On 19 January 2018 the American Ambassador to Ethiopia visited the University of Gondar. The Honorable Mr. Michael Rayner showed his commitment to strengthening ties with the University of Gondar and spoke of ways to increase the already stellar performance of the nation’s top university. Marking his visit though it was a coincidence that he came on an exceptionally significant day that means the world to the Ethiopian Orthodox community.
During the Timket ceremony, that took place from 18-21 January 2018, pilgrims from all over the country and abroad come to the historic city of Gondar to experience a tradition that has been going on for centuries. What makes this year different from any other, is the fact that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), which was established in 1946, is considering making the event internationally excepted.
The university’s top administration welcomed America’s top diplomatic figure with open arms and hospitality.
UoG’s President Dr. Desalegn Mengesha started by thanking the American Ambassador for his visit and then enumerated to him the history of the university. From its inception, till its now illustrious ranking, Dr. Desalegn expressed to H.E Michael Rayner the rich history of Ethiopia’s top-flight university.
On top of this the President also voiced his appreciation to the American country for its continual partnership. Dr. Desalegn shared with the people who were in attendance that this cooperation with the USA isn’t a new one but has been going on for years. “We host over 50 students a year at our university who come from abroad” he said, “these students come from places like the Ohio State University and Howard University (Washington D.C) and our partnerships are growing every day.”
America has been a top donor to Ethiopia for years and its partnership originated in the 1960’s with the Kennedy administration. Its relationship encompasses many facets and the educational arena is just one of the places where they choose to assist.
The Ambassador spoke of a few issues that continues to harass the potential of the country and conveyed ways to increase the advancement of education and development.
Michael Rayner, who is originally from Montgomery County, which is found in the state of Maryland, has been on the job for a little over 3 months but his commitment to strengthening America’s relationship with UoG was clear.
“The accomplishments of the University of Gondar stands out from all of the other higher education institutions in Ethiopia” the Ambassador said. Some of the areas of cooperation that America is willing to assist are via the medical field, education and certain foundations that are pivotal to the growth of certain sectors.
After the discussions were held a tour was given to the honored guest. One of the noteworthy places where the ambassador visited is the now fully functional referral hospital. In 2016 this state of the art and advanced facility was fully funded by the American government.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate