Ethiopian PM nominates incumbent finance minister for new cabinet

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday nominated incumbent Ahmed Shide to return as finance minister in his new cabinet, signalling a determination to stay with a course of reforms that includes privatising creaking state enterprises.

He nominated Abraham Belay as minister of defence. Belay previously served as the federally appointed head of the northern region of Tigray. Tigrayan forces have been fighting against the central government for 11 months.

The war – which has also spread to two neighbouring regions of Ethiopia – is one of several problems Abiy’s new government will need to deal with. Year-on-year monthly inflation stands at 34.8% and the birr’s value against the dollar is falling.

Abiy, who won a June election in a landslide, also nominated two heads of small opposition parties to government.

Berhanu Nega, head of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (Ezema), was nominated as minister of education. Belete Mola, chairman of the National Movement of Amhara, as minister of innovation and technology.

Demeke Mekonnen, the powerful deputy prime minister and foreign minister, was asked to remain in his posts.

Parliament was expected to confirm the nominations on Wednesday.