..40%
    2. አማራ (Amhara)….22%
    3. ሱማሌ (Somalie)…. 7%
    4. ትግሬ (Tigiray)….. 6.5%
    5. ሲዳማ (Sidama)…..5%
    6. ጉራጌ(Gurage)……..2.5%
    7. ወላይታ (wolaita)…..2.3%
    8. ሀዲያ (Hadia) …..2%
    9. አፋር (Afar)……..2%
    10. ጋሞ (Gamo)……1.4%

    This is the top ten representing close to 90% of the total population of Ethiopia. The sum of the remaining is 10%. Demand for equitable representation both at federal and defense gives sense, if only above figures are respected. Refer article 39. Suppose if there are 30 political appointees needed 12 from Oromo 6 from Amhara 3 from Somalie 3 from Tigray 2 from sidama etc The same is true in Defense (የሀገር መከላከያ ሠራዊት) ግን ይህ ሆኗል ወይ? ደርግ ወደ መዉደቂያ አካባቢ ከሻዕቢያ፣ህወሃትና ኦነግ ጋር በለንደን ድርድር አድርጎ ከተመለሠ በኋላ አማራ ዶምነሽን አለ ተብሎ ስጠየቅ አማረ የሚባል ህዝብ የለም ብሎ ማብራርያ ስሰጥበት እንደነበራ እነስተዉሣለን፡፡
    አምሃራ ማለት ቃሉ የህብራይስጥ ስሆን ትርጉሙም በተራራ ላይ የሚኖር ህዝብ ማለት ነዉ ብሎ …ደጋኛዉ ኤርትራዊ፣ትግሬዉ፣ጎንደሬዉ፣ወሎየዉ፣ጎጃሜዉ፣ኦሮሞዉ፣ጉራጌዉ፣ሲዳማዉ፣ከፋዉ ወ.ዘ.ተ አማራ ነዉ? ብሎ በዚሁ ተራ ስዘራዝር ሠምተናል ምን ዓይነት ዶምነሽን? አሁንስ? በርግጥ ሀገር ቤት እያለ አንዴም ስለብሄሩ ያልተናገረዉ ሰዉዬ ሀራሬ ደርሶ የሀገሯን የፖለቲካ ትኩሣት አቅጣጫዉን በማያት ይመስላል፤ በአባቴ ኦሮሞ ነኝ በእናቴ መንዝ ነኝ ብሎ ቁጭ አለ፡፡ ስሜም መንግስቱ ኃይለማሪያም አያና ነዉ፡፡ በርግጥም ስሙ ትክክል ነዉ …ግን ሰዉየዉ አይደለም የሩህሩሁን ኦሮሞ ደም ሣይሆን የዲያብሎስ ደም ነዉ ያለዉ…በኢህአፓ፣መዕሶን፣መጫናቱላማ ና በኦነግ ስም ስንት የኦሮሞ ወጣቶችን ደም እንደ ፈሰሰ ቤት ይቁጠራዉ፡፡ ያም ሆነ ይህ የኔ ጥያቄ አሁንስ ዶሚኔሽኑ ቀርቷል ወይ?
    What every ethnic group entitled is article 61ማንኛዉም ብሄር በፌድረሽኑ ይወከላል፡፡ ዝርዝሩን ቀጥሎ ይመልከቱ
    Article 61
    Members of the House of the Federation
    1. The House of the Federation is composed of representatives of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.

    2. Each Nation, Nationality and People shall be represented in the House of the Federation by at least one member. Each Nation or Nationality shall be represented by one additional representative for each one million of its population.

    3. Members of the House of the Federation shall be elected by the State Councils. The State Councils may themselves elect representatives to the House of the Federation, or they may hold elections to have the representatives elected by the people directly.

    Article 47
    Member States ofthe Federal Democratic Republic
    1. Member States of the Federal Democratic Republic of
    Ethiopia are the following:
    1) The State of Tigray
    2) The State of Afar
    3) The State of Amhara
    4) The State of Oromia
    5) The State of Somalie
    6) The State of BenshanguUGumuz
    7) The State of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and
    8) The State of the Gambela Peoples
    9) The State of the Harari People

  • It is worthwhile to mention more statistics. I don't know why you missed to look at it. The house of representative, the most powerful institution in TPLF government structure, is much much diverse than this cabinet. The TPLF is now leasoning to the majority!!! We will see a diverse high military position changes in coming days. TPLF is coming back!!!! Once Churchill said" you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else" We will see if this works for TPLF.

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