Meet Mulu Nega, Ethiopia’s man in Tigray
By Tasie Theodore
With the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia still festering, questions are now being asked if the choice of Dr. Mulu Nega as provisional administrator of the Tigray region would indeed carry through in the Horn of African state.
This is coming on the heels of Addis Ababa withdrawing the immunity from prosecution privileges of the leader of the regional governing party, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael.
Nega, holder of a PhD in higher education policy from the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Twente, the Netherlands, is an assistant professor at the Institute of Educational Research, Addis Ababa University.
He had also served as Head of the Testing Center in Addis Ababa University, and Coordinator of donor-funded projects as well as Director of the Center for Academic Standards and Quality Enhancement, Addis Ababa University.
Almost a life-long academic before the recent development, his dissertation was on ‘Quality and Quality Assurance in Ethiopian higher Education: Critical Issues and Practical Implications’. He had also published several journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings on quality issues in Ethiopian education. In addition, he has also been involved with several consultancy services for governmental and nongovernmental organizations in the past.
Analysts say his choice has echoes of how the Yakubu Gowon military Government in Nigeria had reached out to the academia to pick the likes of Ukpabi Asika to serve in the new state administrations that had been set up by the Nigerian authorities in the build-up to the Nigerian civil war.
Back in Ethiopia, the Tigray region is under a communications blackout even as news filters in that the ongoing military action to cripple the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, administration in the region has already led to an increasing number of casualties and large numbers of refugees, many of whom are fleeing to neighbouring Sudan.
The UN and Amnesty International have called for restraint even as President Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has come under intense censure for not adopting completely non-military options to resolving the conflict.
Analysts say even more critical going forward is a contest over the future of Ethiopia with Ahmed voting for a form of centralised, unitary administration while the TPLF favours a less hegemonistic federal to confederal arrangement.
Dr Mulu Nega, Provisional Administrator of Tigray