Country Director, Ethiopia
Asfaw Mekuria is our Ethiopian Country Director. He holds a BA Degree in Management and an MBA in Project Management, and has also participated in overseas diploma level training. He has worked extensively at government level in an array of different managerial positions in areas of manufacturing industries, transport agencies, multilateral and bi-lateral fund raising programs, and both national and international NGO coordination responsibilities. Mr. Asfaw joined Vita in October 2008 as Partnership and Fundraising Director and, from June 2009 to December 2009, served as Deputy Country Director. Since January 2010 he has been Vita’s Country Director in Ethiopia, where he has overseen the successful growth and expansion of all Vita projects.
Deputy Country Director
Solomon Kebede was Vita’s second employee when he joined the team in 2005 alongside former country director, Mr. Oliver Ryan. Solomon was responsible for setting up Vita’s programmes in Ethiopia with the Country Director, other staff members who joined him in 2005 and 2006, and the technical support of Vita CEO John Weakliam.
Solomon has a BSc degree in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Business Management. He has more than 20 years experience as a development worker in areas of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as development project/programme management with both Government and Non-Government organizations since 1997.
Solomon has served Vita in various senior management positions including Monitoring and Reporting Officer, Planning, Monitoring and Communication Director, and Programme Manager. Currently, Solomon is serving as Deputy Country Director responsible for managing the overall programme in Ethiopia.
Sultan Abdrahiman George
Climate Change & Mitigation
Sultan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Resource Economics and Management in 2006 from Hawassa University, going on to complete an MSc in Agricultural Economics from Haramaya University in 2013. His first role was as Area Programme coordinator for the SNNPR, where he worked as ECHO/EU consortium coordinator for the Borana zone of the Oromia region on the DRR&DR/Disaster Risk Reduction and Drought Response project. Sultan brings 13 years of development experience working with pastoralist, agro-pastoralist and small holder farmers.
Sultan joined Vita in January 2016 as Country Program Assistant, responsible for overseeing programmes across Ethiopia and managing Vita’s pioneering initiatives like the Vita Green Impact Fund, an innovation focused on climate finance and carbon offsetting.
Sultan’s dedication to development work springs from his concern for the problems he has seen facing rural communities in Ethiopia. Sultan likes to spend as much time with his family as possible. He is married to Hani and has three children.
Administration and Finance Manager
Akalu Gebreyes is currently Ethiopia’s Administration and Finance Manager. He joined Vita in 2012 as an Accountant and was quickly promoted to Senior Accountant position. He has more than 21 years of finance and administration experience in both private and non-governmental organizations. Akalu holds a Diploma majoring in Accounting and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Management.
He has received various training at national and international level, and is certified in accounting software, grant and financial management. With this vast experience, Akalu oversees and improves the administration and finance department at Vita. He is married with four children.
Head of Finance
Nebyu joined Vita in May 2011. A graduate of Arba Minch University, he holds a First Class Honours BA Degree in Accounting and Finance as well as a Master’s in Business Administration.
Before coming to Vita, Nebyu spent five years working as the Head of Administration and Finance for several different NGOs. After working in different senior positions within Vita, he is now the Ethiopian office’s Head of Finance.
Nebyu loves positive thinkers and problem solvers and is always eager to improve his skills and knowledge.
Communications and Publications Officer
Misgana joined Vita in June 2019. A graduate of Addis Ababa University, she holds a BA Degree in Foreign Language and Literature as well as a Master’s in English Language. She also holds an international certificate in Digital Marketing from Google Digital Garage. Her skills include graphics design, photography and video editing.
Over the past 10 years, she has worked as a Public Relations and Communications manager for several different organisations. In her spare time, Misgana loves walks after sunset and taking time to smell the cold air that comes out of the tall trees Ethiopia is known for. She similarly likes planting trees.
Community led learning project leader
Risko graduated with an MSc degree in Environmental science from Addis Ababa University in 2011. She has a BSc degree is in environmental health science from Jimma University, obtained in 2007.
Risko began her career as an environmental health professional at Black Lion Hospital protecting the public health through promoting infection prevention.
After her Masters, she worked in an international NGO based in Addis Ababa for five years focusing on improving the livelihood of the rural people by providing fuel-efficient cook stoves, improve their access to and use of renewable energy (such as biofuel, biogas, solar energy) available in their vicinity.
Risko joined Vita in March 2021 as Community led learning project leader at Arba Minch. She leads an innovative programme of community-led, social research closely linked to fuel-efficient cook stoves adoption programme.
