Rebecca is just back from an extraordinarily uplifting trip to Ethiopia. As part of the trip, she had the honor of meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed in his office amidst the old palace grounds, part of which the government is turning into a beautiful public park and museum. Prime Minister Abiy spoke movingly about his vision for Ethiopia overall and his focus on educating youth in particular. Rebecca described the Haile-Manas Academy and its mission and inquired about other opportunities for Ethiopia Education Initiatives to support the education of young Ethiopian men and women. The Prime Minister was encouraging throughout and the visit was most inspiring to us.
Later in the week, Rebecca had the privilege of hosting former Prime Minister Ato Hailemariam Desalegn and former First Lady Roman Tesfaye for a tour of the school site. The former Prime Minister, an engineer by training, asked technical questions about materials and equipment. The former First Lady and Rebecca also discussed the former First Lady’s school lunch initiative and other opportunities to support Ethiopian youth.
Rebecca also had an important meeting with Ato Gedu Andargachew, formerly Amhara region president and now Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ato Gedu remains a committed supporter of the Academy and EEI’s broader education mission.
Construction on campus is moving ahead at a strong pace. All the two story buildings have their upper floors now and the first brick-red roof has been installed. The pop of color enlivens the site and makes it easier to envision how the campus will look when construction is complete. We are grateful to the team at Rama Construction for their continued diligence and focus.
As we share these exciting developments with you, our friends and supporters, we are reminded that these accomplishments are yours: building this school could not have been possible without your gifts, large and small. Thank you again for your encouragement, time and support.