Having a competent and efficient administrative and management skill is indispensable for effective work performance of any individual or organization. Staff members’ skills in these areas directly affect the success or failure of any organization. Thus, providing training courses on upgrading management skills is very crucial. Various courses are offered in different sectors of the country aimed at upgrading human resource efficiency. As part of these efforts, Dr. Tesfa Gebremedhin from West Virginia University came to Eritrea for more than 20th time to give training focusing on developing management skills for effective leadership. He is one of Eritrean nationals in Diaspora who are making due contribution in the nation building process standing alongside their people and government. Shabait interviewed Dr. Tesfa regarding the workshops and trainings he offers. Excerpts follow:
Let’s start with your background first?
I was born in a village called Adi-Wegri near Mendefera sub-zone. I went to the United States of America in 1974 pursue my academic studies. I got my Ph.D in 1981 in Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Economics. I have three major responsibilities which are teaching, research and service. On top of this, I give lectures traveling outside the US about parents’ and children relationships. In Eritrea, I began offering workshop training since 1996 on promoting leadership skills, and my recent workshop was for 500 employees. I have almost visited all ministries in the country.
Can you tell us what kind of training or courses your workshops include?
It is a very intensive training which is given within a short period of time. It is provided for about four hours in the morning and same in the afternoon. Different topics are raised on various issues including art of communication, professional ethics and team work. Discussions, examples and anecdotes related to courses are part of the lecture. It is presented in way that has relevance to the trainees’ life and work. The whole idea is to create an environment where the participants and I could share ideas and thereby broaden the knowledge we have and apply it in an effective way.
How about the feedback of the trainees?
In my current visit, I offered training for three institutions including the Administration of Central region, Ministry of Tourism and NCEW. The response of these trainees was very much encouraging. Most of them expressed appreciation saying that they need such trainings to promote their management skills and asked for further extension of the training. I think the reason the participants liked the lecture could be the way the topic is presented.
Tell us about the books you have published so far?
I wrote three books about Eritrea in addition to other books I wrote about management as well as youth and parents’ relations. Overall, I have written more than nine books.
What is your impression of the ongoing development progress in the country?
Most of the time, I don’t get time travel around the country, but in my recent visit, I was able to travel to Sawa, Tessenei, Tokombia, as well as the Gerset and Fonco dams. I was very much impressed with the on-going development programs including the vast agricultural projects and the huge dams. It enabled me to see the promising future that the country has.
Can you share some of your future plans?
I will continue to give trainings and my schedule is already reserved for my next trip in Eritrea. I am glad that I can at least contribute something to my country with the skills I have.
Any message you want to convey?
I had written an article under the title “Even the donkey is making a difference in Eritrea’ which was about donkey project few years ago. The project was set up to provide donkeys to single mothers. It may sound like small project but it has great significance to the beneficiaries. So I encourage nationals who want to extend support in various domains to start with small projects and it would get bigger.. Any one who wants to contribute something should make contact with the concerned body and his/her initiative would eventually bear fruit.