ADDIS ABABA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday pledged to address economic and governance grievances of residents of Gonder city in Ethiopia's Amhara regional state, a protest hub to the ruling coalition since July 2016.
Ahmed was sworn in as Ethiopian Prime Minister on April 2, replacing Hailemariam Desalegn amid anti-government protests and strikes in various parts of Ethiopia including Amhara regional state.
Ahmed said the Ethiopian government would work to make Gonder city which is close to the Sudanese border a foreign trade hub for northwest Ethiopia, reported state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency.
The PM also pledged to fix youth unemployment and other economic needs of the population.
Violent anti-government protests in Gonder city in July 2016 over a reallocation of a district to the neighboring Tigray regional state two decades ago morphed into a wider regional protest over allegations of political and economic marginalization.
Persistent protests since 2016 in Amhara and Oromia regional states which together account for about 65 percent of Ethiopia's estimated population of 100 million has caused fears about the stability of one of Africa's star economies.
The protests have shaken the hold of the ruling coalition Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which has been ruling Ethiopia for close to 27 years.
The ruling party is a coalition of four parties that are Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM).