The Ethiopian Parliament approved the appointment of Gedu Andargachew as Foreign Minister of the country, on Thursday April 18th. Unlike other times, the appointment was approved in the absence of the post holder and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Gedu replaces Workneh Gebeyehu, who was last month named as new head of the United Nations Africa office in Nairobi.
The MPs also approved the appointment of Lemma Megerssa as Defence Minister, taking over from Aisha Mohammed, Ethiopia’s first female holder of the portfolio.
Ayisha Mohammed was re-appointed as Minister of Urban Development and Construction.
Gedu Andargachew, had served as president of the Amhara National Regional State for the last five years until his resignation last month.
Lemma Megersa received a bachelor’s degree from the Civil Service University in economics and a master’s degree in International Relations from Addis Ababa University.
Lemma served as speaker of Cheffee, the Oromia Regional Parliament, before becoming Regional President in October 2016.
Ayisha is a civil engineer and previously served as Construction Minister. She also served as Minister of Tourism and Culture. She was appointed Defence Minister by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on October 16th 2018, one of ten women appointed to the twenty-member cabinet, making Ethiopia and Rwanda the only African countries to have equal gender representation in their cabinets.
House members commented that the nominations for such positions need to be based on sustained research to avoid frequent change of ministerial appointments.
The House approved the appointments in a majority vote with one opposition and 5 abstentions.