The Ethiopian government and 10 basic questions answered

Ethiopian government

“The 11th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union” by PMO Ethiopia is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

The Ethiopian government has passed through various layers of time in history. The country has seen a lot of political changes and social movements. The current government is a result of this continuous political evolutions and revolutions. The country passed through a monarch system up to the 80s and through socialism and now through federalism.

Ethiopia is not a new country on the map. In fact, it is a land with a history of more than 2000 years, since the time of the Axumite era. Even in the bible, the name Ethiopia has been mentioned more than 50 times. The Greeks knew the country as the land below Egypt.

The country got various images because of political and economic events thought out history. The wars and the recent famine, made a bad reputation for the country. At the same time the country’s strong foundation made it a strong nation since the Axumite era and even after that. For long, the country had a reputation and a sovereign position. Despite many African countries, Ethiopia stayed an independent state, with no colonial past. In fact, defeating colonial power in a war inspired many African countries and blacks throughout the world.

The country also lived peacefully with diverse political and religious backgrounds, with minor disagreements. Only recently, are seen religious and ethnical violence, that some think emancipated form the Ethiopian government bad policies.

Despite the bad reputations and the good ones, the Ethiopian government has prevailed to replace one another and making story thought history.

Today, the Ethiopian government has the federal government, 9 regional states, and 2 city administrations.

Here, I will answer the basic questions asked about the Ethiopian government.

What is the current Ethiopian Government Name?

The country name is called the ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’ or it is called ‘Ethiopia’ in short. The Ethiopian government has a structure of a federal system with parliament and a prime minister. Therefore, the Ethiopian government functions under a federal parliamentary republic.

What Type of Government Is Ethiopia?

Federal Republic: the country has many ethnic groups and these are represented in the parliament. Ethiopia, therefore, is ethnic federalism. And the governance is identified with the 1990’s consensus where ethnic groups were represented and deemed free from the federal rule. The states have their own administrations, and they solve their own issues and the federal government only involves a request or in a matter of countrywide issues.

Who Is the Head of Government in Ethiopia?

The prime minister is the head of the government of Ethiopia and the president is the head of state. The prime minister is also the commander in chief. Since 2018, Dr. Abiy Amhed has been in power in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Government Structure and Branch

Each regional and federal government has its own branches of government namely the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The legislative part of the government is held by the house of representatives and the house of the federation. The house of people representative has 547 seats and 22 seats reserved for minorities. The election to the house of representatives and the house of federations is planned to be held in 2020. The existing representative served since May 24, 2015.

The executive power is held by the prime minister and the council of ministers. President Sahalework Zewde has been ahead of state since October 2018.  And prime minister Abiy Ahmed has been the head of government since October 2018. The Prime minister leads the minister, whom he/she selects. The prime minister is designated by a party that has a majority seat in the house of representatives.

The Judicial part of the Ethiopian government is held by the federal supreme court. The federal supreme court has 11 judges, and responsible for constitutional issues.

Ethiopian government dr abiy ahmed
“The 11th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union” by PMO Ethiopia is licensed under CC PDM 1.0 

Ethiopian Government History

The Ethiopian history is traced back to the 8th c. BC, to the time of the ancient D’mt Kingdom, which reigned over present-day Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia. Then, the Axumite became part of history in the 4th century BC and ruled in the northern part of Ethiopia, and the red sea. The empire reunited the independent kingdoms in the region and controlled the sea trade.  

This part of the Ethiopian Government’s history is left for generations through archeological and structural artifacts. The Yeha is a town near Axum and is evidence of the time of Axum before Christianity and pre-Axumite civilizations.

For the next sixteen hundred years, Ethiopian history was tied to a monarchy with ties to the Orthodox church. King Haile Selassie was the last monarch, forcefully overthrown by a socialist government in 1974. Later the socialist Derg government was forcefully overthrown by the EPRDF, a party that is on the lead since then.  

Ethiopian government history and historians say the beginning of Modern Ethiopia is with the rise of Emperor Tewodros II in 1855. Emperor Tewodros II’s contributed to present-day Ethiopia by ending the decentralized Zemene Mesafint (Era of the Princes).

