Two former regional presidents in Ethiopia have taken cabinet posts in a reshuffle by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In all, lawmakers approved three ministerial appointees on Thursday.
Former president of the Amhara regional state, Gedu Andargachew, is the new Foreign Affairs Minister. He replaces Workneh Gebeyehu who was last month named new head of the United Nations Africa office in Nairobi.
He had been in the diplomatic role since 2016, he is from the Oromia region. The region’s president has also moved to take a federal post as Defense Minister, taking over from Aisha Mohammed, Ethiopia’s first female holder of the portfolio.
She has been appointed minister of Urban Development and Construction, a position she once held. She worked as Minister of Tourism and Culture before taking the historic Defense post in 2018. She replaces Jantirar Abay, who was from the Amhara region.
All three appointees have since been sworn into office by Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi in the House of Peoples Representatives. Ashenafi also became first female CJ on her appointment.
The current development means Abiy’s gender-par cabinet that won him praise remains balanced with ten men and ten women.