Gudina Tumsa Foundation
Launches a New Project.

March 7, 2024

By Yitbarek Tekalign

Today, Gudina Tumsa Foundation (GTF) organized a launch workshop of its new project at Sheraton Addis Hotel in the presence of Mrs. Lensa Gudina, Managing Director of the Foundation, Dr Abdulaziz Dawud, Head of Oromia National Regional State Office of the President and Mr Haddis Tadesse of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Country Director.

 Pertinent staff members from Oromia Regional State President’s Office, Oromia Health Bureau, Oromia Finance Bureau, Gudina Tumsa Foundation and representatives of other stakeholders also attended the workshop. The launched project is Healthcare and Livelihood Improvement Advocacy Project. It is a two-year project that will be implemented in Oromia and Somali regional states. The same project launch will also take place for the Somali regional state.

Mrs. Lensa Gudina said in her opening speech that this project is an important step in addressing critical challenges in the areas of health and nutrition, agriculture, women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion. She also called on all stakeholders to collaborate so that the Foundation successfully completes the project and achieves the set objectives. She also said that as it has been accomplishing several life-changing projects over the past 31 years, GTF will make all efforts to bring changes with the project.

Dr Abdulaziz Dawud, on his part, stated that his office will stand alongside the Foundation so that the project runs smoothly and the goals set are achieved. Furthermore, he appreciated GTF for launching this important project in particular, and for its many other enormous activities over three decades in general.

During this project launch workshop, a plenary discussion took place. Mr. Eyobed Yonas, Program Director of the GTF, moderated the discussion. Lively discussions took place, questions were raised and ample answers were given. Mr. Eyobed Yonas said: “the ultimate goal of the project is to benefit our people.” He also explained that the GTF will seriously use the research simply put on the shelves, as well as the policy analysis and holistic change will ultimately come about.

According to Mr Teshome Bula, a manager of the project, as an advocacy project targeting improvement in healthcare and nutrition, agricultural development, women’s economic empowerment, and financial inclusion at the policy level, it is expected that the impact of the project will positively affect the lives of people living in the regions. The aim of the project is to contribute to increased use of evidence and policy analysis by decision-makers, leading to the adoption of broadly supportive policies in areas such as agricultural productivity, healthcare and nutrition, financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment.

The specific objectives of the project include catalyzing inclusive agricultural transformation with a particular focus on smallholder agriculture building on the successes recorded in wheat productivity over the last two years; increase coverage of life-saving health and nutrition interventions; advocate for increased funding allocation for agriculture and health at regional levels; improve financial inclusion by leveraging the expansion of digital finance and mobile money services with a focus on reducing regional and gender gaps evident in the sector; and empower women to transform their lives through the above interventions and integrate a gender perspective into these interventions.

The project champions localized, evidence-based interventions to address key development priorities in the regions. By promoting bottom-up, multi-sectoral programs tailored to the specific needs of regions and informed by data-driven policy, GTF aims to empower regional actors and achieve impactful results. From strengthening health systems and reducing maternal mortality to increasing agricultural productivity and empowering women, its interventions will work across sectors to build a more equitable and sustainable future for regions. This objective will be achieved through increased transparency in budget allocations and better access to services.

GTF sincerely and deeply expresses its gratitude to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the project.

Gudina Tumsa Foundation

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