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The Association for Women in Business (AWiB) announced its final nominees for the annual Women of Excellence Award.

At a press conference held at Kenenissa Hotel on Thursday, AWiB revealed its  finalists: Sister Tibebe Maco, Founder and Director of Hiwot Integrated Development Association, Melika Bedri, VP of Information Systems of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Mulu Haile, Founder and Executive Director of Mission for Community Development Program, Sara Mohammed, Owner and Managing Director of Next Design College and Next Modeling School and Yetneberesh Nigussie, Founder and Executive Director of Ethiopian Center for Disability Development.
“We need to develop a culture of appreciation and admiration for people, when we reward and acknowledge those who accomplish excellence; we are giving them the visibility needed to turn them into role models for others,” said Nahu Senay Girma, Executive Director and founder of AWiB.
Tsigie Haile, the 2012 Women of Excellence Award winner and Founder and Director of Women in Self-Employment, spoke as a guest of honor at the event and stated that excellence is outstanding, exemplary commitment and record in one’s engagement, which contributes to a better world for others.
“When we give to others, whether it is money or imparting skill and know how, we are becoming an engine for change. And the satisfaction is more for us than for those we help,” she added.
This year’s Women of Excellence event will take place on Sunday, October 27that the Sheraton Hotel and it is said that it will build on the success of the maiden Women of Excellence Gala Awards held in October of last year in the presence of 500 corporate business executives, influential community leaders, businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Questions regarding the selection methods were raised at the press conference, especially as to why the award focuses on nominating those in the NGO or community work sector as opposed to business entrepreneurs. It was also asked why the Association does not recognize some of the business entrepreneurs who have received international attention such as Betlehem Tilahun Founder and CEO of Sole Rebels.
“We get our nominations from the public, and then when the list of nominees is down to five, selected judges will choose the winner,” said Nahu.    
AWiB was established in April 2010 with the goal of helping women become leaders and role models through several training programs. It also intends to recognize women leaders who have contributed significantly to their communities.