women callMekelle University recognizes the disproportional participation of women and male professionals in research and innovation for development. It has therefore been taking specific measures such as improving access to employment, offering tailor-made trainings for female students and staff and allocating funds exclusively for female researchers. Even though such measures have led to some improvement in the percentage of female involvement in research, a serious imbalance remains. In view of this situation, which is common in many developing countries, Mekelle University, has planned an international conference on Women in Science and innovation for Development. The main objectives of the conference are:

  • To provide opportunity for internationally recognized female scientist/practitioners to share their professional and personal experiences and to inspire young women in science and development
  • To provide opportunities for networking among people seeking to promote women in research and development
  • To provide opportunities for both young and experienced Ethiopian scientists – above all, women – to present their work in an international setting.

Biography of each keynote speakers

  1. Dr Ann Water-Bayer, (Rural Development)Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Netherlands/Germany
  2. Dr Judith Francis, Senior Program coordinator Science & Technology innovation at (Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) (CTA)
  3. Dr. Eleni Gebremedhin former CEO Ethiopian Commodity Exchange
  4. Dr Wanjiru K R. Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
  5. Dr Kebedech Ambaye, UN-Women
  6. Prof. Fetien Abay- Agriculture & climate change, Vice President, Mekelle University
  7. Mrs. Nahussenay Girma Association of Women in Business, (AWiB)
  8. Prof. Meaza Demissie, Deputy Director at Addis Continental Institute of Public Health (ACIPH)
  9. Dr Yewlsew Abebe, Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute
  10. Dr. Aster Gebrekirstos, World Agro-forestry Center (ICRAF)
  11. Dr. Ambassador Genet Zewdie-Former Minister of Education, Former ambassador to India and Director of WSDC
  12. Dr. Fana Hagos President of Tigray Regional State High Court
  13. And many more scientists, leaders and business women


Dr.Ann Waters-Bayer

Plenary Speakers and Panelists

Canadian-Dutch agricultural sociologist (Dr.agr. University of Hohenheim, Germany), worked for 25 years with ETC Foundation and is now Senior Associate with KIT (Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam). She is a founding member of Prolinnova. Her focus is on facilitating and analyzing participatory research and development in agriculture and natural resource management in ways that enhance local innovative capacities. She worked in Livestock Systems Research in Nigeria with the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) in the early 1980s and has advised numerous organizations engaged in dryland development in Africa and Asia. She led several reviews and evaluations, such as for the Swiss strategy for pastoral development in the Horn of Africa, the International Institute for Environment and Development Drylands Programme 1987–2009 and the pastoral development programme of Cordaid in Eastern Africa. She has engaged in action research in several programmes, such as the ISWC (Indigenous Soil and Water Conservation) project together with Mekelle University in Tigray Region and JOLISAA (Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture) in partnership with Prolinnova. An avid networker, Ann likes to link people in communities of practice and to share information and lessons through presentations, panel discussions, books and articles on agricultural innovation, ecological agriculture, climate-change adaptation, pastoralist development and gender issues. She is Vice-Chair of the European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD), Advisory Group member for YPARD (Young Professionals in Agricultural Development), Core Team member of CELEP (Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism), Advisory Editor of The Rangeland Journal, and Co-Chair of the Prolinnova Oversight Group. She has co-authored and edited several articles and books, such as Farming for the Future, Farmer Innovation in Africa and Innovation Africa.

Core expertise
knowledge management
• network development
• policy advice
• evaluation & reviews
• participatory research

Current projects/programmes:
Prolinnova (Promoting local innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management) – global

• Proli-FaNS (Promoting local innovation for Food and Nutrition Security) – Africa

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  judith ann francis

Dr.Judith Ann Francis

is the Senior Programme Coordinator, Science and Technology Policy at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) in the Netherlands. Judith is one of those people with the unique ability to bring people together, who when connected, achieve much more than they would on their own. She is great at brokering partnerships, identifying opportunities, and fanning a spark into a blazing fire. Judith has been instrumental in building capacity of women and young professionals in agricultural science and innovation through the Africa-wide women and young professionals in science competitions which rewarded the contributions of women and young professionals involved in innovative research; communicating their research results and technological developments; and advocating for policy change as well as influencing policy processes through their research. Read more of Judith’s work in CTA/WUR book “Innovation Systems: Towards Effective Strategies in support of Smallholder Farmers” https://publications.cta.int/en/publications/publication/1829/. Judith has been my mentor and I truly appreciate her contribution to preparing me to manage the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund program which provides fellowships to scientists and graduate students from African national agricultural research organizations and universities mentors them to be leaders in biosciences research-for-development.

