First Inclusive Employers Forum

Mid-December 2019 the ECDD with the support of Light for the World and ILO has hosted an Inclusive Employers Forum with a panel discussion that addressed the importance of inclusive employment and how to create an inclusive business plan.

On Thursday December 12, 2019 at Sapphire Hotel Addis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia the Ethiopian Business and Disability Network (EBDN) with the support of Light for the World, International Labour Organization, and the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development hosted an Inclusive Employers Forum. The event began with an address from keynote speakers Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs disability directorate director Mr. Asalfew Amedin and Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development senior advisor Bob Ransom.  Followed by a video presentation of the youth advocates under EmployAble II program and followed by  a panel discussion on the importance of inclusive employment as well as misconceptions employers may have of employing people with disabilities. Panel members included ILO representative and longtime disability advocate Mr. Fantahun Mellse, African Disability Forum representative Birhanu Teferra, Oxfam HR Business Partner Mr. Michael Shiferaw, Bekdes Groups Chief Financial Officer Mr. Fasil Bekele. During the Q&A portion of the discussion panelist Michael Shiferaw announced that Oxfam Ethiopia will pledge to hire 10 new female interns within the year 2020 and that 5 of these interns will be women with disabilities.

With almost 70 attendees from private sectors, government offices, NGO’s, and industrial parks we successfully managed to register 20 new companies to the network. The event ended with an award ceremony where Hawassa Industrial Park company Hela Indochine PLC. was awarded the 2019 inclusive employer of the year award. HELA, an official EBDN member has worked diligently at creating an inclusive work environment and with the support of ECDD has managed to hire over 15 people with disabilities. With over 17% of the Ethiopian population living with a disability and 95% of that population being unemployed according to the 2011 World Report on Disability it is events such as this forum that will raise awareness and motivate organizations to tackle this cross-cutting issue of employment and disability. We here at EBDN are looking forward to leading the way.

Hela Indochine Apparel Plc. representatives accepting the 2019 Inclusive Employer Award from International Labour

Some of the forum attendants gathered for a group picture

We work inclusively is an initiative of Light for the World Netherlands and Liliane Foundation