We’re used to countries having a ministry of defence but it’s not often a government creates a government ministry dedicated to peace.
But Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hopes to change that. Ethiopia had in recent months witnessed unprecedented communal violence across several parts of the country, leading to the number of Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) to reach some 2.8 million people, according a report from UNICEF in September.
Mr Abiy, in his bid to reform the government, has slimmed down the number of ministries from 28 to 20.
But he has created a new one – the ministry of peace.
Since the prime minister came to power in April he has introduced some sweeping changes including making peace with country’s long-time foe Eritrea.
So what will this new ministry do?
An official document says it will do things related to bringing peace and security in the country and it will strive for the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia is set to downsize its Council of Ministers (CoM) members from 28 to 20 in a major government overhaul, Fitsum Arega, Chief of Staff at the Ethiopian Prime Minister Office said on Thursday.
In a press statement, Arega said the Council of Ministers will be downsized in line with plans to merge some ministerial portfolios and create new ones, reflecting the government priority during the Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2018/19, that started on July 8.
Ethiopian aims to be a light industry manufacturing hub in Africa by 2025 and for this purpose has embarked on massive Chinese-backed infrastructure projects across the country.
“The Council of Ministers members downsizing aims to avoid unnecessary costs, ensure efficient running of government agencies and avoid overlapping of functions in government organs,” he further said.
In line with plans to downsize the Council of Ministers members, Ethiopian government is planning to merge some ministries to fix the “bloated” government bureaucracy.
The Ethiopia Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Industry could be merged into one, creating the Ethiopia Ministry of Trade and Industry; the Ethiopia Ministry of Science and Technology may be merged with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to create the Ethiopia Ministry of Innovation and Technology.