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 dr.eleni gabremdhin 

Dr. Eleni Gabre Madhin

Created the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) and is scaling the model to other food insecure countries, empowering millions of farmers by linking them to the global economy.

She has a short yet successful track record: in 2008, she and a small team in Ethiopia were tasked with the prodigious job of designing, building and eventually managing the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange.  The exchange was a resounding victory: in over five years of business – and trading around 250,000 tons of coffee each year – there have been no payment defaults, trading order errors, or system failures. Some 15 million coffee farmers have increased their share of the final price from 38% to 65%.   Since then, Gabre-Madhin has become the CEO of her own turnkey company, which will focus on designing and building commodity exchanges in emerging and frontier markets. The International Finance Corporation, Morgan Stanley and UK-based private equity firm 8 miles have all invested in her company, while Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique have requested for her expertise to develop a commodity exchange of their own.  With the potential to transform the agricultural landscape in Africa, Gabre-Madhin has been recognized as one of Euromoney’s Africa rising stars.

  dr.wanjiru kamau

 Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg

 (Award Director, Secretary to the Steering Committee)

is the newly appointed Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), effective March 24, 2014. Prior to joining AWARD, she founded and served as Executive Director of Akili Dada, an award-winning leadership incubator that invests in high-achieving young women from under-resourced families, who are passionate about driving change in their communities. Kamau-Rutenberg also served as an Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and a lecturer in International Relations at the Jesuit Hekima College, a constituent college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. Her academic research and teaching interests centred on African politics, as well as the politics of philanthropy, gender, international relations, ethnicity, and democratization, and the role of technology in social activism.

She has received widespread recognition for her work investing in women, including being honored as a 2012 White House Champion of Change, named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans by New African magazine, recognized as a 2012 Ford Foundation Champion of Democracy, awarded the 2011 Yamashita Prize, and the 2010 United Nations Intercultural Innovation Award, among others.

An energetic activist, Kamau-Rutenberg serves as on the Boards of the African Democratic Institute and of Opportunity Collaboration, in addition to being a juror for the prestigious Intercultural Innovation Award, offered by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group. She is also a strong advocate and passionate public speaker about the need to transform some philanthropic practices in Africa and what it means to build a life in service of driving social change.

Born in Kenya, Kamau-Rutenberg holds a PhD and a Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from Whitman College in Washington, U.S.A.

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  Prof.Feiten abay

Prof. Fetien Abay

Fetien Abay (PhD), professor in plant breeding and seed, graduated with Diploma and BSc in Plant Science in Ethiopia. After graduating in 1991, she worked as a researcher with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and then joined the newly established Mekelle University in 1993, as the first female lecturer. She continued her studies at the University of Wales (Bangor) and gained her MSc in Rural Resource Management in 1995. After several more years of teaching and development-oriented research with Mekelle University, in 2007, she did her PhD in Plant and Seed Sciences from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Fetien teaches courses on a range of subjects, such as Plant Breeding, seed systems, Biometry and Biodiversity. Thus far, she has supervised over 55 PhD & MSc graduate students including students from other Ethiopian universities (Haramaya, Jimma and Hawassa). Fetien released 5 high yielding, high quality food barely varieties and has published (as author and co-author with her students) over 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and contributed to several books and popular-science publications in an attempt to communicate with different actors in agricultural research, development and policy.

