Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed IDS alum Ahmed Shide as Finance Minister.
Ahmed Shide previously served as deputy minister of finance and government spokesman. He will be tasked with fulfilling Ethiopia’s ambitions as an export hub.
Ahmed Shide completed an MA in Participation, Power and Social Change at the Institute of Development Studies in 2004-5 before serving as state minister for finance and economic development from 2009 to 2016, then transport minister until he was appointed government spokesman in April 2018 when Abiy Ahmed took office.
During his tenure as government spokesman, he was involved in the negotiations that resulted in Ethiopia and Eritrea formally declaring peace this year after a two-decade-long stand-off that followed a brutal war over their shared border. The end of hostilities signals new hope for the entire region. A lasting peace will not only revitalise economic ties between the countries, but provide much needed stability in the Horn of Africa.
Ahmed Shide is also the chair of the Ethiopian-Somali People’s Democratic Party, the ruling party of the Somali regional state in the east of Ethiopia. As a Somali-Ethiopian, it is hoped his appointment will ease tensions between the Somali and Oromo ethnic groups.
Congratulating Ahmed Shide, IDS Director Melissa Leach said:
“It is heartening to see a more diverse and representative politics emerge in Ethiopia. I am confident that in his new role as Finance Minister, Ahmed Shide will work to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between Ethiopia and its neighbours, which in turn can help achieve enduring peace and shared prosperity in the region.”