CEO Suzman Discuss Gates Foundation’s Activities with Govt Officials

ADDIS ABABA – Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or BMGF , held discussions with senior government officials including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The discussions were held during his five day-long visit to Ethiopia starting from April 22.

In a post-trip statement, BMGF said Suzman engaged with foundation partners and grantees, “focusing on addressing health challenges and fostering economic opportunities for the Ethiopian people.”

“This visit underscored the Gates Foundation’s dedication to collaborating closely with communities and leaders to advance solutions that accelerate progress and enhance lives throughout Africa,” the BMGF statement reads.

During his stay here, Suzman visited different stakeholders involved in the Foundation’s work in Ethiopia, in addition to his meeting with high-level policymakers all the way to individuals benefiting from BMGF’s initiatives.

On Wednesday April 24, Suzman flew to the Sidamo region where he visited Wochabo Basic Health Post and observed the essential work of Health Extension Workers, emphasizing immunizations, family planning, and maternal and child care.

He also interacted with Village Health Leaders, pivotal in community-health worker collaboration as well as married adolescent girls benefiting from the Smart Start, a nationwide Ministry of Health-led program which empowers them to pursue educational and entrepreneurial goals while managing family planning effectively.

Upon returning to Addis Ababa, Suzman held discussion on “gender transformative outcomes in agriculture” with State Minister of Agriculture Sofiya Kassa with representatives from Agriculture Transformation Institute (ATI), ACC and CARE Ethiopia in attendance.

The CEO met with Yodahe Zemichael, Executive Director of National ID Program, on Thursday evening to better understand the newly proposed government initiative and the interplay with BMGF.

On the same day, Suzman attended a Government Leaders Roundtable involving Justice minister Dr. Gedion Timothewos, Planning and Development Minister , Fitsum Assefa. State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign.

The round table also attended by Hanna Arayaselassie, Commissioner of Ethiopian Investment Commission; and Frehiwot Tamiru, CEO of Ethio-Telecom; and Mamo Mihretu, Governor of National Bank of Ethiopia.

This roundtable was centered around conversing with government officials on policies affecting the Ethiopian people. The Foundation says it gave the opportunity to further align its work in Ethiopia with the government’s priorities.

Finally, Suzman also met with Prime minister Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia. “This meeting allowed them to discuss the work the Foundation has done in Ethiopia since 2000 and what the way forward holds,” the BMGF states.

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