Workneh Gebeyehu Becomes Director-General, Nairobi United Nations Office
March 9, 2019 (Ezega.com) - Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu was appointed as Head of the United Nations Office in Nairobi this week, according to Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the Ethiopian Foreign Ministery, the appointment of Workneh is tribute to Ethiopia’s significant role in the promotion of regional peace and security as well as the country’s efforts to realize Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a press statement posted on its site, the United Nations (UN) said, "UN Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Workneh Gebeyehu Negewo of Ethiopia as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. He succeeds Hanna S. Tetteh of Ghana who was appointed as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union."
Workneh succeeds Hanna S. Tetteh of Ghana who was appointed as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union.
Workneh Gebeyehu has some 20 years of experience in government affairs, spanning much of EPRDF (Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front) rule. Workneh Gebeyehu was a Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2016.
He previously served as Minister for Transport of Ethiopia (2013-2016) and Member of Ethiopian House of People’s Representative Parliament (2005-2012).
He was Commissioner General of the Ethiopian Police (2001-2012), Head of the Administration Affairs Bureau and Cabinet member of Oromiya Regional State (1999-2000). He also served in different positions under the Security, Immigration and Refugee Authority (1992-1998).
Mr. Workneh Gebeyehu holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science and international relations from Addis Ababa University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in police science from the Criminal Justice and Police Science Department of the University of South Africa.
Although many Ethiopians see his appointment as a national honor, there are many who see it as a continuation of a practice whereby insiders are getting the fast track to international positions. Previous high profile appointments include that of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was appointed Director General of the Wolrd Health Organization in July 2017. His candidacy was supported by the Ethiopian government and the African Union, but faced stiff opposition by many Ethiopians, especially from the diaspora.