It is well remembered the situation in Ethiopia before 1991. The long years of misguided development and administrative policies had resulted in severe civil war, poverty and backwardness that led the country down a dead end. The extent of the devastation not only curtailed the development of new infrastructures, but also damaged the existing ones. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life bore the brunt of the poverty, hunger, forced migration, psychological dysfunction, loss of limbs and death. The desperate socio economic situation and the dire needs in education, and healthcare made a high time demand of formulating a mechanism to reverse the gloominess instance the people of the Amhara region had faced. It means to pull ourselves of poverty, and embark on a journey of triumph, self-reliance, we need the tools of preparedness, foresight and vision. The momentous development challenges of the Amhara National Region and its people could only be tackled by the collective efforts of the people, government as well as various stakeholders of the region’s development undertakings. What was required was a sense of volunteerism, sacrifice, and confidence to bring our collective efforts to bear upon the key problems confronting the people. Religious and political beliefs and differences in personal wealth should never prevent us from working together for the good of all of the region’s peoples. It is under this philosophy that The Amhara Development Association/ADA/ was established on May 28/1992.
ADA is emerged as an indigenous not-for-profit, non partisan, local Non Governmental Organization; aiming to contribute to the economic and social progress of the people of the Amhara National Region. In the last 20 years since its establishment, ADA has been able to bring together investors, national and international NGOs, civil servants, the Diaspora, artists, academicians, and the people at large in a collaborative effort to mitigate the pressing problems the people were faced. Indeed, ADA has been able to build a united front and it registered impressive achievements. ADA, together with the regional government, the people at large has been able to change and end up once and for all the gloominess situation the people had faced. But, still there are development challenges ADA has to work on so as to build a self reliance and dependable generation; focusing mainly on the development of the human capital.
The headquarters of ADA is located at Bahir Dar, the capital city of the Amhara National Regional State. It has seven area/Ketena offices in the Region, and one area/liaison office in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. It has also branch offices in all 165 woredas/ district of the region and offices at major cities in other regions of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Branch offices of ADA are the major operational units where the actual development activities are managed and are coordinated by volunteers. It also has overseas offices in few countries of Africa, Europe, America and Asia managed by dedicated volunteers.
ADA has been registered with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Charities and Societies Agency as Ethiopian Residence Association (registration number 1421) with the mandate to implement development activities in the Amhara National Region.
The supreme organ of ADA is the General Assembly, which is mainly constituted by representatives of members from branch offices, prominent individuals, the private sector, academicians, and professionals from all corners of the country and abroad. The General Assembly is convened once every year. It sets overall directions, approves annual & long term corporate plans, policies, and elects the Board of Directors.
A CEO and a Deputy CEO lead the day-to-day management of the Association. A management committee regularly meets to see major managerial agendas. ADA has adapted a hybrid/semi-decentralized organizational structure from headquarter to geographical based lower level-grass root structures.
Currently, ADA has more than 2.5 million registered members who contribute to the development endeavors that the association is aimed at. ADA also has about 373 highly motivated and qualified full time employs of which 69% are assigned outside the headquarter where the actual development activities are undertaken.