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The content of the films presented do not represent the views of the UNA-NCA, UNFPA, UNIFEM, Geoscope Environmental Laboratories, it's staff, nor any of it's partners. The use of these films is restricted to their ability to present a point of view as points of discussion amongst panelists and attendees

"Water Quality and Sanitation Standards Needed to Sustain Booming Tourism"

Billions upon billions of dollars are being invested into Ethiopia’s booming tourism industry. The multi-billion birr question is: Is It Sustainable? In a word, Yes.  

Program Summary:

The needed steps to make the recent boom in tourism sustainable are not only attainable, but are necessary to ensure consistent revenue for the nation.  On the one hand, the nation's rich and unique history makes it a prime religious and vacation destination and, on the other, the water quality and sanitation standards are a detouring concern for tourists the world around International Program Manager, Yodit Negede from Geoscope Environmental Laboratories and co-presenter Chris Williams, the Washington delegate for the UN Habitat, combined their backgrounds in sustainable development across Africa and the UNH Advisor to Congressional Policy, respectively, to advance a new model of water quality and sanitation system integration. Their model emphasizes a strategic relationship between public, private, and advocacy/ngo sectors to deliver services to scale for the underdeveloped world.  This multi-lateral cooperative block of vested interests, they believe, can create a market that can open markets where a lack of infrastructure previously left them untapped.

The moderator was Lydia Kwawu, Director of the African Affairs Committee for the United Nations Association, and the discussant was Mr. Tadesse, Federal Government Systems Integration Specialist for Deloitte.  The caliber of the people that graced the podium encouraged an active dialog on how to get a pilot project started in Ethiopia. This event was the first time that water quality was assessed as a matter economic importance to the developing world, and Ethiopia in particular. Attendees included guests from the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, EPA, MDE, NIH, and UMD Research and Development Faculty in anticipation of this event.

Program Speakers:

Chris Williams, UN-Habitat
Chris Williams is the Washington Representative for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the agency of the United Nations responsible for housing and urban development. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the organization maintains operations in 87 countries supported by regional offices in Japan, Brazil and Kenya; liaison offices in Geneva, New York, Brussels and Washington; and Habitat Program Managers in 50 countries. In his capacity as Washington Representative, Mr. Williams is responsible for working with Congress and the Administration to promote sustainable urbanization in foreign policy and development assistance programming of the Government of the United States. Mr. Williams will address the past and present UN interests in Ethiopia pertaining to water quality and sanitation.

Yodit Negede, Geoscope Environmental Laboratories
Yodit Negede is the Program Manager for Geoscope Environmental Laboratories. In her capacity as Program Manager, Ms. Negede is responsible for the oversight of the laboratories multiple programs with various municipalities. Prior to holding this position with GEL, Ms. Negede has been instrumental in the training and cross-cultural dialogues in various areas of health and sustainable development. She has integrated millions of dollars of technology into the American market place with International Fortune 500 companies such as Ricoh Systems, based in Japan. Ms. Negede has implemented programs across the continent of Africa with a number of UN Affiliates including the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Association (UNA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAID). Ms. Negede will present the promising future of tourism in Ethiopia that come from implementing easily attainable water quality and sanitation methods used in rural and urban America.