Recap of the first EWiB speaker’s Forum, Dec 2nd,2010

Ladies, I am impressed by our ability to pull it off– the first speaker’s forum — last night. But I didn’t expect any less from us women. Remember what Ken said last night? I think he was implying that we women are the machine to move the world in the right direction. I believe it and that is not “feminism”, but an objective assessment — nurturers are always sensitive to others’ needs and women are it. His speech that included statistics from developed nations, in particular Norway, of their successful utilization of their other half, the women, supports the above statement. And it is up to us women to come together, and support each other to hold half the sky. We need to do our fair share for our nation and her children.

Ken also shared what the Bank has planned to do to include us women businesses in the Ethiopian Government’s new GTP plan; however, ambitious this five year plan might be, the Bank is taking part, as expected, and in order to help out with this plan, Ken personally wants to hold … shall we say focus group type…EWiB could be a great platform for this transformation. He suggested we could plan for another forum such as this and that he would bring his team and even the Prime Minister if we so desire. He is willing and eager to listen to what we have to say and learn from us. I also have a feeling he might want this as a personal mission during his tenure in Ethiopia – to help out the private sector as much as he as an individual with a position can. It can’t get any better and we should take advantage of it. I was also proud and proven right by our ability to match his eloquent and intelligent presentation by our dialoguing skills and directing him to our true needs without the flowery but empty speeches we hear somewhere else. That’s EWiB it its true sense!

EWiB’s plan is to have a speaker’s forum every two months or so. These forums could take a number of different formats…group discussion such as what we had at our November meeting….why we can’t work together….I suggest for the future we all come with suggestions as how these forums should look like and be conducted. For our next speaker’s forum, if that’s what we choose, I suggest Brutawit of Zemen Bank. I believe Brutawit exemplifies EWiB– quietly successful and comfortable in her skin. We have a lot to learn from such a woman. Accordingly, the next forum in whatever shape would be March 2011.

Our next meeting is January 6th, 2011. Roman and I will discuss the agenda and will let you know. Azeb and Saba (the queens) had volunteered to give the 15 mins “member’s profile” presentation, if the speaker’s didn’t pan out; the next meeting should include that. Please feel free to bring friends, who could eventually join our group, with you at the next meeting.

We had more than 60 reservations and did pretty close to that figure and I have to say all went well. Hooray!! And thanks to our Romish for offering her beautiful place so we could have a familiar and comfortable place for our first open gathering. The food cost 3828 birr, vat and service, inclusive; we added a small tip for the servers that came out to 4000 birr. 20 of us each chipped in 200 birr that came out to be 4000 even. Our dear Roman paid an extra 100 birr as a tip. We never included the tip other than the 10% service charge; we will next time.

My beautiful friends, I thank you for all your efforts to make the evening successful and see you next year!


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