Fetien, who has worked in institutions of agricultural extension research and education since 1990, is a specialized plant breeder with an educational and professional background that helps her to see her specialization in a broader context. She coordinated several projects with various donors in the area of seed safety (NUMB-NUFU, RUFORUM), Integrated PPB and management (SOLIBAM), Postharvest Loss Reduction lab (USAID) and Integrated Seed Systems (CDI, BIOVERSITY/IFPRI), are few among several projects. Fetien is a recipient of several distinguished awards. For instance, the 2014 AU Kwame Nkrumah regional scientific achievement award, the 2008-2009 Africa-Wide Women in Science award, by CTA/FARA/AGRA/RUFORUM/NEPAD and the 2009 Presidential Women in Development award in Ethiopia. She has now earned international recognition and reputation as trainer of professionals who work on participatory gender inclusive technology development, seed system and plant genetic resources.

As a director of the Institute of Environment, Gender and Development Studies (IEGDS), she has made extraordinary scholarly role in setting up the new institute in 2011. As a senior-level woman scientist, she is outspoken on issues of gender equality in science. She is a member of the regional women Soroptimist group that serves in bringing together women of excellence from various walks of life with the purpose of providing mentorship to young girls who seek to achieve higher goals. She has shared her experiences with hundreds of young high school students (e.g., SOS school girls, 2015). She has also joined numerous evaluation teams in Ethiopia, most often as gender specialist. This gave her an opportunity to bring her ideas and vision into the assessment and planning of practical development activities. Her institute has been an active women empowerment agent within the auspices of the university’s social responsibility.

She now serves as a Vice President for Research Community services (VPRCs) at Mekelle University, Ethiopia.

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Mrs. Nahusenay Girma

was born in Ethiopia and educated in the United States, where she developed expertise in management and marketing. She has held positions of responsibility in the private sector in both the U.S. and Ethiopia and operated her own businesses at different times in her professional career. In 2007, she formed Optima Consultancy and Marketing, plc to partake in the business development of Ethiopia.

Recognized for her strengths in communication, persuasion, and initiating and leading individuals through rapidly changing situations, Nahu’s career has spanned three continents, a host of non-profit and international organizations. Nahu served as Director for Children’s Services International, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, where she led efforts to develop educational projects for Ethiopia’s children and young adults and was a major impetus for her move back to her country of origin.  Prior to that, she was a Principal of Cross-Cultural Connections in Atlanta, where she developed and conducted training seminars on “Doing Business Across Cultures” for companies such as IBM, Scientific-Atlanta, Delta Airlines and BellSouth in cooperation with World Trade Center Atlanta.  She has also conducted several team building and conflict resolution programs for the US Government.

A strong leader and a dedicated philanthropist, Nahu’s strongest suit is motivating teams to achieve organizational objectives. Her drive, energy level and maturity of judgment and impeccable work ethics are her more salient features. She is a doer who focuses on results. During the past few years where she worked in Ethiopia, the level and extent of contacts she has developed within the Ethiopian government, the international community and the private sector has proved Nahu’s immense public relations ability. She is comfortable in presenting her ideas to any audience and her knowledge of the global market is invaluable for any business with global aspiration.

In 2010 Nahu co-founded Association of Women in Business (AWiB) whose objective is to develop women leaders who can lead Ethiopia to participate in the growing global economic movement and to make differences in their communities. After serving in the leadership position for the first three and half years of its formation, she now serves as the association’s Executive Director closing Optima Consultancy and Marketing as legal entity.

Nahu, in collaboration with LonAdd HR Consultancy Group, conducts leadership skills for women, a much acclaimed and life changing training workshop. She has conducted a variety of management training courses for a number of prominent organizations, such as Ethiopian Airlines and the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). She consults businesses and supports up and coming ventures in management and marketing strategies. Nahu also serves as a moderator at high profile events such as UNDP introducing Helen Clark for her first visit and late PM Meles Zenawi.

