Good afternoon my fellow Rotarians, families and guests. I begin with my gratitude to the Almighty for letting us come together physically after a two-year stall due to the covid pandemic.  My dear DG Alex, I congratulate you for a successful Rotary Year.  You really showered us with love and joy.  Blessings.
Good afternoon my fellow Rotarians, families and guests. I begin with my gratitude to the Almighty for letting us come together physically after a two-year stall due to the covid pandemic.  My dear DG Alex, I congratulate you for a successful Rotary Year.  You really showered us with love and joy.  Blessings.
Dear RID/RIPPR Elisabeth & Dean, PDG/Trustee Dr. Geeta, our dear outgoing District Governor Alex Nyaga, First Lady Paula, outgoing DRR George, Past District Governors, current and incoming District officials, Past District Rotaract Representatives, incoming District Rotaract Representative Lydia Lukera, Past, current and incoming Presidents; Past, current and incoming Country Chairs, fellow Rotarians, Rotaracters, Interactors and distinguished guests. 
As I received the chain of office to serve you  as your next District Governor for Rotary Year 2022-23, I am proud and respectfully stand in front of you all, feeling incredibly humbled and honoured to introduce myself as your servant leader.
Before I discuss my hopes and aspirations for what we can achieve together over the next year, I  would like to pay personal homage to my late parents, without whom I would not be who I am today.   Growing up, my parents poured everything they had into me and my siblings. It was the greatest gift a child can receive: never doubting for a single minute that we are loved, and cherished, and have a place in this world.
My life and accomplishments stand as a memorial to their enduring sacrifice and faith. Their love remains a sustaining force for our family, and witnessing the reflection of their integrity and reliability.   May they continue to rest in perfect peace.  Their legacy lives on!
My better half, Getu, who has been my right hand for the past four decades. A devoted husband, loving father and genuine partner, who in our 42 years of marriage has given me the experience of being deeply understood and truly supported. Throughout our marriage, your strength and dedication to our family, have laid the foundation for all of my professional and personal success. I would not be standing here today, ready to embark on another challenge, without you by my side. Thank you and may God continue to bless you!
Our beautiful son Bilen and his beautiful wife Monika representing their siblings here; our 2nd born Liyat, her hubby Charlie and our 3rd born Dr Frezer, his wife Rebecca; and our grandchildren Mati, Luc, Cally, Leo and Amari - we are so blessed to have you in our lives.   Your smiles, encouragement, support and wisdom, continue to inspire me every day. Words cannot express my gratitude to you but know that I love you all very very much. 
My awesome sisters, brothers and in-laws - represented here by PP Asfaw, Rtn Saba, Ayehuberhan and Ayenat.  Your unconditional love and extraordinary support keep me pushing forward.   Family love, a value our parents and grandparents instilled in us, has continued to shape our lives and journeys.
The family bond that has endured great distances and varied life experiences has ultimately brought us home to Ethiopia again to serve humanity, after 20 years abroad.  East or West, home is best.
Special thanks go to my Rotary family in the District and beyond, who motivated me to take on such higher level responsibility.  PP Yemane, Trustee Geeta, PRIP Barry, PDG  Yinka, PDG Eric, PDG Ken and PDG Joe.  Thank you for your confidence in me, not to leave out Rotarians who joined us here from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Niger and others.  My utmost gratitude goes to the Inauguration committee, chaired by pp Misrak Elias, who made the event fabulous.  Do you realise that for the first time in the history of DCA, more than 50 attendees came from Ethiopia,   Alex, Ethiopians truly love you.
My professional life, which saw me start out as a secretary at Addis Ababa University while pursuing my bachelor's degree, has taken me across the world. Joining the United Nations as a graduate, I could have never imagined a career spanning 28 years and three continents. Devotion and commitment paved my career.
From my first assignment in Nairobi, Kenya, to my time in BosniaHerzegovina, Italy, Uganda, Sudan and Sri Lanka, I have dedicated my working life to support the most vulnerable, marginalised and voiceless people in society. In particular, my time managing complex humanitarian emergencies in Darfur, serving the 1.2 million victims of climate, conflict and migration, represented the most
challenging but rewarding experience in my life.
In my final appointment, as Deputy Representative of the World Food Programme in Sri Lanka, I was tasked with coordinating the emergency response to victims of war as the decades-long civil conflict in that country came to a close. Personally, joining Rotary after such a humanitarian career abroad, has been the perfect transition as I made my way in the world as a retiree, but a full time volunteer.
Since joining Rotary nine years ago, I have served as the Club
Treasurer, contributed to project development and also offered guidance on projects. Also served as Club President,  Country Chair for Rotary Ethiopia and Vice Chair of Rotary Ethiopia Board.  I am a major Donor, a multiple Paul Harris fellow and a benefactor.  Engaging in Rotary is a blessing to me as it allowed me to touch many lives.
My involvement with Rotary, as with my career in the humanitarian sector, has allowed me to continue to live by the creed, "Service above Self", an important call to action in an increasingly uncertain world.
As we prepare to begin a new Rotary year, I would like to thank you all for your support and commitment to serve with me.  I truly believe that genuine participation and exchange of knowledge will be the foundation on which we will achieve our goals going forward.  
Speaking of which, in the next year I will place the following priorities at the centre of my plans as District Governor:  Capacity building and female and youth leadership grooming, membership development, fundraising, beefing up our strategy and advisory capacity to support clubs,  greater engagements and work with Rotaractors on new generation initiatives and expanding on Rotary-Rotaract-Rotary mentorship. In all these, DEI will be the cross cutting element to be greatly considered in all Rotary matters.
In concIusion, I would like to close my remarks by the words of Henry Ford, I quote, "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."
Therefore, Let's not forget our District theme 'Let's March Together' as we continue to Imagine Rotary' and wrap ourselves with the 'Care and Support' philosophy.
Yours in Service, 
Azeb Asrat Hailemariam