The successors Emperor Yohannes IV (1872-1889) and Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913) made Ethiopian government history with their own contributions. Following the death of Menelik in 1913, Lij Eyasu, a grandson took the throne. Lij Eyasu, a young boy at the time of the throne, inclined away from the orthodox church towards Islam. This shortens the throne of the young king.

The church hatched a plot to replace him with a relatively older young man from a royal family called Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie). After a coup against Lij Eyasu, Zewditu, the daughter of Menelik took the throne and Ras Teferi appointed as regent and became heir to the throne. Later Zewditu diet in 1930 and Ras Teferi, became the emperor.

Right from the beginning, he introduced a reformation program, the first written constitution, and he even attempted to end slavery in the country. He did much in the education sector.

The socialist era was a time of terror for many, a time of dictatorship. Opponents driven to exile and peasant families resettled in villages and farmlands were expected to supply crops to the state below market price. The drought and famine of northern Ethiopia happened this time.

Later, EPRDF took power with a coup and Mengistu, the leader of the socialist regime flew the country.

With a promise of freedom of ethnic groups and religion, EPRDF took the position. Meles Zenawi became the head, after a national conference in 1991. Meles Zenawi died on 20 August 2012 and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Hailemariam Desalegn. Meles was in power for more than 20 years. After a short turmoil and public demonstrations, a change in leadership was necessary. Later on 2 April 2018, Abiy Ahmed was declared Prime Minister.

What Are the Ethiopian Government administrative Divisions?

The Ethiopian government has 9 ethnically based regional states and 2 self-governing administrations. The regional states are further subdivided into 68 zones. The central admirations would further divide into Sub-city, then to woreda and to kebele. The kebele is the smallest subdivision that can be alternatively used as a neighborhood level.

The 9 regional states are Addis Ababa, Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale’ (Somali), Tigray, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples.

Ethiopian Government Ministers

The council of misters that are the country’s executive organs is the cabinet of the Ethiopian government organized under the constitution.

Ethiopian government AU meeting in addis ababa
“The 11th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union” by PMO Ethiopia is licensed under CC PDM 1.0 
  • Prime Minister of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Abiy Ahmed
  • Deputy Prime Minister of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Demeke Mekonnen
  • Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopian Government Ministers……   Getahun Mekuria
  • Minister of Finance of Ethiopian Government Ministers……   Ahmed Shide
  • Minister of Transport of Ethiopian Government Ministers……               Dagmawit Moges
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Gedu Andargachew
  • Minister of Peace of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Mufheriat Kamil
  • Attorney General of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Birhanu Tsegaye
  • Minister of National Defense of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Lemma Megersa
  • Minister of Health of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Amir Aman
  • Minister of Trade and Industry of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Melaku Alebel[3]
  • Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopian Government Ministers… Omer Husen
  • Minister of Education of Ethiopian Government Ministers……Tilaye Gete
  • Minister of Mines and Petroleum of Ethiopian Government Ministers… Samuel Hurka

  • Minister of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Hirut Woldemariam
  • Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Sileshi Bekele
  • Minister of Urban Development and Construction of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Aisha Mohammed Mussa
  • Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Ergoge Tesfaye
  • Minister of Women, Children, and Youth of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Yalem Tsegaye
  • Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopian Government Ministers… Hirut Kassaw
  • Minister of Revenues of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Adanech Abebe
  • Commissioner of National Planning of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Fitsum Assefa
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Gedu Andargachew
  • Minister of Peace of Ethiopian Government Ministers……mufheriat Kamil
  • Minister of Finance of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Ahmed Shide
  • Minister of National Defense of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Lemma Megersa
  • Minister of Transport of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Dagmawit Moges
  • Minister of Education of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Tilaye Gete
  • Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia…Hirut Kassaw
  • Minister of Health of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Amir Aman
  • Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Getahun Mekuria

  • Minister of Trade and Industry of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Melaku Alebel[3]
  • Minister of Agriculture of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Omer Husen
  • Minister of Urban Development and Construction of Ethiopia…Aisha Mohammed Mussa
  • Minister of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia…Hirut Woldemariam
  • Attorney General of Ethiopian Government Ministers…Birhanu Tsegaye
  • Minister of Mines and Petroleum of Ethiopia…Samuel Hurka
  • Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia…Sileshi Bekele
  • Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia… Ergoge Tesfaye
  • Minister of Women, Children, and Youth of Ethiopia…Alem Tsegaye
  • Minister of Revenues of Ethiopia…Adanech Abebe
  • Commissioner of National Planning of Ethiopia…Fitsum Assefa

updated link

Is Ethiopia a Democracy

Ethiopia is a democratic country, with a constitution and distribution of power to states. The 1995 constitution established the federal democratic republic of Ethiopia.  This was thought to create unity and living together within the ethnic groups. The federal government assumes responsibility in matters of foreign relations, the general policy of common interest and national defense. The state council has power on state matters and on powers of legislation.

