Ethiopia (Addis Ababa University) African Association of Insect Scientists Holds its 24th Scientific Conference

Addis Ababa University (AAU) in collaboration with Ministry of Planning and Development organized a seminar on Sustainable Development Goals at Sikist Kilo (Main Campus) on the 29th of September 2022.

Different scholars from different local and international institutions delivered keynote speeches and presentations at the seminar.

Jenny Beate MØller, Education Counsellor, from Norwegian Embassy to Ethiopia in her keynote speech addressed that Norway aims to be a constructive partner of Ethiopia on the current process of transformation both in bilateral relations and multilateral arenas.

According to the Education Counsellor, Norway’s overall development cooperation with Ethiopian is about 85 million USD annually working on good governance, human rights, private sector developments, reducing deforestation and adaptation to climate change, agriculture, education and humanitarian aid.

Specifically addressing the Norwegian support on higher education and research to Ethiopia, the Counsellor stated that the areas have received more attention on the development agenda in recent years recognized as important for providing knowledge and competence needed to attain sustainable development, and better being understood that complex and inter connected challenges posed by the world rapid changes.

Sound prestigious investments in higher education research lay the foundation for the development of countries, intellectual resources, producing competent work forces, visionary leaders, gender equality, human rights and democracy,” she stressed.

Higher education institutions also play an important role in training evidence based policies and practices which are key for the structural transformation required to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 agenda to sustainable development,” she added.

Jenny also stated that in order to solve the problems specific to the Sub-Saharan region and achieve the 2030 agenda, researches and institutions of the region must participate in knowledge production as well as the development of research agendas in priority setting.

Education including higher education in the region is one of the very focused Norwegian development cooperation agenda and a flagship program that aims to contribute the capacity building of universities to educate more and better qualified candidates  as well as to increase the quality of research conducted by the country own researchers, she said.

Ethiopian universities have been long term partners with Norwegian universities in higher educational development cooperation and Norway remains cooperating with Ethiopia participating in 16 development projects including CISCO project allocating 1.6 Birr budget for the next six years (2021 to 2026). AAU is one of the largest participants involving in six projects,” Jenny finally said.

Professor Dan Banik, Professor of Political Science from University of Oslo, on his presentation mentioned problems that hider the progress towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of appropriate data to measure the SDG success progress, dissatisfaction of many African governments for the West refusing finance for natural gas exploration while deforestation and draughts are increasing due to energy crisis, and less political enthusiasm were the impediments for the 2030 agenda of SDGs.

Mentioning the great start of discussion with an international team assembled in Addis with the aim to start PhD program on SDGs in AAU, Prof. Dan focused his presentation on research methods, politics of sustainable development, policy coherence, urban sustainability, increasing development finance, equipping policy makers and more.

Professor Tegegne G/egziabher, project coordinator for NORHED-SustGOV Project, reportedly stated what Ethiopia has succeeded towards the achievement of SDGs working on poverty reduction, health and education, and the challenges she faced on doing so.

Accordingly, Prof. Tegegne mentioned the successes of the Green Legacy Campaign planting more than 18 billion trees within a few years, successful cluster agricultural activities for wheat harvest, the GERD progress, the Ethiopian Airline’s continued being profitable during the COVID-19 pandemic, infrastructure development, progressive partnership activities, etc.

Political turmoil, destructing of supply chain due to Russia-Ukraine war, program fluctuations due to the Pandemic, economic inflation, high population growth and gender parity in terms of demography and so on were some of the basic challenges in disturbing the movement of Ethiopia towards achieving the SDGs.

Editor: Abraham Giramy

Photograph: Andualem Aseffa