Ethiopia's Woman President Sahle-Work Zewde Joins Progressive PM Abiy Ahmed To Level Gender Playing Field

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Ethiopia's Woman President Sahle-Work Zewde Joins Progressive PM Abiy Ahmed To Level Gender Playing Field

By Yohannes Gedamu, Lecturer of Political Science, Georgia Gwinnett College; originally published on The Conversation Africa

Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took over from Hailemariam Desalegn in April 2018, Ethiopia has experienced a rapid pace of political reforms. So far, save for the unfortunate incidents of ethnic violenceacross the country, the changes made by the new administration have been nothing short of breathtaking.

Under Abiy’s leadership, a historic peace deal was reached with neighbouring Eritrea. At home, his administration has freed all political prisoners while also promising to reform some of the country’s harsh laws.

In addition, the new premier has also vowed to transform the country’s state-led economy by outlining a proposal for the partial privatisation of Ethiopia’s state enterprises. Privatisation would open up opportunities for competition, and raise funds for the country’s major development programs.

Most recently Abiy’s ongoing political reforms have included the recognition of Ethiopia’s female leaders. He has taken great strides to ensure that woman are represented in Ethiopia’s political landscape. The last four weeks in particular have seen spectacular breakthroughs. These ranged from cabinet appointments to women being chosen as president, chief justice and press secretary to the prime minister. All unprecedented – in Ethiopia as well as the continent more broadly.