Meet AWiB’s new board members

Desset Abebe (President)

Desset is a true believer that all human beings are born equal in dignity and deserve to live their best life possible. This principle has guided her life both in terms of choosing a career and learning path. She always strives to find ways to substantially enhance both hers and other people’s lives and seek to add value to the space she occupies.  Desset believes in the power of communities as well as individuals to transform the world for the good. Her motivation in life is to witness strong sisterhood communities that truly focus on building each other. Hence the decision to join AWIB and to serve as part of its Board where she can have the opportunity to implement some of the sisterhood programs she feels so important.

Desset worked in the public service particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commissions before joining her current Organization, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women)  where she’s been working for the past  eight years. Through her career she focused on empowering communities to claim their rights and benefit from the same while enhancing the awareness of duty bearers of their responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill. Empowering women to lead and enable them to claim their right full space in public life is how she sees her role in her organization.

Her education–law and life passion towards unleashing the human potential drives her work. Desset earned her first degree in Law from Haromaya University (LLB), Ethiopia. Human Rights and Democratization in Africa in Pretoria University (LLM), South Africa and Political Science and International Relations in Addis Ababa University (BA).

Samrawit Meressa(V/President)

Samrawit is a Production Managing Director on Titilo Show broadcasted on DSTV that produces reality show for children with experienced and accomplished team. Samrawit is also a team member of a family owned jewelry business, Zoskales Diamond. She serves as an assistant manager in Zoskales. Samrawit is passionate about Jewelry.  She grew up watching her father design and sell jewelries. The exposure helped Samrawit develop an eye for incredible and unforgettable pieces. She trains to develop her innate skill for jewelry and fulfilling her vision of creating pieces that are relatable and memorable. Samrawit believes in the uniqueness of Ethiopian jewelry and craftsmanship that goes centuries back. She wants to tell untold stories using jewelry as a tool. Her mission is to create a colony of jewelers that will make Ethiopian Jewelry outshine globally.

Samrawit has played a crucial role in AWiB’s sustainability after Covid 19 by leading a dedicated team in fundraising campaign” Fund for AWiB” (FFA) that used different programs and schemes to help AWiB survive financially in 2021. This experience has affirmed to her that she is a strong leader who has the skills to delegate to get the job done and bring out talents to the AWiB circle.

Throughout her life’s journey, Samrawit has learned that excellence means being honest to self and others. Honesty creates trust and hence customer loyalty. Samrawit believe this self-discovery helps her be the best version of herself.

Haregeweyin (Hareg) Amsale

Hareg is a Banker–Trade Finance CPC, Manager. She loves what she does and is renowned for her work in the International Banking Businesses.  She is married with two daughters.  Hareg holds an MBA.  Her first degree is in accounting and marketing and she earned a diploma in banking and finance.

Hareg’s passion is continuous learning and personal development. She values greatly knowledge, honesty, friendship, teamwork, and respect and appreciation for diversity. Her hobbies are reading, listening to the radio especially about social and national issues. Her interest lies in understanding human psychology and sociology issues. Her close association with the Human Resource Department has taught her to value human capital as the most important resource to the industry’s sustainability.

Sociable and a positive thinker, Hareg has overcome many challenges in life. Her motto, ‘’Tomorrow is another day’’ helps her accept and overcome life’s harshest realities.  Hareg is a proud member of AWiB. Joining its board, she feels is a way of giving back to an association that helped her build her self-confidence and expanded her knowledge.

As a board member, she is committed to dedicate her time, experience and knowledge for its growth.

I clearly understand the purpose of my creation, my value and contribution for my surrounding and my country” through AWiB she feels she can achieve her life’s purpose.

Kemer Temam

Kemer is the Managing Director and Co-founder at Barsebe Industries, a paper and plastic products manufacturing company. She has vast experience in business development and management, product development, and financial management. She also has extensive knowledge in the import and export industry working as an exports manager at Yesea Import and export company.

She strives to lead a purposeful life of service with a contribution to the community. She is passionate about continuous growth and change in herself and others, especially women. She has been working with AWIB for the past three years as a board and president to develop women leaders in the country by creating a platform and an opportunity for women to come together, share their experiences, find their inner potential, and transform themselves.

Mahlet Messay Wada

Mahlet is a woman who is always eager to learn new things. Mahlet grew up in Sweden but always wanted to come back to the Ethiopia she never stopped missing. She labels her second home as a land of opportunity which she was the beneficiary. She studied Media Technology (Media Engineer). After graduation, she realized that maybe she should have studied something that was close to her heart. She realized that her calling was to help people become the best they were created to be. The best way to do that was to study psychology and studied to become a cognitive behavioral therapist. She worked with vulnerable people for a long time and realized that it was time to use her broad experience and start something new in Ethiopia. Moving to Ethiopia and helping her home country grow into the potential it has was one of the long-time dreams she had since childhood. She moved to Ethiopia in 2018 and opened a kindergarten in 2019 called Knowledge Tree School in Ayat that is growing stronger.

The move to Ethiopia was not easy, but she persevered because she did not want to give up on her homeland. Mahlet’s plan is to open grade schools all over Ethiopia. Mahlet says her life’s experience has made her the person she is today and she has no regrets. She believes life is for those who strive to be better each time and try to teach others what they have learned. “Pass on what you have learned, this way you learn more”.

Shani Senbetta

Shani Senbetta is one of 115 of the world’s most promising leaders under the age of 40 – who have been invited to join the World Economic Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders.  Nominated from around the world, the young leaders are assessed according to rigorous selection criteria and have demonstrated their commitment to serving society.  They are united by the belief that the urgent problems of today present an opportunity to forge a better future across sectors, generations and borders.

Shani Senbetta is founder and CEO of the social enterprise Kidame Mart, Ethiopia’s largest last-mile distribution network, empowering rural female micro-entrepreneurs to earn incomes by selling high impact goods door-to-door in their communities.  Shani is also COO of Zeleman Communications, Advertising and Production, the largest communications and advertising company in Ethiopia with over 120 full-time employees.

Shani has a BA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an MBA from Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar.  She is passionate about addressing social problems with innovative private sector solutions.  She is a tireless advocate for policy change and public-private partnerships to enable social enterprises and rural women to thrive.

Shani joins fellow Ethiopians previously chosen as Young Global Leaders including Liya Kebede, WHO Ambassador, Samuel Alemayehu, Director of Cambridge Industries, Tewodros Ashenafi, Chairman of Southwest Holdings, and Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Founder of SoleRebels.

Siham Ayele

Siham Ayele runs a national youth employment project- “”- a platform that aims to develop the soft skills of young graduates to make them competent to join the workforce and as a result curb youth unemployment.

Siham finds comfort in books and keeping journals. Siham, as a political science and international relations scholar, found her passion in addressing the socio-economic problems related with youth unemployment. Her enthusiasm and desire led her to current position to practice her love for knowledge-sharing. She believes the youth has untapped potential but no system to unlock their potential or dreams. helps screen young female leaders for the Meri leadership & mentorship program. This mentorship program is all the more rewarding for Siham as she went through a similar program during her early collage years organized by AWiB.

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