The University of Gondar, which was represented by Academic vice president Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn and Mr. Abebe Assefa Dean of the School of Law, was hosted by Zhejiang Gongshang University in China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. The two educational institutions worked methodically to bring into fruition, through discussions, the China-Ethiopia/Africa Legal and Training Center and to deliberate various other plans for the future.
From the onset the University of Gondar delegates entered China with the hopes of increasing cooperation with their Chinese counterparts. Some of the activities which the two parties will work on, amongst others, are advertising for the establishment of the China-Ethiopia/Africa Legal and Training Center, both universities will conduct annual international conferences, both universities and both law schools shall look into international policies together, there will be visiting lecturers from both schools, joint research projects will be designed and the exchange of legal materials will be worked on in junction with the respective universities.
Speeches by Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn, Academic vice president of UoG, Professor Chen Linlin, Dean of the School of Law of Zhejiang Gongshang University, Mr. Abebe Assefa Dean of the School of Law at UoG, Professor Suzannah Linton, distinguished professor in the School of Law, Ms Qi Meng, Dr. Guo, and Ms. Lisa from the China Law Society were given.
Dr. Asrat delivered a speech on the core concepts of the cooperation and the related matters the partnership will illicit with the Chinese based university. He pointed out that Ethiopia has hosted a number of Chinese delegates who are currently contributing to the development of the country. “Through engaging in various investment activities” according to Dr. Asrat, “the ever increasing mutual cooperation between the two countries will benefit as well.
Based on the productive talks, the two universities will be supported by the academia and effective ‘Think Tanks’ as was agreed by the forum on China- Africa Cooperation Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018).
The speeches by the two presidents were congruent in showing the commitment of the two universities to provide unreserved support to the center. After the remarks of the higher officials of both parties, the MOU was signed by Professor Chen Shoucan, on behalf of Zhejiang Gongshang University, and Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn representing the University of Gondar.
Amongst other activates that the UoG delegates experienced was the tour of the department of statistics. The academic vice president of UoG sought out ways to strengthen partnerships and commitments in developing areas of cooperation in that area.
In addition to this a tour was given of the Righteous Law Firm which is based in Zhejiang province. The main purpose of this visit was to share ideas on the justice systems of the respective countries and to observe how law firms operate in China. Further talks were conducted to see how the law firm could work in accordance with the University of Gondar. More specifically conducting joint research works on the China-Ethiopian legal framework in the areas of law firms and their contribution to the justice system and overall development will be looked into.
To cap off the visit, Zhejiang Gongshang University and the China Law Society invited Dr. Asrat Atsedeweyn and Mr. Abebe Assefa to deliver lectures to Chinese and international students about Ethiopia, the University of Gondar and the legal system.
After the conclusion of Dr. Asrat’s speech about Ethiopia and the history of the University of Gondar, Mr. Abebe Assefa gave a brief lecture on the legal system in Ethiopia.
He emphasized on law making, the judiciary and the place of arbitration in the federal set up of Ethiopia. Mr. Abebe also reflected on the legal framework in Ethiopia highlighting the areas of investment open to investors and various fiscal and non- fiscal incentives available to them.
Zhejiang Gongshang University, which was founded in 1911, is a public higher educational institution that focuses on the fields of social science. The university is administrated by Zhejiang Province of China.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate