Thursday November 27th – Addis Ababa

I have managed to spend the last few days bumming food, drink and
money of the Connect Ethiopia group that are in town presenting
workshops and establishing business contacts with Ethiopian
organisations. Founded by Brody Sweeney and Philip Lee, Connect
Ethiopia has a strong business focus and believes that building
profitable local enterprises is the best way for Ethiopia to pull
itself out of the cycle of poverty it finds itself in. Over the
course of the week I met people from the medical and IT equipment
area, management consultants, insurance, marketing and tourism
experts, and 10 lawyers (apparently there are only 800 Ethiopian
lawyers out of a total population of 80 million people – some might
say ‘paradise on Earth’) all giving of their time, money and expertise
to help this country in very practical ways. There was even a women
from Microsoft who was actually very nice and did not have two heads.
Tonight was their last dinner (at ‘Delicious Dishes’) followed by some
dancing at the Harlem Jazz Cafe on the Bole Road – thanks for all
their kind hospitality.

During this trip I also met Philip O’Dwyer for the first time.
Philip, an ex-Insurance man and one of the main stays of Connect
Ethiopia, presided over the Camara’s graduation ceremeony in Adama in
July of this year and has been a long time supporter of our
organisation. Philip is now spending increasing amounts of time in
Ethiopia has agreed to sit on the Board of Hamara as a Camara
representative (a major coup for us).