Fulfilling her community responsibilities, Nahu helped found Women for Life (WFL), a foundation formed to expand and upgrade Gandhi Hospital, the only maternal hospital in the country, become a state of the art women medical center and served as the foundation’s first president. Nahu has also served on the board of YWCA–Ethiopia and Sara Cannizzaro Child Minders Association, a non-profit organization founded to give children from low-income families a head start. As a boardmember and a volunteer she provided leadership to the mothers of the beneficiaries (usually the head of the household) starting businesses of their own. To date through her effort thirteen households have been helped to be self-sufficient and productive citizens.

Nahu Girma earned her Master’s degree in HRD from Cleveland State University.  She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from Howard University.

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  prof.meaza demisse

Prof. Meaza Demissie

has earned her Doctor of Medicine Degree in 1987 and Master of Public Health degree in 1992 from Addis Ababa University; and her PhD/Epidemiology and Public Health in 2002 from University of Bergen, Norway. She has worked in various capacities over 25 years; first as a general practitioner for two years in Harar, Eastern Ethiopia, then worked in communicable diseases control program of the Federal Ministry of Health at different positions, medical officer, senior expert and program manager for TB and Leprosy control program. She then held several positions in various international and national organizations as a senior expert and consultant; these positions were at UNICEF, United States Center for Disease Control, and Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office. She has been involved in public health researches mainly on TB and HIV for more than twenty years and has published more than forty articles in reputable peer-reviewed journals; she also contributed a chapter in a book and published monographs. She has been invited as presenter and discussant, especially on tuberculosis and HIV, in many national and international gatherings. She is currently Professor of Public Health and Deputy Director at Addis Continental Institute of Public Health in Ethiopia.

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Dr. Aster Gebrekirstos

is a scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and a Visiting Professor at Dresden University, Germany. She has over twenty years of experience in research, tertiary level teaching and consulting. Her research area focuses in the area tropical forest ecology and climate change, which includes dendrochronology (to reconstruct past climates and effects and consequences of global climate change on biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihood), agroforestry and restoration of degraded landscapes. She is leading and involved in several projects in Africa and Asia. Dr. Gebrekirstos is also playing active role in developing science in Africa. She has established ICRAF’s Dendrochronology Laboratory in 2013 and the laboratory at Ethiopia’s Wondo Genet College of Forestry in 2010. In recognition of her research and contributions, Dr. Gebrekirstos has received distinctions, notably, the prestigious African Climate Award for excellence in research in climate change adaptation and mitigation in 2014. She also received the 2009 Special Award for Ground Breaking Science - African wide Young Professionals and Women in Science Competitions organized by CTA, ATPS, AGRA, FARA, RUFORUM and NEPAD. She also serves on the Mountain Research Institute Science Leadership Council and is a member of many societies.

Dr Gebrekirstos holds a Diploma and BSc. Degree in Forestry from Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Alemaya University in Ethiopia, respectively. She won the Netherlands Fellowship Program for her MSc at Wageningen University (1996-1998) and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for her PhD at Gottingen University in Germany (2001-2005). Prior to that, she worked as graduate assistant at Alemaya University. After her MSc, she worked as a lecturer at Debub University Wondo Genet College of Forestry. After her PhD she worked as a post-doc in the department of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Umeå Univ, Sweden (2006-2008) and at ICRAF in Nairobi and Göttingen University in Germany (2009-2011).

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 dr. ambassador genet zewdie

Dr Ambassador Genet Zewdie

is a former Ethiopian Ambassador to India. She was the first Female Minster in Ethiopia while she appointed As Minster for Ministry of Education in 1991. As Minster to Ministry of Education (1991-2006) she has managed to broaden the medium of instruction to 50 more local languages.

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Prof. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen

Ethiopian Prof. Yalemtsehay Mekonnen has won the 2015 African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards for her scientific achievement and valuable discoveries and findings that have contributed to the development agenda of the Continent. Prof. Yalemtsehay joined the Addis Ababa University (AAU) in 1972 obtaining her B.Sc degree in Biology in 1977. She was then employed as a graduate assistant in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science where she joined the first graduate programme launched in the Department. She received her M.Sc degree in Zoology in 1980 with the first batch of graduates as the first woman both at the AAU and the country. She obtained her PhD in Human Physiology from the University of Heidelberg Germany in May 1992. She was promoted to the rank of full professor in January 2009. She was awarded with several research grants and fellowships nationally and internationally. To give some examples, the Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission, the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization, the British Council, the International Foundation for Science, the Third World Academy of Sciences, the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Her main scientific work focuses on medicinal plants that are used by communities and test them in the laboratory if they have medicinal importance and assessing health hazard to humans, animals and the environment due to chemicals and other contaminants that are by-products of agricultural practices or industries.

