The Ethiopia Diaspora Trust Fund (EDTF) is organized in accordance with the Delaware General Corporation Law. The EDTF is a not-for-profit organization. All of the money donated to EDTF will be used exclusively to pursue the organization’s objectives and to keep it in proper operation with maxmum accountability and transparency.


The EDTF Board of Directors is the apex governance body. It comprises of eleven (11) persons* appointed by the Prime Minister, drawn from the Ethiopian government, Diaspora and Civil Society. Functions of the Board of Directors include:

  • Provide overall leadership and set the strategic direction, policy, oversight and accountability of the EDTF;
  • Appoint the EDTF Secretariat Executive Director (ED) and Deputy Executive Director of the EDTF
  • Approve an appropriate executive compensation for the EDTF Secretariat leadership, the Secretariat’s staffing and its annual budget;
  • Approve the EDTF Operational Manual detailing project submission procedures, formats, report submissions…etc. prepared by the Secretariat;
  • Review and approve project funding requests of Implementing Organizations;
  • Authorize the Trustee to release EDTF funds following approval of projects submitted by Implementation Organizations;
  • Establish appropriate Board Committees (Executive Committee, (Nominations and Governance Committee, Audit and Compliance Committee, …etc.) that will assist the Board to function smoothly and ensure proper accountability;
  • Commission periodic reviews of the EDTF;
  • Secure the cooperation of Regional and appropriate Federal government organs for the efficient and smooth implementation of EDTF ‘s overall objectives and activities;
  • Liaise with the EDTF Advisory Council to support resource mobilization and advocacy efforts for the EDTF; and
  • Review and consult with the Advisory Council the case for opening up EDTF representative offices in other countries;
  • Adopt its own rules of procedure; and
  • Perform an annual evaluation the Executive Director

ZAFU EYESSUSWORK ZAFU, Chairman of the Board

Mr. Zafu was the 1st Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Insurance Corporation in 1976 after his service as a Deputy General of Manager of Blue Nile Insurance Company; went to Lagos, Nigeria in 1978 and led Glanvill Enthoven Reinsurance Brokers and the African Reinsurance Corporation as a Chief Executive Officer in Nigeria, until his return home 1993. He was instrumental in the establishment of The United Insurance Company SC and United Bank SC. Mr. Zafu served as President of both the Ethiopia and the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations. Mr. Zafu has written numerous research papers on and about the African insurance and reinsurance industry. He had been awarded Gold Medals, Certificates of Appreciation by African Reinsurance Corporation, African Insurance Organization and Mohammed H.A. Amudi’s Award for his Distinguished Services. He was one of the founders of the first Mental Health Care Society in the country (Aemiro Tienna Kibikabe Mahiber). Ato Zafu has his first degree in Administration from Haile Selassie I University and MSc. in development economics from University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, USA.


Founder and President, Truth Aid and Executive Producer, Director of Social Impact, Kana Television, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, representing diaspora in North America.


Ms. Sirgut Yadeta is an experienced communication specialist with 18 years in the communication field and journalism. Her areas of expertise include web and print content development, communication method and strategy development and project management. In her role as Editorial Lead and Content Manager in Lloyds Bank Group and TSB Bank Ms. Sirgut has managed and provided effective leadership to writers and communication specialists of various caliber. As a well-seasoned media person and journalist, she has written articles and technical documents and edited the popular global expat bulletin as Expat Online Editor in Telegraph Media Group. She is the founder and Director of Lalibela Education Alternative Project, a charity that has built a school for 500 children in Lalibela, Ethiopia. She is also Advisory Board member for Maternity Worldwide and Simply a great Manager, a not-for-profit organisation committed to spreading great management practices on a global scale. Ms. Sirgut has MSc Information Technology and Software Engineering from South Bank University and a BA in English and Literature from Addis Ababa University. Sirgut is represnting diaspora in Europe. 


Chernet W. Debelie is the founder and chief executive officer of two companies, Kia Travel & Business, in Washington, DC and Apollo Real Estate and Property Management, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He obtains BA degree from Addis Ababa University and MA from George Mason University. Prior to becoming the member of the Board of Directors of EDTF, he served three boards of for-profit companies. As he was serving the Ethiopian Community in many ways in the USA, his presence in the EDTF Board of Directors is invaluable. Chernet is representing diaspora in North America.


