PHE Ethiopia Consortium (PHE EC) held its sixth General Assembly (GA) on 15-16 March at the DSW Bonita Youth Center in Bishoftu. Through this assembly, PHE EC updated around 50 participants which included members, local partners, and donors on the status of integrated PHE interventions in Ethiopia. GA members unanimously endorsed the annual activity and financial plans for 2012 as well as the annual report for 2011. Members of the GA helped identify gaps and strengths of the Consortium and developed strategies in the areas of joint proposals, partnership, and joint monitoring and evaluation activities. Partners, members, and donors gained a better understanding of what the government’s expectations are regarding the new Charities and Societies directives. One of the major outcomes of this assembly was the membership fee increase from Birr 500 to 1,500 for the year 2012. |
Dr. Yetnayet Asfaw, EngenderHealth's Executive Director and PHE EC’s Board Chairperson, opened the 6th GA with a compelling speech about how Ethiopia's natural resources are overstretched due to population pressure. Her words put things into perspective for everyone at the GA as they contemplated what story they would tell their grandchildren- one of triumph and sustainability or one of continued vulnerability? Her speech was followed by a keynote speech from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation's Regional Advisor, Ato Sahlu Hailu. He described PHE EC as a leader in the African PHE integration initiative. The General Assembly was then officially opened by His Excellency, Ato Sileshi Getahun, State Minister of Agriculture. In his opening remarks he urged development partners and NGOs in Ethiopia to work together and measure their collaborative efforts against the set strategic objectives of the country's development plans such as the Growth and Transformation Plan. His Excellency’s speech was followed by PHE EC's Program Officer, Ato Ahmed Mohammad, who in his presentation showed the linkages between food security, climate change, and population and stressed the need for using family planning strategies to enable families to plan their families and to adapt to the challenges that climate change presents. Ato Ahmed’s piece was followed by Ato Negash's presentation which noted the opportunities present in the new Charities and Societies directive. Group discussions followed where members discussed strategic ways of developing joint proposals, developing strong and effective partnerships, strengthening memberships through the channeling of funds, developing and strengthening joint monitoring and evaluation and strengthening partnerships with the universities.
The chairman of the GA, Ato Afowerke Hailu of Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA), GA vice chairman Ato Amare Worku, and GA secretary W/zo Beletu Mengistu from Integrated Service for Aids Prevention and Support Organization (ISAPSO), officially opened the General Assembly meeting which was followed by the board report presented by Dr. Yetnayet Asfaw. The annual activity and financial report was then presented by Ato Negash Teklu and the audit report was presented by an external Chartered Certified Accountant (UK) Authorized Auditor (ETH), Ato Getachew Wakjira and Co. The first day ended with two film shows: one on Gambela’s Hidden Treasures produced by Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and another on stories about climate and family from women around the world entitled Weathering Changes produced by Population Action International.
On the second Day, his Excellency Ato Meseret G/Mariam, Ethiopian Charities Societies Agency Director, honored PHE EC with his presence and gave a presentation on the Charities and Societies Directives which was followed by a vibrant question and answer session with the intention to clarify doubts and confusions regarding the 30:70 budget allocations for different types of organizations.