Israel Gets First Ethiopia-born Minister in Pnina Tamano-Shata

Must Read

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former...

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken...



Israel is set to get its first Ethiopia-born minister, with the nomination of a female MP brought there in a secret operation in the 1980s.

Pnina Tamano-Shata has been chosen by incoming deputy prime minister Benny Gantz, who is forming a unity government with PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

The new government is expected to be sworn in on Sunday after a delay over ministerial appointments.

Israel’s Ethiopian-Jewish community often complains of discrimination.

Incidents of police using force against Israelis of Ethiopian origin – including fatal shootings – have led to street protests and clashes in recent years.

The 140,000-strong community is among the poorest in the country and suffers from high rates of unemployment.

However, many second generation Ethiopian-Israelis have become successful across society, achieving notable positions in the military, judiciary and politics.

Pnina Tamano-Shata

Pnina Tamano-Shata, a lawyer and journalist, is the first woman of sub-Saharan African ancestry elected to the Knesset or Israeli National Parliament.

Tamano-Shata was born in Wuzaba, a village located near the city of Gondar in the Amhara Region of northern Ethiopia, she’s the granddaughter of Kais Shato-Maharata, one of the foremost spiritual leaders within the Ethiopian Jewish community.

At the age of three, she immigrated with her family to Israel as part of Operation Moses. Tamano-Shata studied law at Ono Academic College, and became Deputy Chairman of the national Ethiopian Student Association.

Following an internship at a law firm, Tamano-Shata worked from 2007 to 2012 for the Israeli Channel 1 TV news as a reporter and as a host of a current-affairs talk show, the first Ethiopian woman to do so.

Related:   Nelson Mandela’s Lawyer And Anti-apartheid Icon George Bizos Dies At 92

As a student, Tamano-Shata was elected deputy chairperson of the Ethiopian Student Association in Israel.

She also worked with youth at risk, founded a club for adolescents from high-risk neighborhoods, and established a women’s club in her home town of Petah Tiqva.

In 2005, she was among the founders of the Headquarters for the Ethiopian Jews’ Struggle for Social Equality, which aims at raising awareness of the discrimination against members of the Ethiopian community in Israel.

In 2006, she served on a committee that set a five-year governmental-expenditure plan of one billion NIS (Israeli currency) for the advancement of the Ethiopian community. That year, she was also chosen to serve as a public representative on the Israel Press Council.

After joining the newly-formed party of Yesh Atid (There is a Future) in 2012, Tamano-Shata was elected in 2013 to the Knesset. Her parliamentary activity focuses on fighting racism and discrimination in Israeli society, and promoting equality of minorities and women.

Related:   TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time's list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

She is also involved in promoting affordable housing, and has been active in legislation to advance the wellbeing and welfare of children at risk.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to receive email updates

With a subscription profile, you automatically receive updates without having to return to the website and check for changes

Just In

Mali Swears In Bah Ndaw As New Civilian Leader

Mali's new president Bah Ndaw has been sworn into office, five weeks after the overthrow of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. Former...

Troublesome South African Baboon Evicted For Organizing Gang To Raid Homes

Kataza is an urban baboon who was captured and put in a local prison for organizing a band of baboons to join him in raiding 15 homes in Kommetjie, on Cape Town's southern peninsula in South Africa.

A Leading University In China Now Teaches Ethiopia’s Amharic Language As A Full Course

A leading university in China — Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) — has started to offer Ethiopia's widely spoken Amharic language as a full...

TIME 100: Tony Elumelu, Three Other Nigerians Makes Time’s list of 100 Most Influential People Of 2020

Tony Elumelu, is among four Nigerians named by the Time Magazine International in their 2020 list of 100 most influential people in the world...

Zambia’s Namwali Serpell Wins UK’s Top Prize For Science Fiction

Zambia's Namwali Serpell has won the UK’s top prize for science fiction, the Arthur C Clarke award, for her first novel "The Old Drift". The...

More Articles Like This