She is to be assisted by another woman, as Helen Yosef, was also confirmed as deputy press secretary. Both Billene & Helen have extensive experiences in communications & journalism, the independently-owned Addis Standard reported.
The new press secretary held her first briefing for local and foreign journalists on Monday with reports that she announced the issuance of access badges for media operating within the PM’s office.
Until Billene’s appointment, government communications had almost become the job of Abiy’s former Chief of Staff, Fitsum Arega. The press secretariat is a new office under Abiy’s new chief of staff, Shimelis Abdissa.
Former holder of the post, Arega, is taking up a new post as Commissioner of Ethiopia Investment Commission, EIC.
I wanted to announce that I will be moving back to Ethiopian Investment Commission—as a Commissioner. I have enjoyed my time immensely as a Chief of Staff serving a historic Prime Minister who will no doubt transform the country for the better. #Ethiopia
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) November 5, 2018
List: PM Abiy’s women
Since taking office in April 2018, Abiy has undertaken widespread reforms that have earned him praise at home, across the subregion and internationally.
Lawmakers questioned the inclusion of women in his first cabinet to which he promised to make amends in subsequent appointments.
Keeping with his promise Abiy announced a gender-par cabinet in October 2018. The 10 women – 10 men cabinet had women holding top posts inclusing the Ministry of Peace and Ethiopia’s first woman Defense minister.
Before the praise could subside, he followed it up with the nomination of Ethiopia’s first female president in the person of Sahle-Work Zewde. Lawmakers voted unanimously for Zewde who replaced Mulatu Teshome.
On November 1, 2018; Abiy again nominated Meaza Ashenafi, as the country’s first female President of the federal Supreme Court. The recent appointment means there is no stopping the train of women empowerment with Abiy in the seat.
1 – Sahle-Work Zewde – President of the Republic
2 – Meaza Ashenafi – President of Federal Supreme Court
3 – Muferiat Kamil – Minister of Peace with high-security oversight
4 – Aisha Mohammed – Minister of Defence
5 – Adanech Abebe – Minister of Revenue
6 – Fetlework Gebregziabher – Minister of Trade and Industry
7 – Dagmawit Mogess – Minister of Transport
8 – Hirut Woldemariam – Minister of Science and Higher education
9 – Yalem Tsegaye Assfaw -Minister of Women’s’, Children’s’ and Youth
10 – Ergoge Tesfaye -Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
11 – Hirut Kassaw -Minister of Culture and Tourism
12 – Fitsum Assefa – Minister of Planning and Development Commission
13 – Billene Seyoum – Press Secretary
14 – Helen Yosef – Deputy Press Secretary