Ethiopian Government Problems

Since the 2005 election, Ethiopia has unrest and protesting against the government. Recently, even after constant leader change, the problem continues. Is there corruption in Ethiopia? The simple answer is yes. There is corruption in Ethiopia. The land administration has a higher level of corruption.

Land certificate, a construction permit, the business permit, all are vulnerable to corruption. The level of corruption extends to day to day events. These include traffic violations, tipping for faster services and even in schools. These trends are increasing and creating greater problems in the overall economic scenario of the country. According to transparency international, Ethiopia sits on 37 out of 100, on a scale where 0 is high corruption and 100 is no corruption. This puts the country on the 96th position out of 180.

Map: corruption perceptions index 2019

The Ethiopian government is also accused of controlling media and detaining journalists. Many pollical prisoners who have been detained without any evidence and without probable cause have testified to have been beaten and tortured. Recently, after the political change, many journalists have been released from prisons.

The internal displacement due to ethnic violence has been a challenge for the Ethiopian government. The scale of displacement is huge and it needed strong interventions. The current Ethiopian government repetitively says it is working to support more than 1.4 million internally displaced people.

The clash between the neighboring countries is also a problem. Policy problems were the result of the clash between these countries and Ethiopia. Recently, the prime minister is working hard to create a peaceful resolution between these countries. The peace deal between the north and the south of Sudan is a good example. Ethiopian government played a great role in the deal. The peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea even got Abiy Ahmed a Nobel prize.

Drought and famine are other challenges for the Ethiopian government. The long history of famine in the country comes and goes in a while. The new humanitarian says, in 201, 10 million Ethiopians needed food aid.  And this happens in the next years.

Ethiopian government contacts and addresses

Final words

Ethiopia is a land of many histories. Its past begins 2 millenniums ago, at the time of Yeha and Axum. The Ethiopian government since ten had its own good and a bad reputation. In general, each monarch or leader did something that is reputable or something bad. In all these times, the country persisted with its strengths and flaws. The recent story of the socialist government is a bad reputation. In 20 years’ time, many people lost their lives, lost heir belongings.

And others were limited to the bad policy of the country and refrained from creative and productive endeavors. The country’s famine, that many foreigners refer to the country to happened at that time. Even the EFDRE government had its flaws. Ethnic violence grew readily this time, as some stipulate was intended the act to remain on power.  Many people lost their lives and others were detained. Ethiopia’s structure is still based on federalism.

Ethiopian federalism has been on work since the 1990s. The ethnic-based federalism has 9 reigns that have various ethnic groups. These are represented in the parliament. There is still a problem in Ethiopia. Poverty is the first. Recently, ethnic violence became a story of the country. The federalism structure and the wrong policies seem to have caused a sense of competition among the ethnic groups and even among different religious groups.

The Ethiopian government has 3 structures, the legislative, the executive and the judiciary. Through this system, the power is fairly shared. One makes the rules the other implements them and the last interprets them. The Ethiopian government, despite the power-sharing, and other gestures has challenges. Corruption is the main one. The country seems to have run out of cash due to constantly losing money.

The internal displacement, the timely drought and the pollical crises as some call it are few of the Ethiopian government challenges. The country, especially under the Abiy Amhed administration seems to work to change these issues.

The best way to contact the Ethiopian government office is to directly call and get an appointment.

If you are a foreigner and if you have problems that you can’t solve, you can always contact your embassy and let the embassy help you figure it out. The US embassy emergency involving American citizens can call at 251 11 130 6000. 

If you are UK citizen living Ethiopia and needs assistance, call at +251 (0)11 617 0100

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