She has collaborated with researchers in Ethiopia and abroad and advised many graduate students. The outcome of her research work is exemplified by 92 publications in national and international peer reviewed scientific journals.

Currently she is engaged in teaching and continuing her research activities in the College of Natural Sciences, AAU. In addition she is engaged in several professional activities (E.g. Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, Board member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, Executive Board President of the Society of Ethiopian Women in Science & Technology). She has great passion to motivate the young specially women to be confident and successful in their professional career in particular and their overall walk in life in general.

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margareth Gfrerer

Margareth Gfrerer

Education Scientist at Education Strategy Centre (ESC) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Margareth Gfrerer graduated from the Karl-Franzens-University Graz (Austria) with a Doctor’s Degree in Economics and a Master Degree in Education Economics. Her second Master Degree she has from the University of Economics and Business, Vienna (Austria) in International Commerce. After years in industry she returned to University as lecturer and researcher. In 2002 Margareth Gfrerer has been awarded with the Professorship by the Austrian Council of the University of Applied Sciences. As senior lecturer she has been involved in the implementation of study programmes in Austria and Indonesia. As a researcher her focus is on higher education development as well as in the vast field of infrastructure management and innovation. After 12 years of lecturing and researching in Indonesia she moved to Ethiopia in 2016, where she is now working with the Education Strategy Center in Addis Ababa with the special focus on Open Science. During all her years in the higher education sector, Margareth Gfrerer has been actively involved in Women in Science activities world-wide.

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 Dr. Anagnostous

Dr .Anagnostou

is a Research Fellow in the Modelling and Simulation Group, Department of Computer Science, Brunel University London, UK. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Electronics Engineering (1999), an MSc in Telemedicine and e-Health Systems (2006), and a PhD in Distributed Modelling & Simulation (2014). In between she has been working in industry in the IT and Healthcare sectors. Her research interests lie in the areas of Advanced Computer Infrastructures for Modelling and Simulation, Open Science for Simulation, Hybrid Distributed Simulation and Modelling and Simulation for Healthcare and Industrial Applications. She has been member of organisation committees for three international conferences sponsored by IEEE, ACM/SIGSIM and the UK Operational Research Society. Since 2011, she has been involved in several interdisciplinary research projects with stakeholders from industry and academia across manufacturing, healthcare, defence and food supply chains, including two H2020 projects in Africa (www.sci-gaia.eu and www.tandem-wacren.eu). She has more than 20 publications in scientific journals and conferences and has helped to attract more than 5 Million euro research funds.

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 Chipo Msengeni

 Chipo Msengezi

is a Programme Officer at Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) where she joined in 2008. She is responsible for training and outreach for a portfolio of ICT and ICM programmes including the likes of Research4Life, TEEAL, Information Literacy and Knowledge Management. Chipo is also Africa representative of Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) a UK based charity where she works in collaboration with other international partners to contribute to improved health care in countries with few material resources by building partnerships between health libraries, library associations and other agencies with existing information services. Much of her work involves working to reduce the digital divide and information gap between the global north and global south and advocating for the adoption of new technologies in research, teaching and learning.

Chipo holds a Master of Information Technology from the University of Pretoria. Some of Chipo’s research interests include knowledge management, ICT4Development, e-learning technologies.

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 Alganesh Tesema Gellaw  (Dr)

General Director,Natural Forest Conservation,Ministry of Environment,Forest and Climate Change. Alganesh Tesema is General Director for Natural Forest Conservation at Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She received a B.Sc. in Dry land Agriculture (2003) in Mekele University and PhD in Plant Genetics (2008) from Italy, Pitza Advanced University.

