Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Appoints Ethiopia Representative

Ethiopian-American Haddis Tadesse has been appointed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's representative in Ethiopia. (Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Monday, February 27, 2012

New York (TADIAS) — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the appointment of Haddis Tadesse as the foundation’s first official representative in Ethiopia. Ethiopian-born Haddis Tadesse, who has worked as an external relations officer for the foundation since 2007, will assume the new position later this month in Addis Ababa.

“Tadesse, who grew up in Ethiopia and was educated in the United States, will serve as the foundation’s liaison to the federal government of Ethiopia and the African Union,” the organization said in a press release. “He also will help the foundation strengthen its relationships with health and development partners operating in Ethiopia, including donor agencies, international NGOs and local Ethiopian organizations.”

“We invest more than half of our resources in Africa, and we want to build closer and more effective relationships with valued partners on the ground,” said foundation co-chair Melinda Gates. “Ethiopia is making great progress in health and economic growth, and we hope to support these efforts by appointing Haddis, who possesses deep knowledge of the country, its challenges, and its huge potential.”

Ethiopia is an important focus country for the foundation, which currently provides more than USD $265 million in funding to partner organizations that are operating health and development programs across the nation. This includes funding to help small farmers increase food production, as well as grants to expand access to childhood vaccines, maternal and child health programs, financial services for the poor, safe water and sanitation, and other effective, low-cost innovations.

“I am very excited to be the foundation’s first representative in Ethiopia,” said Tadesse. “I am especially thrilled to have an opportunity to help expand access to health and development in the land where I was raised.”

Tadesse earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington in Seattle. He began working at the foundation as an advisor to the agricultural development program and has recently served as an external relations officer, managing the foundation’s engagement with key stakeholders in Africa.

Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

28 Responses to “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Appoints Ethiopia Representative”

  1. 1 MO Feb 27th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Very cool! Good luck!

  2. 2 Maya Feb 27th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Good job! Congratulations! Hope you will be able to consider ideas that could help most vulnerable in the Ethiopian society such as children and women and health and education in particular such as focus on new techniques as well to help farmers in Ethiopia grow more food of their own, organic food and earn more money; new tools to prevent and treat deadly diseases; new methods to help students and teachers in the classroom.

  3. 3 Inspiring Feb 27th, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Congratulations! Good luck on your new job!

  4. 4 S.N. Feb 27th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    This is very alarming but not surprising. At the 2010 TED conference, Bill Gates openly stated, “if we do a really great job on new vaccines… we could lower [world population] by 10 or 15 percent!” How can vaccines be used to control world population? Will they be used to make specific populations susceptible to future pandemics? Will they lower fertility? Or simply kill us slowly?

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests heavily in multinational, chemical giant Monsanto (commonly referred to as “the world’s most evil corporation”). Monsanto is the company behind agent orange (an herbicide, which led to over 400,000 deaths and the disfigurement of 500,000+ babies born with birth defects in Vietnam alone) and genetically modified seeds(“suicide seeds”). What do genetically modified seeds mean to farmers in developing countries? Bill Gates will tell you that GM seeds are needed to fight starvation. The truth is that these overpriced and ineffective seeds produce sterile crops. That means farmers have to buy seeds from Monsanto for EVERY harvest!No money? Oh well! The farmers and the populations that depend on them can starve to death for all Monsanto and the Bill & Melinda foundation care! Should the vaccines fail at population control, this method should get the job of population control done.

  5. 5 koster Feb 28th, 2012 at 5:33 am

    It is very unfortuante, “friendly tyrants” like Meles Zenawi are assisted to extend their reign of terror whereas leaders who are willing to serve their country and people are considered as enemies.

    Fascist Italian roads built in Ethiopia are still in use and it is good to invest in education, agriculture and health but tyrany is not a prerequisite for development. It is also possible to have FREEDOM and development simultaneously. If there is a will, there is a way.

  6. 6 Meron Feb 28th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Congrats yene wondim! Don’t listen to the nay sayers. Given that most of us are still struggling to get a job in the rebounding economy, I would say this is an awesome gig! Do you need help? :-)

  7. 7 Ayne Feb 28th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest and most generous and transparently operated private foundation in the world. It is based only on the interests and passions of the Gates family, Bill and Melinda Gates. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance health care and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. Anybody who tells you otherwise, is pre-Google age. I am certain of that.

  8. 8 Friend Feb 28th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Bravo Haddis!! Congrats bro!

  9. 9 Herper Feb 28th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    There is a point in the connection between Gates foundation and the Monsanto company. In the past they said its seeds were evil. Now the charge is that seeds are too good. But it is all conspiracy theory, these people have no hard evidence of what they are talking about.

  10. 10 Melat Bisrat Feb 29th, 2012 at 12:01 am

    This a significant achievement for Mr. Taddese. It’s also a milestone in the Foundation’s work in Africa.

    Much love, respect and admiration!


  11. 11 S.N. Feb 29th, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Ayne: The information was/is out there (pre-Google, post-Google) if you’d bother to look. Denial is a strange beast! Bill Gates wants to curb CO2 emissions by reducing world population! This is a concept he has promoted strongly and openly on many occasions!

    Herper: please check out Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey Smith.. The bottom line is that GMO’s have never been proven safe for human consumption. Some GMO foods have been proven in laboratory tests to cause cancer, sterility, miscarriages, seizures and even death!!

    Bill Gates and his foundation masquerade as benign philanthropists and pretend to help the weak and disadvantaged while accelerating their demise!

