The Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Raphael Morav, visited the University of Gondar on the 28 March 2018 for a national press conference. With a team of Israeli professionals with him he hinted at the growing certainty that the two countries will work together in the long run with no end in sight.
The relationship between Israel and Ethiopia is a long standing one. The foreign relations between the two countries has been strong for decades. Both countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1992 and still continue to work together for the betterment of both nations.
Dr. Asrat the Academic Vice President and the Delegate of the president met the Ambassador with open arms. In his opening remarks Dr. Asrat mentioned in detail the full extent of the Israeli- Ethiopian collaboration.
“On a fundamental level, in our own educational institution, we can see the fruits of Israeli support and their commitment to our development. The gains we have achieved from the State of Israel could be observed by their efforts to strengthen the capacity of research, community service and the teaching learning process here at UoG” Dr. Asrat asserted.
A sizable donation was brought to the University of Gondar, by Israel’s top diplomat in the country, to assist the medical field. A water filtration unit and an X-Ray machine will reinforce an already strong hospital. Its role may create an environment where more and more individuals receive quality treatment.
Mr. Morav inducted a 700,000 ETB dental diagnostic X-Ray machine donated to the University of Gondar Specialized Hospital by an Israeli charity.
Dr. Asrat noted that the hospital has been referring patients to Addis Ababa due to the absence of the device. He also stressed that the device will be significant for patients as well as the medical students. The device can serve more than 80 patients a day.
The State of Israel is known for its technology sector that is almost on par with Silicon Valley. Their dedication to advancement and education is heads and shoulders above any Middle Eastern country in their vicinity. And by championing Ethiopian education and stressing the importance of it, they have not only ‘talked the talked’, but they have also ‘walked the walk’.
Among the core ideals in which the Israeli government stressed, education was key. The Joint Distribution Committee also known as JDC has education as a top priority.
“The Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has also allowed a number of economically disadvantaged youth an opportunity to be given a university education at the University of Gondar” Dr. Asrat stated. This Scholarship program that assists Nursing and Midwifery students caters to the students by covering tuition fees and providing pocket money to a number of students.
Ambassador Raphael Morav also commented on the JDC and its impact. He also cited a long awaited Jewish Museum that was proposed by the University of Gondar last year. “The idea to establish a museum in this city is not only essential but also vital for Jewish history” said the Ambassador. Mr. Morav also asserted that higher education in both countries will be linked in the future to further promote educational institutions and build capacity.
Many of the deans and directors who were present during the Senate Hall press conference asked questions and were pleased with the remarks of the Ambassador. The idea to strengthen ties between the University of Gondar and the State of Israel were leading points in the discussions.
Increasing the productivity of seeds, the STEM and creative and innovative thinking project and Fair Planet (an organization in the agricultural sphere) were all mentioned in connection with UoG.
Dr. Asrat, on behalf of the University of Gondar, expressed his appreciation for the continual support of Israel. It can be said that, moving forward, the relationship between the two respective countries will only get stronger.
By Samuel Malede| Public & International Relations Directorate