She has served at Research and Developmental Leadership positions for more than two years she was a team leader for Plant Genetic Resources. For 2 years she was a Director for Ethiopian Biodiversity Conservation. Currently she is the General Director for Natural Forest Conservation at Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Focal point for UNCCD. For 8 years she is also a board member for the sole Think Tank forum of Peace, Democracy and Development at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Alganesh has published research papers and book chapters in the areas of Genetic diversity with emphasis on molecular diversity of Durum wheat and phenotypic variation of Eragrostis Tef. She contributed in publishing State of Blue Nile water shade and livelihood emphasis on challenges and corrective measures.

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 Dr. Sintayoh Fisseha

is Ethiopian, got her PhD. from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. She also holds an MSc in Applied Econometrics and a Diploma in Business Management.   She, based in Edmonton (Canada), is a specialist in development economics with 14 years of experience in research, evaluation and university teaching. Driven by a deep interest in helping disenfranchised people, she has worked on projects involving rural land use, provision of water, institutional development, community development and the empowerment of women. While teaching, researching and consulting at Mekelle University in Ethiopia from 2000 to 2012, Sintayoh worked on projects with major funders such as the Swedish International Development Agency, UNICEF, the Development Fund (Norway) and USAID.
In 2013, she is consultant, part of an Intelligence Flows team that conducted an evaluation baseline study for Right To Play Canada in Somali refugee camps in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. The team had also conducted other baseline surveys, evaluation, and trainings in Edmonton and its surroundings. Since 2015 Sintayoh works in MacEwan University as a sessional instructor. While teaching she also works as an associate researcher in University of Alberta, Department of Women and Development Studies.  
Sintayoh has published journal articles, presented at conferences, and held a variety of academic administrative positions. She was director of a centre for microfinance at Mekelle University and also coordinated the university’s centre for microenterprise and entrepreneurship.

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Dr. Yewelsew Abebe

has fulfilled many roles, including teaching, research, program development, leading, and community services. She has worked at Hawassa University in the southern part of Ethiopia as the Department Chairperson for the Rural Development and Family Sciences, Dean for the College of Agriculture, and the Associate Vice President for the University’s Research and Extension program. Recently, she worked as the National Program Manager for the Food and Nutrition Security project under the FAO, Ethiopia.

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Mrs. Kebe Nigussie

is a highly experienced gender and development worker. She brings nearly 20 years of development experience in the substantive areas of Gender, Reproductive Health/Rights, Reproductive Health Commodities Security, Violence against Women and Girls, and HIV/AIDS. Her expertise extends to her advocacy role in the promotion of women’s empowerment and gender equality and policy work in gender mainstreaming, programme planning and management; and civil society mobilization for action.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Kebe worked with Save the Children Norway among semi-pastoralist society in Southern Ethiopia. She joined the United Nations as a UNV for UCAH (NAÇÕES UNIDAS UNIDADE DE COORDENAÇÃO PARA A ASSISTÊNCIA HUMANITÁRIA) while in Angola. Soon she was promoted to hold professional post as a coordinator for Demobilization and Reintegration of ex- UNITA soldiers covering three most complex provinces of Angola namely Malanj, Bie and Huambo. She then moved to New York to work for HQs of three different UN agencies holding different positions including Regional focal person for Africa; Southern and Eastern Africa; Western and Central Africa as well as Thematic focal point for HIV/AIDS, Comprehensive Condom Programming, Reproductive Health, Gender Based Violence and Mine Action. Kebe's experience ranges from working in conflict, post conflict settings to peaceful settings and from the field to HQs. She is the co-founder of Zimbabwe’s most successful HIV and AIDS service organization, The Batsirai Group for which work she won the Norway award for the most innovative HIV Prevention program.

Kebe has a Master’s degree in Management and Public Administration from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), two other degrees in Development Policy and Applied Sociology. She speaks four Ethiopian languages; Hamar, Afaan Oromo, Tigrigna and Amharic; fluent in Portuguese and English; understands Spanish and has good knowledge of the Dutch language.

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