PM Abiy appoints new Central Bank Governor amid rumors of currency devaluation

The Office of Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced on Friday the appointment of Mamo Mihretu as the new governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), the country’s central bank. Mamo replaces former NBE Governor, Yinager Dessie.

Mamo was previously the CEO of Ethiopian Investment Holdings (EIH), the state owned investment company. EIH founded in January 2022 has more than two dozen state owned enterprises under its wing.

These include the Ethiopian Airlines Group, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Ethio-Telecom and Ethiopia Electric Utility.

The appointment of Mamo to a top state owned financial institution comes amidst rumors that the Ethiopian government is preparing to devalue the Ethiopian Birr. One U.S. dollars is exchanged for 53.42 Ethiopian birr, but it believed to be exchanged for around 100 birr at the black market.

On Thursday, the Ethiopia State Minister of Finance, Eyob Tekalign tweeted widespread rumors of birr devaluation as “just a rumor,”.

“There is widespread rumor that devaluation is in the making. This is just a rumor. Completely unfounded. A sensible macro-reform is always our agenda but there should not be any concern about mere devaluation,” Eyob tweeted.

PM Abiy also announced on Friday the nomination of three new ministers whose appointments are expected to be approved by the ruling Prosperity Party dominated parliament in the coming days.

The three nominated ministers are Alemu Sime, Transport and Logistics Ministry, Habtamu Tegegn, Mining Ministry and Girma Amente, Agriculture Ministry.

Abiy also announced appointments of several other officials to various positions in his administration with immediate effect.

Daniel Kibret has been appointed as Social Affairs Advisor to the PM at ministerial level, Alemtsehay Paulos has been appointed as Head of the Office of the PM and Cabinet Affairs Minister and Meles Alemu has been appointed as Coordinator of Democracy Building Cluster at Ministerial level.

Former Ethiopia ambassador to the United Nations Taye Atskeselassie has been appointed as Foreign Affairs Advisor to the PM at Ministerial level.

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