There was this joke that sums up the addiction of Ethiopians on social media ever since PM Abiy Ahmed took office. The popular joke was also illustrated by a comic satire start up called Allu. In the cartoon, there is a guy inside a shower browsing his phone while holding umbrella because he can’t cope up with the amount of breaking news coming from PM Dr. Abiy administration. Some also portray the guy in the shower as PM Dr. Abiy Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega who is always tweeting about the PM activities.
Fitsum Arega first tweet to the public came on May 6 updating the Prime Minister’s tour in neighboring countries. Ever since then he became the most reliable source of information for news related to PM Dr. Abiy administration. In just seven months his Twitter followers grew to 50,000 people. Unlike the previous administration, he broke the bureaucracy with regards to access to information from the Prime Minister office. He also set the bar high for other government officials resulting in the verification of several government officials Twitter accounts. For instance, unlike previous Addis Ababa Mayors, the current Deputy Mayor is more social media friendly in updating the activities of his office.
In a news that was reported by Addis Fortune today, Fitsum Arega will be moving to his old post as Investment Commissioner. Shimeles Abdisa from ODP will replace his post as Chief of Staff and Helen Yosef is appointed deputy press secretary. Helen Yosef has worked in the media sector for over 15 years in several key organizations including state media and NGO’s. You can start to follow her on her Twitter handle @helenyosef.
The Press Secretary post is the first of its kind and it can equate to the White House Press Secretary positions. In his last tweet, Fitsum Arega invited all local and international media to sign up the first press briefing from the PM office.