The Africa List, a platform that brings leaders together, has picked Girma Wake, an aviation guru as the Working Group Chair for Ethiopia.

Girma, the former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, was named Chair for Ethiopia at the end of 2019 and held his first working committee meeting on February 6, 2020.

The Africa List is a platform that brings together exceptional current and future CEOs in six African countries to develop their skills and networks further and enable them to lead lasting businesses.

Girma, 77, served as the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines from 2004 until his retirement in 2011 and worked for the airline for 35 years in different posts. Girma, who has 50 years of experience in the aviation industry, worked as board chairman of RwandAir from 2012 to 2017 and served as an advisor to the Rwandan Ministry of Transport. Currently, he is an aviation adviser to different countries and the board director of Ethiopian Airlines.

“It’s a good opportunity to inspire the youth in different ways. I am ready to share my experience and to provide my services to the growth of the continent,” said Girma. “Members involved in the Africa List are forward-looking and ready to contribute to developmental issues.”

Girma shared his experiences at different events held by The Africa List community in Ethiopia about the leadership practices he has cultivated as CEO and chair of different business organisations.

The Africa List welcomes new members to the community once a year, which usually takes place in March, and has around 700 members in total, 100 of whom are Ethiopian.

“Needless to say, we're honoured to have Girma steering The Africa List by representing Ethiopia,” said Robert Comba, a communications official at The Africa List, which was launched in 2014 and is active in Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Africa List was established by the CDC Group, the UK's development finance institution that invests in businesses in Africa and South Asia to make a developmental impact. The Africa List holds events in each country by bringing its members together to connect, share ideas and ultimately develop them as better leaders.

The Working Group Chairs are hugely important, as they are very senior business leaders who guide and shape the community, according to Robert.

At the end of each year, the platform runs a member selection process, where people can apply to join The Africa List. It also asks existing members to nominate new members.

"The process is very selective to ensure we maintain the highest quality members and deliver quality service to them,” said Robert.

In each of these countries, The Africa List identified 100 high-performing companies and asked their CEOs or chairs to nominate two future leaders to join the List.

“Each member is selected not only for who they are but also for the impact they can make,” adds Robert. “Every year, we run a structured application process where potential new members can apply.”

The criteria for being a member of The Africa List is to work in the private sector in one of the top 100 companies, a potential to be CEO within the next decade, a position to drive future economic and social prosperity, aged between 30 and 45, and demonstrating a commitment to share their experience with others.

Getnet Haile, a business consultant at Target Business Consulting Company, believes that it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to reach such a level.

“It'll give hope to all who wish to enter the business world,” said Getnet. “Leaders reach the level where they are at through a lot of struggle and strength, so they must share their work and life experiences beyond their day to day work.”

Getnet also says that there are a lot of hardworking business people in each sector and the Chamber of Commerce should hold a record of their profiles and give them exposure to the business world.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 08,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1032]

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