The Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK His Excellency Ambassador Dr Hailemichael Afework Aberra, visited University of the West of Scotland’s Paisley Campus on 6th March 2017.
The Ambassador was joined by seven colleagues from the Ethiopian Embassy in London. This three day visit, which ran from 6th March to 8th March, was his first official visit to Scotland since becoming the Ambassador in 2016.
The University hopes to develop strong links with Ethiopia and this visit was organised by Professor John Struthers, Director of the University’s Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development (CAREED), who is also the Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Scotland.
CAREED, which is the first Centre of its kind in the UK, has a clear focus on African enterprise and economic development and aims to study the many structural changes which African economies have experienced in recent years.
The three day visit saw the delegation visiting a number of Scottish universities to discuss a range of collaborations in research, university administration and quality assurance. The delegation also visited a range of key business stakeholders such as the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, African Forum Scotland, as well as the LINK Community Development organisation in Edinburgh, who work extensively in the area of girls education in Ethiopia.
The delegation met with Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development, as well a number of the Ethiopian diaspora living in Scotland.
Professor Struthers commented: “It was a great honour to arrange the visit of Dr Hailemichael Aberra and his Embassy colleagues. The tremendous progress that the Ethiopian economy has made in recent years, along with major infrastructural projects in transport, education and health, paves the way for fruitful collaboration between Scottish universities and companies across a range of different sectors.
“The trip saw some extremely positive discussions with a number of UWS colleagues across a range of academic Schools and some areas for collaboration were identified in the STEM subjects as well as Health, Sport and Entrepreneurship.”
Professor Struthers added: “As a result of this visit we are now hoping to arrange an investment forum in Scotland later this year to which universities, companies and other stakeholders will be invited. This may then lead to a trade and investment mission to Ethiopia in which Scottish universities can also be involved.”