At a ceremony to celebrate the graduation of the 3rd cohort of trainees of the AIHA-managed, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Leadership Incubation Program – Health (LIP-H) on Thursday, May 11, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, H.E. Dr. Lia Tadesse, addressed an audience of over 80 people, including Ethiopian government health ministry officials, representatives of non-government organizations, and program participants, including graduates, coaches, and trainers.

The LIP, now in its third year, addresses a leadership gap identified by the Government of Ethiopia and the Ministry of Health as one of the priority areas in its Five-Year Health Sector Transformation Plan. The goal of the LIP is to recruit, develop, and nurture individuals who display exceptional commitment and passion for the population’s health, and who have health sector leadership potential. The program strives to build a pipeline of future leaders and provide them with training, mentorship, and career paths. To date, the LIP has trained and graduated 70 future health leaders for Ethiopia. Later this month, the program will begin training its 4th cohort of approximately 30 trainees.

In her remarks, Minister Tadesse said, “I get inspired by your commitment and dedication to the sector at every graduation. We are going to work on similar training such as this one to empower and continue to capacitate our people, so we have an excellent pool to choose the next leaders from.” The Minister stressed the need to bring in more women to this successful program. She concluded her remarks by noting, “Success in leadership is not a destination, but a daily thing. It is a journey, and we need to work on it continually.”

The graduation ceremony started with a welcome address by Mr. Assegid Samuel, Director of the Human Resources for Health Development Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Health, followed by the LIP program update by Dr. Frehiwot Negatu, the Executive Director of the International Institute of Primary Health Care, and then a reflection on the program by Mrs. Kidest Hailu, the Country Director of AIHA. This was followed by several of the graduates sharing their success stories and poster presentation of their Capstone Projects. Topics included: “Abebe, before LIP training and after”, “My leadership journey”, “Lead from within”, “Leadership in Medicine,” etc.

To view the graduation booklet distributed at this event, please click here .

 For a profile of some of the participants of the Leadership Incubation Program, please click here.

 The ceremony was proceeded on May 10 with a highly successful – and first-ever – networking event organized by AIHA. Over 80 people participated, including LIP trainees, graduates, their trainers, and coaches, along with Directors of the Ministry of Health, leaders in the health field, including Hospital Directors, and leaders of non-profit health organizations. The objectives of the Networking Event were:

  • To provide additional networking opportunities for the LIP-H program participants;
  • To further motivate trainees by giving the space, time, and access for networking with health sector leaders and motivational speakers in their field;
  • To identify and increase the number of mentors for our trainees.

The event began with a welcome speech by Mr. Assegid Samuel, Director of the Human Resources for Health Development Directorate of the Federal Ministry of Health, who gave an excellent overview of the LIP program. This was followed by a motivational talk by Dr. Miheret Debebe, Chief of Academy at the African Leadership Excellence Academy. He highlighted that if we don’t network, we don’t work! He said that we all need each other to move forward, and that networking is a skill that all humans, particularly leaders, need to acquire.