The 10th Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum & Award Dinner
in the U.S. Yohannes Assefa
Phone: 202-999-7369
Email: yohannes@theethiopianamerican.com
in Ethiopia Omer Redi
+251-91-260-2178 (Ethiopia)

10th Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum to be held on August 1st, in Washington
Pioneer Diaspora Person of the Year Awards Dinner comes to Addis for first time

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (August 10, 2015):-The 10th Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum (Forum)'s Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Person of Year Awards Dinner will be held on August 13, 2015, 6:30 to 10:30PM at the Sheraton Addis, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Awards Dinner is coming to Addis Ababa for the first time since it was started in 2011 and all the four previous Awards were held in Washington DC. This year's honorees, Dr. Akeza Teame and Ato Tamrat Bekele, are two pioneers who have set an example to others with their path setting investments in Ethiopia's healthcare services industry. Their work has created jobs for hundreds of Ethiopians and saved the lives of thousands of people in Ethiopia, and indeed, East Africa. The Award ceremony will be held in the presence of officials of the United States Embassy in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Government. The Forum this year also will recognize and bestow special awards of service to Zemedeneh Negatu, Henok Assefa, Yusuf Reja, Manny Amare and Omer Redi for their important contribution to the success of the Forum over the past 10 years.

This year’s Forum was truly a special one -- it was the 10th year anniversary of the Forum and was held successfully with over 200 participants. Thought provoking and insightful discussions were held during the conference. Participants also used the opportunity to exchange ideas and network with speakers and others to widen their knowledge and experience. Much has happened since the first days of the Forum where a few businessmen and professionals under the banner of The Ethiopian American, an online magazine, organized a conference to promote entrepreneurship in the Diaspora community. Over the years, the Forum has attracted and touched over 10,000 entrepreneurs and professionals through its various activities it directly or indirectly organized, including a trade fare during the 5th year anniversary where we brought 15 Ethiopian business who cater to the Diaspora community to Washington DC, held various business plan competitions and organized Private Equity Pitch to connect businesses with investors.

Indeed, ten years is an important milestone in the life of any organization. As part of the 10th year celebration, the Forum will hold various regional consultations and meetings across the United States. The first of these meetings was held in November 2014 in New York and we plan to hold another such meeting in Los Angeles in September. As such, the Forum will celebrate this unique and important milestone by holding the annual events both in Washington DC, the home of the Forum, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“The 10th year anniversary is a special mile stone for the Forum and all of its members, supporters and sponsors. Hence, the Forum and Awards Dinner will be celebrated in a special way befitting the occasion,” said Yohannes Assefa, Executive Director of the Forum.

This year’s Forum will focus on “Investing in Ethiopia’s Untapped Healthcare Sector.” Speakers from the medical equipment, laboratory, pharmaceutical and medical input manufacturers will discuss the state of the healthcare business in Ethiopia and the opportunities it presents to investors. The annual special print issue of The Ethiopian American also covers the intricate business elements of the various healthcare sectors in Ethiopia and immense potential the sector presents to investors.

“You cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy workforce”, said Dr. Akeza Teame, found and Medical Director of St. Yared Hospital and the American Medical Center. Indeed, the importance of the healthcare sector as a business and an important building block of development sometimes get lost.

“With almost 100 Million people, Ethiopia’s healthcare sector has tremendous potential for investors and that’s why chose this sector year”, added Yohannes Assefa.

The 2015 Ethiopian Diaspora Pioneer Businessperson of the Year Award will be in Addis on August 13 at the Sheraton Addis as part of the first Diaspora Week celebration in Addis Ababa. The Selection Committee is currently in the process of voting and an awardee will be announced soon. Past Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Person of the Year awardee include, Zemedeneh Nigatu, Managing Partner, Ernst & Young; Tadiow G. Belete, CEO, Boston Partners; Ermias Amelga, former CEO of Access Capital, Amman Fissehazion, CEO of Ethiopian Broadcasting Service (EBS) in recognition of his pioneering leadership in establishing the first Ethiopian commercial global satellite Television company; Munir Duri, CEO, Kifiya Financial Technologies PLC and Daniel Gizaw, CEO, dVentus PLC.

The Forum and Awards Dinners are expected to attract a large number of Ethiopians from the Diaspora and Ethiopia as well as American businesses and professionals who are interested in business and investment opportunities in Ethiopian and the U.S. We have invited and expect officials from the United States and Ethiopian Government to speak both at the Forum and Awards Dinner.

The Forum will be covered by EBS and will be viewed by 26 million Ethiopians all over the world.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Airlines, Ernst & Young Ethiopia, The George Washington University, Kifiya Financial Technologies PLC, Altour Tech, Info Mind Solutions, EBS, 251 Communication, Precise Consult International, Vivid Plc, and Terra Global Energy are some of the sponsors of this year’s Forum.

Photos: Past Events

The 2015 Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Persons of the Year Award will be given to Dr. Akeza Teame, Founder & Medical Director, St. Yared Hospital and the American Medical Center, and Ato Tamrat Bekele, Founder & CEO of International Clinical Laboratories. The Pioneer Award is bestowed up on Diaspora entrepreneurs who have introduced innovation(s) in business that have significantly and positively affected business practices with long-term results in Ethiopia or in the Diaspora. This year's Awards Dinner will be held in Ethiopia for first time on August 13, 2015 at the Sheraton Addis from 6.30PM to 10.30PM.

Akeza_Teame Tamrat_Bekele

The Forum will also recognize and Award the following individuals for their contribution and dedication to the Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum: 1. Zemedeneh Negatu, Managing Partner, E&Y Ethiopia 2. Amanuel "Manny" Amare, President, Altour Tech 3. Henok Assefa, Managing Director, Precise Consult International 4. Yusuf Reja, CEO, Info Mind Solutions, and 4. Omer Redi, Managing Director, Ifriqiyah Media & Communications.

Zemedeneh Negatu Henok Assefa Yusuf Reja
Manny Amare Omer Redi

In 2014, the Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Person Award was given to Munir Duri, CEO, Kifiya Financial Technologies PLC and Daniel Gezaw, two phenomenal entrepreneurs have led the way in bringing innovation in their respective fields of business. The 2015 Pioneer Ethiopian Diaspora Business Person Awards Committee will announce the winner of this year's Award very soon. Stay tuned

Date: August 1, 2015
Venue: The George Washington University (Jack Morton Auditorium)
Theme: "Investing in Ethiopia's Untapped Healthcare Sector"

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Note to Editors:
About The Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum

The Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum is organized by The Ethiopian American, a US based Ethiopian Diaspora business and investment group with offices in New York. The Ethiopian American was first established as non-partisan, professional business publication in 2004 by a group of young Diaspora professionals to create a positive and non-political platform devoted to the issue of business and investment in the Ethiopian Diaspora community.

In June 2005, the magazine organized the first Ethiopian Diaspora Business Forum (the “Forum”) with the generous financial support of USAID/VEGA Ethiopian AGOA + and several Diaspora businesses. Over the years, the Forum served as a key platform for Diaspora discussions on many important issues such as trade and investment in Ethiopia and the United States, the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), business environment and related regulatory affairs. Seven years later, the Forum has grown and continues to grow strong in every aspect by empowering the Diaspora business community with valuable information and enabling the community to participate in Ethiopia’s economy and development in a meaningful way.

This year, organizers are publishing the fifth annual full length event magazine covering many issues of interest for the Diaspora business community. The magazine will be distributed for free both in the U.S. and Ethiopia. As in the past three years, the Forum will also be covered by EBS.