ECAA sees rejuvenation in leadership


Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) sees shift in leadership as three top leaders get appointed. Hiwot Mossisa has been assigned to represent Ethiopia on the international aviation organization that is under UN. Successor to the founding head of Ethiopian Maritime Authority (EMA) and the sector guru has also been replaced.
Late this week the Office of the Prime Minister has announced the assignment of two new top leaders for ECAA. While sources said that the assignment of additional leaders is expected. Besides that EMA has got a new head after almost a decade and half, while the assignment of new representative at the global aviation stage shall be disclosed in the coming days.
As per the new post that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has given to Getachew Mengiste, who previously represented Ethiopia at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based in Montreal, Canada, sees Getachew becoming Director General of ECAA succeeding Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw (Col).
Mengistu Nigussie, who was serving ECAA under the air space management position, was also assigned to the position of Deputy Director General leading the Air Navigation sector.
Sources told Capital that the assignment of another Deputy Director General for Aviation Regulation at ECAA is expected. According to sources, despite the name of third officials not being revealed as of yet, sources opine that the authority will consider gender parity on the matter.
Wosenyeleh (Col), who was a former technician at Ethiopian Air Force, served at the top position for 14 years. His service duration is the longest ever for the post at the authority.
He told Capital that there are problems and weaknesses everywhere but on his leadership the authority enabled to register several successes.
“In my view for the past 14 years without a single day leave, I provided the required effort the country demanded from me,” Wosenyeleh (Col) says, “When i was in leadership, we have tirelessly worked to make the authority internationally well recognized to which ICAO and other local and international partners acknowledge, the same.”
He said that during his leadership, ECAA has achieved highest ICAO audit results that most African countries were unable to attain.
Aviation sector experts told Capital that the former Director General was successful in capacity building, training and producing new professionals, while there are claims in related with salary and benefit, which is beyond his power.
“I shall give my testimony that Wosenyeleh (Col) achieved in terms of increasing the number of air traffic controllers, and the authority has been highly engaged on capacity building and trainings,” one of the sector observers told Capital.
The new Director General, Getachew, served as State Minister of Transport before he was assigned for international representation. Experts said that Getachew, who is the 21st leader of ECAA, is the right selection for the post since he has ample knowhow about the sector. “When he was at the Ministry of Transport he was responsible to look after ECAA and for the last five years he was at ICAO,” they underlined stamping their stand highlighting how the person is perfect for the position.
Zayed Woldegabriel, former head of Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), was ICAO representative in Canada before he was called to face corruption charge during Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn reign.
Mengistu replaced Shimeles Kibreab, who left the authority about five months ago because of age.
The unknown third official is expected to fill the vacant post of Aviation Regulation at ECAA. Sources said that Fenta Olana (Col), was assigned on the post on his return from the US. “About six months ago Fenta (Col), who served on the deputy head position for about a year, has returned to the US,” sources said.
Popular figures including former President Giram Woldgiorgis has led ECAA. Before Wosenyeleh (Col) Tefera Mekonnen, and Mesfin Fikru, who are now serving on senior positions at the continental aviation body had led ECAA from 2001 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2009 respectively.
ECAA basically provides air navigation, inspection and certification of aircraft, airports, airlines and aviation professionals. The objective of the authority is to ensure safe and reliable air transport service in Ethiopia.
It was recalled that a couple of weeks ago Hiwot was replaced by Misganu Arega as CEO of Ethio Engineering Group (EEG), which is part of the infamous and defunct Metal and Engineering Corporation. Now she is expected to fill the space left by Getachew.
Hiwot, who also served as civil engineer at Ethiopian Airport Enterprise when it was under ECAA, has served at senior position in ERA before she was assigned as founding head of Ethiopian Toll Roads Enterprise. On her last career, she served as State Minister of Transport and CEO of EEG.
Ethiopian Airport Enterprise that is under Ethiopian Airlines Group since July 2017 was under ECAA before it was established as a separate public enterprises about 2002.
Hiwot told Capital that it is early to state details.
On Friday the PM has also given another appointment to the Ethiopian Maritime Authority (EMA). As per that Yehualaeshet Jemere, former State Minister of Transport (MoT), has become the second Director General for EMA to fill the vacant position that was left by the founding head and maritime sector guru, Mekonnen Abera.
Mekonnen, is known for the big role he has played from the inception to the re-establishment of the government regulatory body for the maritime industry that was dissolved after the fall of Derg. The Marine TransPort Authority regulatory services was dissolved and transferred to different offices like Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Trade, while the study that Mekonnen and others were involved in showed that a relevant regulatory body will be required to govern the sector despite the country being landlocked.
Based on that EMA was established in 2007 by Proclamation No. 549/2007 and Mekonnen was assigned to undertake the formation and leadership responsibility and he led the regulatory body for 14 years.
He told Capital he resigned from the responsibility about three months ago. Mekonnen who started his career on the logistics sector at the former Maritime Transit Service that he served up to marketing manager service has had a career that has spanned 35 years in the sector. “Privately I will continue providing my service in the sector that I specialized in,” he said.
Besides playing a leading role to form EMA Mekonnen is stated as a prior actor for the formation of dry port and multimodal services, while those who know his role said that he contributed heavily to form the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise with the amalgamation of four public logistics enterprises.
When he was State Minister at MoT Yehualshet was responsible to regulate the activity of EMA and ECAA besides other responsibilities.
Yehualshet has also served as Deputy CEO and Rail Network Division Head at Ethiopian Railways Corporation.