Featured image Azeb Asnake. Credit: Capital Ethiopia

During a recent meeting with the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) board of directors, it was announced that Azeb Asnake has been relieved of her duties as the utility's CEO.

Asnake has led the power utility over the past five years following the split of Ethiopian Electric from the former Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation.

There was no apparent reason given for the dismissal.

Local media cited information released by Misker Negash, EEP’s external relations director, which stated that Asnake has been replaced by Dr Abrham Belay, former deputy director general of Information Network Security Agency.

According to local news agency Ezega, under Asnake’s leadership, some stakeholders have been unhappy with the progress of big projects such as Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam.

In addition, there have been allegations of rampant corruption within the dam project for which she may have to answer.

First woman engineer

Asnake began her carrier at the Addis Ababa Water and Sewerage Authority as a junior expert and rising through the ranks to the Directorate of Engineering Director.

She was later transferred to the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation in 2006, where she led the Gibe III Hydro Power Project.

Asnake is reported to have been the first woman engineer who led the project in the capacity of a Project Manager.

She is well known for her management skills and has also served as a focal person of the UN Habitat Water for Africa Cities Programme. Asnake was named the 2017 POWER-GEN Woman of the Year.

She holds a BSc in civil engineering from Addis Abeba University and has also served as chair of the East African Power Pool.