Balcha Reba appointed head of Ethiopia’s telecoms industry regulator

Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed has appointed Balcha Reba as the Director-General of the country’s recently formed telecoms industry regulator, Ethiopian Communications Authority.

Balcha, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Addis Ababa University, was until his appointment serving as the Director of the  Communication & Information Technology Standardization & Regulation Directorate in the country’s Ministry of Innovation & Technology.

(TOP:  Balcha Reba, the Director-General of the recently established telecoms industry regulator, Ethiopian Communications Authority).

He also held various positions at the now defunct Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency. Prior to this, Mr Reba served at the Oromia Water Resource Bureau as an electrical engineer.

The Authority replaces the Communication & Information Technology Standardization & Regulation Directorate that has been operating with a staff of 60 employees and has the mandate to license and regulate telecoms operators, postal service providers and broadcasters.

Domiciled within the PM’s Office, the Authority will also regulate tariffs, types of telecoms equipment that are connected to a communications network, authorise and supervise the radio frequency spectrum and manage internet protocol addresses and domain names.

According to Addis Fortune, the regulatory body will have a 7-member board of management. Also appointed by the PM, four of the board members will be drawn from government institutions, while the remaining three positions will be filled by people from the private sector and academia.

The legal framework to set up the Authority has been developed for over a year and became effective about two months ago after being approved by parliament.

“Currently, the newly established Authority is working on structuring itself and including human resources and capacity building… With the new structure, the Authority will have a total of 250 employees, including a technical team and supporting staff,” reported Addis Fortune, adding that once it’s approved by the PM, the regulator will then hire 64 per cent of its staff in the next six months.


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