2 October 2015. The Ethiopian Association of Women in Business (AWiB) has announced the 2015 Women of Excellence nominees. One of the seven nominees this year is Fetien Abay, a pioneer in promoting local innovation and engaging in participatory innovation development in Ethiopia.
Professor Fetien has also been instrumental in securing funding for a number of large and small projects, which she coordinates alongside her regular work as University lecturer. To highlight a few:
- Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) – operating in four regions (Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern) of Ethiopia. The project seeks to see a pluralistic and a vibrant seed system in Ethiopia. She is coordinating the Tigray project. Currently, she is overseeing over 50 farmer based seed producer cooperatives. The membership size of the seed producer cooperatives is over 2800 households and 14,000 direct beneficiaries.
- Network Project: SOLIBAM (Strategies for Organic and Low-input Integrated Breeding and
Management) EC-funded project with ICARDA and 22 organizations from 12 European, Mediterranean and 2 African countries (Mali & Ethiopia). EU FP7 funding
- South–South–North Network Project on Women and Food Science (2009–12) with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Sokoine University (Tanzania) and Hawassa University (Ethiopia); this includes establishing a nutrition laboratory; developing a new BSc curriculum (already approved); opening a Department of Food Science and Technology; supporting 30 BSc (all female), 6 MSc and 4 PhD students (including one woman from Tanzania); and establishing two women’s cooperatives for “kollo” marketing.
- Supporting Women Entrepreneurship in Food Product Commercialization in Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia (2012-2014) through IDRC grant. This project focuses on product promotion by women, commercialization and income generating activities. One PhD and three MSc postgraduate students involved in the project. 6 women cooperatives established, new product developed (from sorghum, millet and barley) with the private food company NAS.