Spy Chief Joins Board of Ethiopia’s Key Military Conglomerate

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Ethiopia’s new intelligence chief was appointed to the board of Metals & Engineering Corp., the latest shakeup at the military-industrial conglomerate that’s played a crucial role in projects that have sought to develop Africa’s fastest-growing economy.

Adem Mohammed, named director-general of the National Intelligence and Security Services last week, was appointed to the board of MeTEC by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 24, company spokesman Michael Desta said by phone. Adem, who previously commanded the air force, is the only military figure on the eight-person board overseeing a company that has been dominated by army personnel. It’s otherwise led by ruling-party officials.

Abiy, who became Ethiopia’s prime minister in April, has vowed to curb what he described as favoritism toward the security forces in business. MeTEC has worked in infrastructure and industrial projects key to the Horn of Africa nation’s centrally planned economy.

MeTEC’s board now comprises the following people, according to spokesman Michael:

Chairman Ambachew Mekonnen: industry minister and former minister of urban development, housing & construction

Adem Mohammed: director-general of National Intelligence and Security Services; ex-air force commander

Asmelash Woldeselassie: chief whip in parliament with rank of minister; former legal adviser to prime minister’s office

Moges Balcha: coordinator at Democratic System Building Coordination Center in prime minister’s office; ex-director-general at Ethiopian Revenue & Customs Authority

Zemede Tefera: director-general of legal department at revenues authority

Azeb Mesfin: widow of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi; removed in November from central committee of one of party’s that make up Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for unspecified infractions, and as chief executive officer of the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray

Getachew Hailemariam: a deputy defense minister; ex-deputy minister at urban development, housing & construction ministry

Mebratu Gebremariam: deputy minister for communication and information; ex-minister at urban development, housing & construction ministry

Source: Bloomberg

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