Yohannes Assefa, Esq. is an experienced business lawyer with over 20 years of professional experience in the United States and Africa. He spent 10 of the 20 years exclusively practicing law both in the United States and in Africa in the areas of Securities, Public and Project Finance, Banking, Corporate Finance, Commercial Litigation and Private International Law. Mr. Assefa served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Addis Ababa University Faculty of Law in 2011 and Adjunct Professor of International Business at The George Washington University in Washington DC in 2013. Mr. Assefa has served in senior positions in a number of organizations including USAID, Hawkins Delafield and Wood LLP and Harris Beach PLLC, Stalwart Knowledge, Innovation and technology Ltd. Currently Mr. Assefa serves as the Director of Regional Agricultural Trade at the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub based in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2004, Mr. Assefa was named “Up and Coming Attorney” of the year by The Daily Record, a New York State-based legal journal. Mr. Assefa received his Juries Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law. He received his Master of Science degree in Criminology from Indiana State University, and his Bachelor of Art in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. Mr. Assefa is a member of the New York and Washington DC bar associations. Yohannes is representing diaspora in Africa.


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Technology and Science, Abu Dhabi, UAE, representing diaspora in the Middle East.


Sr. Zebider Zewdie is one of the prominent role models in social development and women empowerment programmes in Ethiopia. As a founder and Executive Director of Mary Joy Ethiopia, a local NGO, Sr. Zebider has helped thousands of women and children and people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS to come out of poverty and live a life of with dignity. Before establishing Mary Joy Ethiopia Sr. Zebider has worked in various capacities including as a clinical nurse in Arbaminch, Saint Paul and Yekatit 12 Hospitals and Health Programme Supervisor at Save the Children Norway, an international NGO. Sr. Zebider has also served as member of Board of Directors in National Red Cross Society, Black Lion Hospital, Hiywot Development Association, and Ethiopian Disabled Development Society. She has bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and MBA from Princeton University, USA. Sr. Zebider is representing women.


Bilen Mammo has over 20 years of Program management experience in the private and public sector both in the U.S. and Ethiopia. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies at Microsoft and Intuit before returning back to Ethiopia to work in development cooperation. Ms. Mammo has successfully completed assignments commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the German Metrology Institute (PTB), the European Union (EU-TBT), the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the African Regional Standards of Organization (ARSO) and COMESA. Ms. Mammo envisages a prosperous Ethiopia exceeding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. She is currently a Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Finance supporting the Federal Government of Ethiopia with the economic reform. Bilen is representing the Ethiopian Government.


Director General, Ethiopian Diaspora Agency, representing the Ethiopian Government.



State Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing the Ethiopian Government.


 The representative of Youth to be reviewed and appointed by the Board.


An 18-member EDTF Advisory Council is appointed by H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed with a global mandate. Its principal functions are:

  • Mobilize the Ethiopian Diaspora Community in the United Sates and globally to make financial contributions to the EDTF Account on a timely and sustained basis to ensure the realization of the EDTF objectives;
  • Authorize the Advisory Council’s Executive Committee to transfer contributed funds expeditiously and in a cost efficient manner to the EDTF Bank Account in Ethiopia in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 25 of the TERMS OF REFERENCE;
  • Strengthen the inclusiveness of the Advisory Council by expanding its membership to include Diaspora Ethiopians globally in other Regions;
  • Promote the establishment of EDTF Advisory Council chapters globally in cities and countries with significant presence of Ethiopians to increase the EDTFs outreach and resource mobilization;
  • Establish a mechanism for regular input from Diaspora Ethiopian communities globally to ensure their voices are heard in the establishment, operation and management of the Fund;
  • Serve as a discussion forum for the formulation of strategies for adequate resource development and funding of development projects within the mission framework of the EDTF;
  • Recommend to the EDTF Board of Directors activities of special interest to the global Diaspora Ethiopian Community that are consistent with the objectives and mission of the Fund;
  • Provide advice and counsel to the EDTF Board of Directors to improve the EDTF’s efficiency, effectiveness and transparency;
  • Undertake an annual review of project performance and effectiveness with the EDTF Board and develop best practices for future EDTF projects; and
  • Carry out an annual review of the general operations of the EDTF and recommend to the Prime Minister necessary changes and improvements.