The new institutional structure revealed following PM Abiy’s new cabinet back in early October is designed to last at least for the next ten years, The Reporter learnt.
The new structure that reshuffled former administrative settings following ten months of rigorous studies is expected to spare the country another administrative redesigning over the coming decade.
Eyob Tekalign (PhD), State Minister of Finance, told The Reporter “It is not just a mere reshuffle that happens when regimes change. It is a very important restructuring. The reshuffle is being done in a way that does not necessitate another reshuffle again. The new institutional arrangement is designed to last until we achieve prosperity under the Ten Years Perspective Plan (TYPP) over the next ten years.”
Following the June national elections, the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HPR) approved a proclamation deciding powers and functions of the executive branch of the federal government under the new cabinet.
The number of Ministries under the new cabinet increased to 22, with more reshuffles taking place inside them. Some institutions are new while others saw reassignments of roles. There are also institutions which saw only changes to their nomenclature.
Even though the government has ordered all Ministries and institutions accountable to them to finalize the reshuffle between October and November, most are still discussing procedures.
In the meantime, various roles and mandates that were decided to be transferred to another institution are still at limbo. For instance, the Ministry of Labor and Skill, which is newly formed, is still deliberating on how to form its structures.
In the meantime, the roles it inherited from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA), such as determining minimum wage are currently left unaddressed.
As a result, the government has set a new deadline of 100 days for all ministries to finalize their reshuffle.
“There are always hiccups during transitional periods. Transport and Trade ministries are already back to work after finalizing their restructuring faster. We told the rest of the institutions that they must finalize their restructuring and get back to normal activities within the next 100 days,” said Eyob.
“Usually, institutional restructuring takes a year, under normal conditions. It is very quick now. The extra-effort the institutions are exerting to finalize the restructuring process shortly and get back to work is really appreciable,” added Eyob.
Nonetheless, scholars question the government’s claim of having installed institutions that can last ten years.
“There will definitely be reforms and reshuffles every year. When the government’s tenure ends in five years, there will be a new cabinet and another reshuffle. Currently, we are in a war economy, and new strategies and institutions will definitely be required for post-war reconstruction of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s economy is at a dynamic turning point; so new institutions will be required in e-commerce, security apparatus, technology, education and even nuclear energy,” said Gudeta Kebede (PhD), lecturer of development economics at Jima University.
“Lack of institutional continuity is Africa’s bottleneck. This is mainly because African countries face unfinished state formation and nation building challenges. Institutional memory lasts only when institutions fully implement national interests,” Gudeta added.