Risko’s professional interest is working with rural communities in Ethiopia particularly in the context of women, water, health, poverty and climate change. Risko is married and a mother of two daughters.
EU Consortium Project Coordinator
Mesfin Kebede coordinates our EU-financed Resilience Building project. Mesfin joined Vita in 2014. Prior to this, he worked as an Agricultural Economist, Rural Development Coordinator, Program Officer, Program Coordinator and Project Manager at different government and international organizations. Mesfin’s experience lies in rural development and poverty alleviation programs. He has a BSc in Agricultural Economics from Haromaya University and an MSc in Geographical Information Science and Earth Observation with a specialization in planning and coordination for natural resources management from ITC-Netherland.
Arba Minch Field Office Coordinator
Tsehayu Kassie joined Vita in August, 2005. A graduate of Alemaya University, he has a BSc degree in Agricultural Engineering, as well as a Master’s from Arba Minch University in Climate Change and Development. He has worked in Vita in different positions and currently works as the Arba Minch field office coordinator. He has also worked as soil and water conservation expert and a water harvesting coordinator in agriculture office. In addition to this, he has experience working as a farm manager advisor in a private farm.
He loves to read in any capacity, and splits this interest between professional and leisurely reading.
Ermias Guta Bedasso
Programme Quality Manager
Ermias Guta Bedasso is a passionate programme quality manager in Vita’s Ethiopian Programme Office. He has been working for the organization since November 2012. He has more than 15 years of experience in the area of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Projects. Ermias holds a BSc degree in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Project Planning and Management. With this vast experience and qualification, he provides strategic programme leadership to the programme quality team in the development and execution of Vita’s ommunity-led development projects. He is married with two children.
Field Office Project Coordinator for EUTF Omo Delta/Cross Border Project
Seid joined Vita in 2017 as a Livelihood and Business Development Officer for the EU-funded RESET II RESULT project. He graduated from Jimma University with a BA Degree in Sociology and Social Work with tremendous results. He previously worked at Save the Children International as a Child Protection Officer and a Case management Focal Person for Child Protection Project. He has also worked as an Irrigation Agronomist at IDE Ethiopia as well as a Community Development Facilitator for Agri-Service Ethiopia for its community capacity development project. At government level, Seid also has experience working as a Plan Development Officer. Seid has experience in implementing Integrated Multi-Sectorial Resilience Community-Based projects with meticulous care to ensure far-reaching results.
Hanna Mathewos is working as a Gender Officer at Vita, Ethiopia Country Office since January 2020. Hanna holds a Bachelor degree in Law and Master Degree in International Human Rights Law from Addis Ababa University with a number of gender related trainings.
Hana started her career at the Federal High Court of Ethiopia as an Assistant Judge in 2012 where she contributed to the strengthening of the judiciary through improving the quality of justice and ensuring the rule of law. After her service at the Federal High Court, she worked at Federal Attorney General Office as Attorney General and served for the administration of criminal justice through representing the public interest and protecting the rights of vulnerable people including Women. Hanna then joined Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Labor’s Union in the position of senior legal Advisor. During her career in the Labor union, she got the chance to professionally advise legal cases with a particular focus on women and dispose cases with alternative measures. Hanna also volunteers for the International NGO, MTU Tulvikutugi (Estonian based NGO working on women and children’s’ right) being a legal advisor since 2017.
After joining Vita as gender officer, Hanna is playing an important role to promote gender mainstreaming in Vita’s operations and to attain gender equality through different activities. With her strong passion for gender equality, Hanna revised new gender policy, designed gender mainstreaming guideline and conducted extensive evaluation to identify whether the organizational culture, policy and programs are gender responsive and sensitive. Hanna is married and has one son.
Wubshet Assefa Amare is sociable and straightforward, joining Vita’s Ethiopia team in 2017 as the Field Coordinator for South Gonder, Amhara, Ethiopia. Wubshet previously worked for government and local NGOs as a Project Officer, as well as working in various Senior Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Positions in the nine years before he joined Vita. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and is currently finishing an MSc in Development Economics.
He has various training at regional and national level with certification in knowledge management, basic management skill, project cycle management, constituency building, statistical software, community mobilization tools and mroe. With these vast experiences and trainings, he passionately leads, coordinates and facilitates our program implementation in South Gonder Zone. He is a father of two from his beloved partner, Abeba Kassaie.