Exclusive Interview Dr. Menghestab Haile: A Meteorologist’s Journey of Compassion and Innovation

Estimated read time 4 min read

By Africa Talks Business.

In a recent interview with Dr. Menghestab Haile a seasoned meteorologist and UN veteran, we delved into the roots of his remarkable journey, his experiences with the United Nations, and his perspective on the challenges Africa faces today. Dr. Haile , hailing from Northern Ethiopia, has dedicated his career to addressing critical issues, driven by a profound sense of responsibility sparked during the devastating drought of the mid-80s.

A Call to Action: From Physics to Meteorology

As a university student studying physics during the drought crisis, Dr. Haile felt a calling to contribute to mitigating the impact of such disasters. This led him to pursue meteorology in the UK, where he earned his Ph.D. His motivation was clear: he sought a path that would enable him to combat drought and assist the people in his homeland.

Returning to Ethiopia after completing his studies, Dr. Haile established the country’s first modern early warning system in 1996, a pivotal moment in his commitment to serving his nation. In addition to implementing cutting-edge technology, he introduced the first email service, a pioneering initiative at the time.

A Quarter Century of Impact with the United Nations

Joining the United Nations World Food Program two years later marked the beginning of Dr. Haile extensive tenure with the organization. Over the past 25 years, he has worked in various countries, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Italy,Rome and so many others, contributing to global efforts to alleviate hunger and address food insecurity.

Reflecting on his journey, Dr. Haile emphasized the rewarding nature of his work, highlighting the impact on the lives of individuals he encountered. He shared a poignant moment when his teenage son observed the essence of his mission, expressing a desire to create wealth himself and directly contribute to uplifting those in need.

Passions Beyond the Profession

Despite the demanding nature of his work, Dr. Haile finds relaxation in activities that align with his commitment to self-improvement and community. He is a regular Chess player. He engages in daily runs, covering distances of 7 to 10 kilometers, plays chess during travels, and values conversations with young people, eager to exchange ideas.

While acknowledging the blending of work and relaxation, Dr. Haile emphasized the importance of reading as his form of holiday, especially when exploring subjects unrelated to his daily responsibilities.

Changing Perspectives through Global Encounters

Asked about individuals who influenced his perspective, Dr. Haile recalled his time with the late Garang, a South Sudanese freedom fighter. The discussions with Garang resonated with him, particularly the notion that the true fight lies in economic battles, a lesson that continues to shape Dr. Haile worldview.

Africa’s Challenges and the Road Ahead

In addressing the holistic challenges faced by Africa, Dr. Haile expressed concern about harnessing the productivity of the continent’s youth. He identified digitalization as a double-edged sword, acknowledging its potential for progress but urging a shift towards using technology for skill development and education. His vision centers on empowering young Africans to be productive contributors in a globalized world.

Defining Success: An Unfinished Mission

Closing the interview, Dr. Haile shared his perspective on success. Despite his numerous accomplishments, he remains resolute in his pursuit of a world where every individual has access to nutritious food and education. For him, success is an unfinished business, a continuous journey until poverty and hunger are eradicated.

Dr. Haile’s story is one of resilience, compassion, and a relentless commitment to making a positive impact on the world. As he continues to navigate the intersection of meteorology, humanitarianism, and technology, his journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking purposeful paths to create meaningful change.

Follow Dr Haile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/menghestabhaile/?originalSubdomain=za

Listen to the Full Podcast.

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