In celebrating successes, members of the Center for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) organized a high-level dinner on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at Hyatt Regency Hotel, in “Celebrating Women Empowered”.  The event was organized to thank the former First Lady, Wr/o Roman Tesfaye, for all her generous support in empowering grassroots women and in promoting women in export and also to celebrate the appointment of the new female ministers and higher officials.

In attendance during the event were about 220 (Two Hundred Twenty) people, where the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Ato Halimariam Desalgne, the former First Lady of Ethiopia Wr/o Roman Tesfaye, Members of Parliament, the President of the Supreme Court, the newly appointed female Ministers, State Ministers, Ambassadors, higher officials, artists, project beneficiaries from different parts of the country and CAWEE members were present.

    Group Picture at the High Level Dinner where Dignitaries Took Part

The high level dinner started with a welcoming speech delivered by Mrs. Nigest Haile, Founder and Executive Director of CAWEE, where she thanked the invited guests on their presence to celebrate women empowered. Continuing her remarks, she briefly explained the journey in the implementation of the project “Connecting 1,500 Women to the Export Market”.

Mrs. Nigest Haile, Executive Director of CAWEE Delivering Her Remarks

Mrs. Nigest further explained that, in the life-time of the project, 2015-2017, it was possible to provide technical skills training to six hundred eighty (680) women, three hundred fifteen (315) women in urban areas and three hundred sixty five (365) women in semi-urban and rural areas, where it was possible to connect those women to high end domestic as well as export markets, through CAWEE members involved in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Following the welcoming remark made by the Executive Director of CAWEE, in representing CAWEE members, Mrs. Bethlehem Tilahun, Owner of SoleRebels, Republic of Leather & Garden of Coffee, expressed her thanks to the former First Lady for the generous support that was extended to all the members in building their capacities and also in expanding their export base.

Mrs. Bethlehem Tilahun, Owner of SoleRebels, Republic of Leather and Garden of Coffee Delivering Her Remarks

Project beneficiaries that came from the different Region of the country (Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Regions and Addis Ababa) that were provided skills training in the sectors of gemstones semi-processing, hand-weaving, basketry, modern honey production, stone carving, pottery and leather provided their testimonies on how their lives and the lives of their families have changed in being part of the project.

Project Beneficiary Delivering Her Testimony from Tigray Region, Axsum – Basket Weaving
Project Beneficiary Delivering Her Testimony from Addis Ababa – Hand-weaving
Project Beneficiaries Delivering their Testimony Southern Region, Kaffa/Gimbo – Modern Honey Production

Two CAWEE members: Entoto Bete Artisan and Leather Exotica, represented by their owners (Bethlehem Berhane and Meron Seid) respectively provided their testimonies on their achievements in getting involved in the project.

Mrs. Bethlehem Berhane, Owner of Entoto Bete Artisan
Ms. Meron Seid, Owner of Leather Exotica

The final remark was delivered by Wr/o Roman Tesfaye, the former First Lady of The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, who was the owner of the project “Connecting 1,500 Women to the Export Market” that was implemented by CAWEE. She thanked all who have been supporting the project to reach its goal and thanked Mrs. Nigest for her strong leadership throughout the implementation process and also for organizing such an event to recognize what has been done so far, where Wr/o Roman further underlined that, such a project needs to serve as a show case for replication and scale-up, in continuously addressing the vulnerable women in Ethiopia and empower them.

Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, the former First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia