Lemn Sissay taking selfe wth MC Samra and Abel.
Honourary Guest Speaker, Dr. Brook Lakew, Associate Director of NASA.
Honourary Guest Speaker, Professor Sossina Haile.
What made this year’s event special was that it was attended by several hundred guests gathered from three continents: Africa, Europe and North America. The audience had the pleasure of hearing from a member of the Canadian Senate, Senator Don Meredith. The Senator’s brief remarks were followed by Bikila Award, President, Tessema Mulugeta’s welcoming speech. Chancellor-Poet Lemn Sissay, who delivered his most anticipated keynote speech, emphasized the importance of family and belongingness. The planetary scientist, Dr. Brook Lakew reminded the guests, particularly the younger generation, they must prepare, organize and network to achieve excellence. The very unassuming Dr. Sossina Haile highlighted the hard work she put in to become a world class scientist. She recalled how she would take early morning bus ride to attend courses that were not prerequisites to earn degrees, and the tricks she would use to get her parents from “no” to “yes” to allow her fit all kinds of extracurricular activities between her studies and part time jobs.
Dr. Alula Pankhrust receiving the Lifetime Achivement Award from Chancellor Lemn Sissay.
Dr. Fikre Germa, Professional Excellence Award Winner.
Dr. Girma Bitsuamlak, Professional Excellence Award Winner.
Left to right: Chancellor Lemn Sissay, Dr. Alula Pankhrust and Tessema Mulugeta, President of Bikila Award.
When Dr. Alula Pankhurst began delivering his acceptance speech in flawless Amharic, some in the audience must have said “did I have too much wine or is this some kind of simultaneous translation?” Dr. Alula was one of the three award recipients who gave a distance inctly Ethiopian touch to the occasion by wearing Ethiopian traditional costumes. The audience was captivated by the heartfelt videotaped acceptance message of Dr. Richard and Rita Pankhurst for being selected winners of the 2016 Bikila Lifetime Achievement Award.