The Plan of Operations for the Girls Education Project in Ethiopia has been signed by Mr. Ahmed Shide, State Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), on behalf of the Ethiopian Government, and Mr. Firmin Matoko, Director of the UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office, on behalf of UNESCO, in the premises of the MoFED, yesterday, 1 October 2013.  The signing ceremony was attended by Mr. Takehiro Okubo, Minister Counsellor, of the Embassy of Japan in Addis Ababa, representing the Government of Japan.  Moreover, the Director of the Gender Directorate in the Ministry of Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), Mme Mekdes Eyouel, and the Director of the Emerging Regions Directorate of the MoE, Mr. Mohammed Abubeker, were present on the occasion representing the MoE.

The project is funded by the generous donation of the Japanese Government made available through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust.  The total amount is 400,000 USD, and the project will last for 36 months from the date of signing.  The UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) will be implementing the project in Gambella and Somali Regional States.
The project, entitled, Retaining Girls in Lower Secondary School and Increasing their Learning Outcomes, aims to assist girl students in the two regions so that they stay in school and also perform better in their studies.  IICBA in consultation with the Gender Directorate and the Emerging Regions Directorate of the MoE and the Regional Education Bureaux of the two regions will identify the pilot schools in which the project will be implemented.
IICBA takes this opportunity to extend its heartfelt appreciation for the generous donation of the Japanese Government, and the strong support of the UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office, whose director was the co-signatory of the document.

The Japanese funded project will complement the ongoing Girls Education Project in Ethiopia that is being implemented in Afar and Benishangul Gumuz Regional States with the financial assistance of the Italian Government.