Ethiopia Appoints New Defense and Foreign Ministers

The House of People’s Representatives (HPR) today approved the nominations Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed put forward for three ministerial posts.

The House approved the appointment of Gedu Andargachew as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lemma Megresa as Minister of Defense and Engineer Aisha Mohammed as Minister of Urban Development and Construction.

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.

Lemma Megresa, the new Minister of Defense, has previously served as Oromia Police Commission Commissioner and Oromia Trade Bureau as well as Speaker of the Oromia Parliament, among others.

Aisha Mohammed, Ethiopia’s first female holder of the defense portfolio, 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.

Born in Afar Region of Ethiopia, Aisha Mohammed Mussa has a degree in Civil Engineering and Master Degree in Transformational Leadership and Change. She was in charge of in Afar Region as head of disaster prevention and food security.

All three appointees have since been sworn into office by Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi in the House of Peoples Representatives.

The current development means Abiy’s gender-par cabinet that won him praise remains balanced with ten men and ten women.

The House approved the appointments with a majority vote, one against and five abstentions.