The former Ethiopian Prime Minister and Chair of the HRF, H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, met with Dr. Nigist Haile, a member of the HRF’s board of trustees and the founder and executive director of the Center for Accelerated Women Economic Empowerment (CAWEE).

Their conversation focused on ways to make women beneficiaries of the African Free Trade Agreement, notably in Ethiopia. As a continent, CAWEE has plans to support such an effort and is about to launch an e-commerce platform integrating Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda. It is envisaged that this would play a crucial role in economically empowering women in these three nations by broadening their access to electronic and online commerce.

Since its inception in 2004, the Center for Accelerated Women Economic Empowerment (CAWEE) has been the leading implementer of the Former First Lady Roman Tesfaye’s economic empowerment program in Ethiopia.  According to Dr. Nigist, the business model of CAWEE in building the capacity of women entrepreneurs through training, business counseling, product development, mentoring, and information sharing has been replicated over the country. CAWEE also plans to expand the former First Lady Roman Tesfaye’s economic empowerment initiative to the African Continent by designating H.E. Hailemarim as its champion.

It is revealed that the CAWEE will open Bureau in the USA with the intent to broaden its reach and obtain more resources to economically empower women in Africa.

Finally, the former prime minister of Ethiopia, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, has accepted the position of CAWEE Champion, making him a key supporter in promoting African Free Trade Area Agreement with a focus on women.


Hailemariam & Roman Foundation

April 2023, Addis Ababa