AAU and Sida Sign Cooperative Agreement for Support of Human Rights

Addis Ababa University (AAU), the Centre for Human Rights and Sida Projects Coordination Office organized an agreement signing ceremony between Sida and AAU at the Main Campus of the University, Sidist Kilo, on the 16th of March 2023.

Professor Tassew Woldehanna, President of AAU and and Mrs. Åsa Andersson, Head of Development  Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, signed the agreement to support the AAU’s Centre for Human Rights.

 On the occasion of the visit of Dr. K. J. Cissé, Director of Research at Sida Headquarters, Stockholm, Sweden, to AAU  Prof. Tassew first gave a brief history of the University by saying that AAU is the oldest university in Ethiopia, but relatively young when compared to the universities of other African countries established by the colonialists.

Currently, however, according to Prof. Tassew, AAU stands sixth among African universities mainly due to the quality of research it conducts and the number of publications thereof. This great achievement is highly facilitated by Sida’s unreserved support that has lasted half a century and still counting, he added.

Dr. K. J. Cissé on her part said that Ethiopia is a country that is given very high regards by the Swedish people and government. It is very reassuring to know that Sida’s support to AAU has come to fruition with such stark achievements.

Sida continuous to support AAU although the current situation in Sweden is such that the Swedish government has to cut back some funds at least for the foreseeable one or two years. The purpose of this trip of mine to AAU is to bring AAU and Sida on the same page with regard to the budget cuts and to find an amicable way forward,” Dr. K. J. Cissé stated.

During this visit, the guest of honor, Dr. K. J. Cissé, first on the 16th of March 2023, visited the Center of Human Rights at AAU, which is sponsored by Sida, and then, she and her delegation from the Embassy of Sweden, visited the Cube-of-Hope, a statue erected by Sida in front of the J. F. Kennedy Library on the Main Campus of AAU.

Dr. K. J. Cissé proceeded to the Office of the President of AAU where Mrs. Åsa Andersson, Head of Development  Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, and the President of AAU, Professor Tassew Woldehanna, signed a new agreement to support the Center of Human Rights.

Following the signing ceremony, they made discussions to find amicable ways of continuing the AAU-Sida Projects in light of the current budget reductions by Sida where all the delegation from the Embassy and Professor Brook Lemma, Coordinator of the AAU-Sida Projects were present.

Finalizing the meetings, the team moved to the Sida Projects Coordination Office of AAU (SPCO) to discuss on AAU-Sida relations and the way forward with the current 2018-2023 project and its extension up to the end of December 2025.

On the 17th of March 2023, Dr. K. J. Cissé, and Dr. Amina Jama visited Holeta Agricultural Research of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) some 45 km out of West of Addis Ababa, where one of the Sida Sponsored PhD student in Biochemistry is stationed.

Reporter: Betelhem Tassew, Sida Assistant Report Writer

Editor: Abraham Girmay, Managing Editor at AAU