Interview with Addisalem Asrat Kebede - Coordinator for Livestock and Disaster Risk Reduction in Turmi, Ethiopia

For nearly four years Addisalem has been working for VSF Germany in Ethiopia as the Livestock and Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator for the EU RESET-II Project in South Omo Zone. He is a trained Animal Health Technician with a background in Economics. He has previously worked in various capacities for the Ethiopian Catholic Church, Save the Children Norway, FARM Africa and other organisations. During his time at VSF Germany, Addisalem has grown his responsibilities and competencies through a combination of field experience as well as various on-the-job training opportunities.

Addisalem Asrat Kebede (centre) introduces the project activities in the South Omo Region to our consultant for Ohne Health, Antonia Braus (right), with the country director Ethiopia, Genene Regassa (left).© VSF Germany

What are your key responsibilities in your current position?

I lead the project team and support the employees in carrying out project activities efficiently and cost-effectively. I coordinate the consortium members and establish links between the local government representatives in the project areas and the beneficiary communities. In addition, I manage project budgets and supervise needs assessments, monitoring and evaluation to ensure high quality implementation and reporting.

What aspects of your job get you out of bed every morning?

My personal motivation comes mainly from the changes I see in practice, the positive developments in animal health and productivity, i.e. the continuous improvement of the pastoralists' livelihoods. I am pleased about the rising contribution of livestock and their livestock products for the economy of our country.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?

At the moment I feel connected with VSF Germany, but in the end I would like to be owner and managing director of my own company in 5 to 10 years.

What was the best moment or the best experience in your project?

VSF Germany was officially honoured by the regional government with a certificate, medal and trophy for its outstanding contribution to improving the livelihoods of pastoral communities and their socio-economic transformation.

What should VSF Germany do differently in the future?

VSF Germany should have country-specific strategic plans, a more diversified donor base and a project portfolio with medium to long-term projects. It would also be important to organise the exchange of experience through more visits between VSF Germany's project countries and to invest in staff capacity building. Procurement procedures should also be reviewed, updated and adapted to the constantly changing operational context in the country in order to further improve the efficiency of programme management.


  Thank you very much for the interview!