  12. 12 Mulatu Feb 29th, 2012 at 2:00 am

    A hearty congratulations to Mr. Haddis Taddese. Etios are coming up!!!

  13. 13 S.N. Feb 29th, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Bill Gates, Monsanto, and eugenics: How one of the world’s wealthiest man is actively promoting a corporate takeover of global agriculture
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

    Ethan Huff reports on the startling links between Bill Gates, Monsanto, eugenics and the depopulation agenda:

  14. 14 Tazabi Feb 29th, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @S.N needs to relax.

  15. 15 S.N. Feb 29th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Tazabi: I salute you if you can manage to relax while watching Bill Gates & co take the “Humanitarian” Neo-colonialization of Africa to new heights.

    Africa is not a place for GMOs – Maina (African Biodiversity Network)
    By Gift Chanda
    Tue 12 July 2011, 18:50 CAT

    Monsanto Out to Monopolize African Agriculture
    June 13, 2011 By Minda Magero

  16. 16 Tazabi Mar 1st, 2012 at 7:43 am

    @S.N the reason why I say you need to relax is because you are making much ado about nothing. The question is what are you doing personally to help Africa? If Gates Foundation & Monsanto are collaborating to ending Africa’s hunger, then these are valuable efforts. The question we should be asking is why the need for such philanthropic intervention arose in the first place? Could it be because we failed as a continent? Indeed, “denial is a strange beast!” Africa exported 1.3 million tons of food a year in the 1960s, but today it imports nearly 25 percent of its food. What the Gates Foundation is doing is using its private money to fund activities that should have been our responsibility in the first place. We should either put up or shut up.

  17. 17 Herper Mar 1st, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I am somewhat sympethetic to S.N’s position in a sense that his argument is based on facts, but misplaced facts for this discussion since its has nothing to do with the appointment of Mr. Taddese as the Gates’ rep in Addis.

    The preference for private sector contributions to agriculture shapes the Gates Foundation’s funding priorities. In a number of grants, for instance, one corporation appears repeatedly–Monsanto. To some extent, this simply reflects Monsanto’s domination of industrial agricultural research. There are, however, notable synergies between Gates and Monsanto: both are corporate titans that have made millions through technology, in particular through the aggressive defense of proprietary intellectual property. Both organizations are suffused by a culture of expertise, and there’s some overlap between them. Robert Horsch, a former senior vice president at Monsanto, is, for instance, now interim director of Gates’s agricultural development program and head of the science and technology team. This isn’t surprising in light of the fact that Monsanto and Gates both embrace a model of agriculture that sees farmers suffering a deficit of knowledge–in which seeds, like little tiny beads of software, can be programmed to transmit that knowledge for commercial purposes. This assumes that Green Revolution technologies–including those that substitute for farmers’ knowledge–are not only desirable but neutral. Knowledge is never neutral, however: it inevitably carries and influences relations of power.

  18. 18 Seattle Abesha Mar 1st, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Proud of you Haddis Tadesse!

  19. 19 FBM Mar 1st, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to bringing innovations in health, development, and learning to the global community.

  20. 20 Happy Mar 1st, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Congratulations to Haddis on Your New Job – The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and doing well whatever you can do. Good luck!!


  21. 21 Gideon Mar 1st, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Bill & Melinda Gates are amazing human beings and great Americans and responsible world citizens. There is nothing wrong in having ambitions to save millions of lives, to eradicate killer diseases and to wage war on poverty and hunger around the world. That’s an idea worth celebrating!!

  22. 22 Mufti Meta Mar 1st, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t know who is luckier, Haddis or the Gates Foundation? It sounds like a win win to me!! Congrats!!

  23. 23 S.N. Mar 1st, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Herper: I beg to differ on your point that the issues I’ve raised have nothing to do with the appointment of Mr. Haddis Tadesse as Gate’s representative. Haddis will be IMPLEMENTING Gates’ agenda. I have a problem with Gates’ agenda.

    Tazabi: I agree with you that WE have failed as a continent. That’s why the likes of Gates have managed to infest Africa so easily under the guise of humanitarian aid. FYI – I have tried to do my part and will continue to do so. I also consider it my obligation as an Ethiopian to air my concerns about the devastatingly inept and corrupt leadership in Ethiopia as well as the continued proliferation of AID organizations and the simultaneous amplification of Ethiopia’s problems.

  24. 24 Herper Mar 1st, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    S.N: Point well taken. Just stay away from conspiracy theories. The wingnuts or the professional partisans, the unhinged activists and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re the people who always try to divide rather than unite.

  25. 25 S.N. Mar 1st, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Hereper: Who’s talking about conspiracies here? Bill Gates himself says to all who’ll listen that his priority is POPULATION REDUCTION VIA THE USE OF VACCINES (and whatever other means his foundation can fund, I presume). It would be delusional of me to hope that Gates’ motive for expanding his foundation’s footing in Ethiopia is rescuing poor, starving, helpless Ethiopians. I believe it’s quite the contrary. There are plenty of scientific papers for and against GMOs. Likewise with vaccines. Have you read any of these scientific manuscripts? I have.

  26. 26 Gobez Haddis Mar 1st, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    We’ve heard these gripes about Gates Foundation before.

  27. 27 James Brown Mar 20th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Excellent selection. I wish Mr. Taddesse and the Gates Foundation the greatest success!

  28. 28 Belay Misganaw Jun 22nd, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I wish Mr. Taddesse and the foundation be success, and It would be delusional of me to hope that Gates’ motive for expanding your foundation’s footing in Ethiopia is rescuing poor, starving, helpless Ethiopians.

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