Launched under the catch word," Coming Together: The World Bank and the
Ethiopian Diaspora Partnership to help Medical Education in Ethiopia, the
half-day Confab, organized, hosted and sponsored under the auspices of the
Kentucky based, People to People /P2P/ an NGO of the Ethiopian Diaspora
Medical Professional Group took place at the Sheraton National Hotel
yesterday September 24, 2011.
In his opening remarks, Enawgaw Mehari, MD, Founder and President of P2P
characterized that P2P is globally emerging as a bridge and network of the
Ethiopian Diaspora committed and willing to give back to the Motherland.
He went on to emphasize that, the Ethiopian Diaspora embodies intense
commitment and organic relationship that comes with a sense of deep
closeness and belongingness to the homeland and underlined that its
gratitude to Ethiopia can be translated through individual and collective
sacrifice of time, skills and financial resources.
In order to tap into this potential Dr. Enawgaw, re-iterated the need for
the establishment of strong links between the Diaspora, International
organizations, and the academia in Ethiopia and elsewhere. He capped his
introductory remarks by declaring that P2P has the important role of serving
as a bridge to bring these groups together.
Ethiopian Minister of Health Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, who was the guest of
honour on the event apprised the participants from the Medical Education and
the health sector, drawn from North America, Europe, Ethiopia and the rest
of the world, pertaining to the New Medical Education Initiative in
In this regard the Minister hailed the unhampered readiness and
determination of the Medical and health care professionals to augment their
bounden share to make a real difference in the current Growth and
Transformation Drive that Ethiopia and its people have anchored themselves
He brought to light the propitious investment climate that presently obtains
in all spheres in the country, by particularly alluding to the Medical and
Health areas where the input of the professionals could make an astounding
difference by enabling them to primarily benefit themselves by partaking in
the current promising development venture and drawing the satisfaction from
professionally supporting their kin and kith at the same time.
The half-day confab also dealt at length on partnership projects and
selected Diaspora projects and held a Recognition Ceremony, by recognizing
Dr. Paulos Quana'a; former Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology,
Addis Ababa University, as the winner for the award for "Life Time
Achievement", Dr. Aklilu Azaj, Head of Emergency Medicine Department, Black
Lion Hospital, Addis Ababa University as the winner of the award for "Rising
Star", and the legendary Ababa Tesfaye, Former Anchor of Children's TV
program, Ethiopian Television, as the winner of the award for "SERVICE".
Present during the event laden occasion were Dr. Richard Cambridge, Advisor;
African Diaspora Program, World Bank, Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy
and Ambassador Extra-Ordinary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
to the US and other invited guests.
In a related development, International Development Leaders hailed Ethiopian
Health Extension Program at the UN General Assembly last week. The Heads of
the US and UK governments recognized the Ethiopian Health Extension Program
as offering potentially 'game changing' lessons in the fight against
During the UN General Assembly in New York last week, Raj Shah, head of
USAID, and Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary for International Development,
highlighted the Ethiopian Health Extension Program as bringing about a
significant step towards achieving Millennium Development Goals /MDGs/.
UK Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell, said” this
project is making a real difference towards reducing poverty. We want to
hold up to the world, so others can learn from these successes. It
demonstrates that development buys results-it shows that through innovations
we can deliver inspirational change to people's lives."
At this fascinating event Dr. Tewodros Adhanom, Ethiopia's Health Minister,
showed a short documentary video produced by professionals from the
Ministry of Health in Ethiopia depicting the hard work and the achievements
thereof in the much avowed health extension program that has reaped Ethiopia
an international acclaim and reputation.