October 1, 2021

Yelekal Kefyale: A new face at the forefront

PoliticsCurrent Affairs

Yilkal Kefyale, (Ph.D.), is the new president of the Amhara Regional State.

Avatar: Solomon Yimer
By Solomon Yimer

Solomon is a content editor at Addis Zeybe. He has worked in print and web journalism for six years.

Yelekal Kefyale: A new face at the forefront
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Yilkal Kefale, the new Amhara region president (photo : FBC)

"I am confident that we will liberate our people in a short period of time with the concerted participation of our people in the region and the sacrifice and heroism of our entire security system.”

Yilkal Kefyale, (Ph.D.) the new president of the Amhara Regional State expressed his commitment and hope in the speech he made as he was elected to be the Regional State’s president.

Given the escalating conflict in the Tigray region and the heated up tension between the Federal Government, Amhara Regional state and TPLF, the leadership in the Amhara Regional State is supposed to be one of the determining key players in what would unfold henceforth.  It is during this tense situation that Yilkal Kefyale has emerged on the scene. A new face on the platform, his leadership expected in the times ahead is speculated as tough by many political observers.

In his speech, Yilkal said that he feels saddened and pleased at the same time by his appointment as head of state. He attributed his sadness to the situation that many areas in the region are under the control of TPLF forces, whom he called "invaders and robbers." He also stated that the “suffering, pain, and abuse” of the people living in these areas has broken his heart.

He also imparted his reflection that despite the trying times that his people are in “dying, displaced, starved, and looted”, he is pleased to be elected in charge of the responsibility of liberating the people by defeating the aggressors he labeled "invaders"

Prior to his appointment as head of the Amhara Regional State, Yilkal was head of the Regional Education Bureau. The new appointee first joined the Amhara Regional State Cabinet in 2016 under the administration of Gedu Andargachew. 

Yilkal has served in various educational institutions for the last 25 years. Before he was transferred to Debre Markos University where he has worked as an Academic Vice President and Vice President for more than seven years, he served as an instructor and Dean at Gondar College of Teacher’s Education.

The new head of the Regional State holds a Ph.D. degree in Social Anthropology from Andura University, India, and a Master's degree in the same field of study from Addis Ababa University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in History.

“I believe the new administration will resolve the leadership discord that prevailed in the Regional State by building a strong structure and strive towards ensuring the peace and development of our people. . . Yilkal Kefyale, I hold a strong conviction that you will be a man of his people with your reputation of composed personality and leadership” Gedu Andargachew, one of the senior Amhara Prosperity Party (APP) politicians and former president of the Regional State wrote on his Facebook page, hours after the appointment.

Over the last three years Amhara Regional State, the second populous region in the country, had different personalities who took the office of the regional presidency. Following the assassination of the former Regional President Ambachew Mekonnnen, on July 22, 2019, Temesgen Tiruneh, ex-security advisor to the Prime Minister, had been assigned as the head of the Amhara Regional State, who just stayed in the position for 15 months. Agegnehu Teshager replaced Temesgen Tiruneh as a Regional President whom the new President Yilkal Kefyale succeeded after serving the office for 11 months.

Over the past weeks, there were certain allegations concerning a growing tension in the Amhara Prosperity Party among its members from sub-regions of the Regional State (Gojjam, Gondar, Shewa, and Wollo), regarding the distribution of appointments of key regional government positions.

"I think the regional politicians have taken a wise decision in picking him at this critical time," says a member of the Regional Council, who chooses to remain anonymous.

“I see his appointment having a paramount importance in stabilizing the internal growing power struggle stirring between Amhara Prosperity Party members. Considering his experience and in the social sectors, I think the regional government expects him to play a role in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the sectors which are highly affected by the conflict”, he comments.