AWiB WOE 2017: Excellence in Action

This year marked the 6th anniversary of AWIB WOE. The annual Gala Dinner kicked off with the arrival of three out of the five nominees as two were unable to attend. Upon arrival Anna Getaneh, Ellene Mocria and Professor Yalemtsehay Mekonnen were greeted and welcomed by the many attendees. Shortly after, there was an informal Q&A facilitated by the MC of the evening, Metasebia Shewaye Yilma. The dynamic Q&A session gave both the men and women in attendance a chance to ask thought provoking and humorous questions all at the same time. The session ended with the MC taking a selfie with nominees and inviting the guests to take a snapshot with the nominees and to get to know them up close and personal. 

Thereafter, the formal celebration started with the guests being seated at the Lalibela Hall followed by the grand entrance of the nominees escorted by AWiB’s board members. As each nominee entered the hall, the MC highlighted their respective achievements while the attendees gave a warm welcome. The atmosphere was electric and the air thick with excitement for the evening program to proceed. The MC set the agenda for the evening, starting the program by introducing Ethiopian Women Lawyer Association (EWLA) to the audience through a well-produced documentary by Impala Communication. The documentary depicted the reason why the association was formed, its trial and tribulations, and the association’s current standing. In recognition of EWLA’s contribution to the community and country, AWiB presented EWLA the Institutional Excellence award alongside a monetary prize of 100,000 Birr.

In accordance with the evening program, the dynamic Habesha Traditional Dance Group gave a performance that showcased the multi-faceted traditional and modern Ethiopian dance routines that kept the attendees invigorated for the highly anticipated follow-up viewing of WOE 2017 featured film. The film captured the true essence of each nominee’s hard work, core values and journey to success. The audience was captivated and moved by what they saw and heard, inspired to be in the presence of such amazing and accomplished women.

In line with the evening’s theme of excellence, the attendees were treated to a lavish and mouthwatering three course meal while being serenaded by the lovely Hibir Violinist Quartet. As dinner progressed to have desert, the WOE 2017 nominees were invited to the stage to be celebrated. Subsequently, keynote speaker for the evening Tseday Asrat, CEO of Kaldis Coffee, shared her many invaluable life experiences and personal anecdotes that resonated with the many audience members.

The keynote speaker was followed by Roman N. Kifle, PhD, the selected Judge Representative, who eloquently described the rigorous processes the judges had to follow through to make their selection for WOE 2017 titleholder.  Her remarks clearly showed how challenging it was to select a single candidate as all the nominees were equally deserving of the honor in their own rights. 

As the audience waited with anticipation, the keynote speaker for the evening took to the podium to announce the WOE 2017 titleholder while in the presence of the pervious WOE 2016 titleholder W/o Tsehai RöSHLI to hand out the prestigious award. From one of the five, the WOE 2017 titleholder went to Anna Getaneh. She was also awarded a 100,000 Birr prize that would be donated to a charity of her choice. The audience gave a roaring applause and standing ovation as she gave a heartfelt acceptance speech expressing her gratitude for being considered for such a nomination and awarded the title WOE 2017 in her home country.

All in attendance left the ball room buzzing with vigor, ready to make their mark in the world but not before acknowledging AWiB for providing a platform where grassroots efforts are recognized and celebrated to the highest standard. The event was executed to perfection, the existing and new board members worked together seamlessly and in style to execute an intricate but robust gala dinner that exhibited excellence in action. AWiB hosts this event with great humility and honor to be able to showcase Ethiopian Role Models to the community at large in the hopes of creating a culture of appreciation and recognition for individuals that aspire to make positive changes in their communities. Each year, the WOE gala dinner has surpassed the year before, leaving attendees and planners alike with eagerness and enthusiasm for the next WOE 2018 celebration.

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