Ethiopia: Adanech Abiebie re-elected Mayor of Addis Ababa

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She was elected for a term of 5 years, after serving as acting mayor of Addis Ababa since August 18, 2020.  On this occasion she became the 32nd mayor of Addis Ababa, the first woman to lead the Ethiopian capital since the creation of this position in 1910, and the first mayor to win the approval of the residents for more than ten years.

Of the 85 council members present at her first election, Adanech Abiebie received 77 votes in favour, six against and two abstentions. Prior to her appointment, she had served as Ethiopia’s attorney general since March 2020 and, before that, as minister of revenue and customs authority in the Ethiopian government since October 2018.

As the new mayor, Adanech Abiebie was sworn in on Tuesday, September 28, during the first general assembly of the new administration.  Adanech Abiebie, it is explained, is committed to ensuring that every resident of Addis Ababa has a fair chance in a growing and prosperous city. His administration, it says, is focused on making Addis Ababa’s prosperity more inclusive, promoting the values of city government and building safer, stronger and healthier neighborhoods in Addis Ababa’s 11 districts.

Capital of Ethiopia and the African Union

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and the African Union. It is often referred to as the “African capital” because of its historical, diplomatic and political importance to the continent. Addis Ababa is an important administrative center not only for Ethiopia but for Africa as a whole. The headquarters of the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa are both located in the city.

The African Union headquarters

In 2020, Addis Ababa has a population of over 5.5 million and an annual budget of over 325 million USD. With this population, Addis Ababa is the largest city in the world located in a landlocked country.

Addis Ababa is also unique in the Ethiopian political system: the mayor, the chief executive of the city administration, serves as governor, county executive and mayor. Like the governors, Mayor Adanech Abiebie heads the health office, the education office, issues driver’s licenses and has tax authority. Like the county executive, the mayor runs the local jail and, unlike most mayors, also oversees the public school system.

Bold moves to make Addis Ababa competitive

Since taking office on August 18, 2020, Adanech Abibie, it is explained, has taken bold steps to restore Addis Ababa’s national and global competitiveness, accelerate the process of building affordable housing, diversify Addis Ababa’s economy, increase satisfaction with city services and invest in programs and policies that enable more families to live and thrive in Addis Ababa.

For example, the city says, in the past five months, Mayor Adanech Abiebie has created more than 179,000 jobs, reduced unemployment by 6 percent and increased the Addis Ababa government’s annual spending on local businesses by nearly 180 thousand Usd. She also chaired the Housing Bureau, increased the number of affordable housing units in the city, and set an aggressive target of building 26,000 new homes by 2022. Adanech Abiebie also rolled out the city’s first food security program, collaborated with other investor organizations to advance recycling as well as reduce the waste management system; and led diplomatic and economic collaboration with France, Israel, Canada and the United States.

Prior to becoming mayor in 2020, Adanch Abiebie served as Ethiopia’s Attorney General and Minister of Revenue and Customs Commission. During her career, she has served as chairperson of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation Committee, the National Bank of Ethiopia and the COVID- 19 Task Force, among others. She also implemented comprehensive ethics reform and increased transparency in government contracts, the city of Addis Ababa reports.

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