AAU and UNISA Discuss on Areas of Common Interest for Collaboration

Addis Ababa University (AAU) and University of South Africa (UNISA) hold discussion on areas where they have common interest to collaboration in their future at the Office of the President of AAU on the 6th of Sept. 2021.

After briefly introduced the capacity and overall activities of AAU, Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of the University, stated that AAU is open to collaborate with any higher institution as long as the cooperation further helps to strengthen its research and graduate programs.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UNISA, Professor Puleng LenkaBula, expressing the vast areas of engagement and wide experience of the University, the delegation wants to bring those realities to Ethiopia and work in collaboration with AAU to explore and exploit the areas that have common interest for both.

As mentioned by the Vice-Chancellor, the main areas on which UNISA is interested to cooperate with AAU are: basic education but with hybridity and multi-modality, TVET, the green energy sector, Nano Water Technology, scholars’ development and professionalization, internationalization agenda of diplomacy, inter regional issues of Africanization, etc.

Following UNISA’s detail briefing, Professor Tassew prioritized the areas of cooperation to exploit; the e-learning, professionalizing coo-curricula activities, life skill development, Biomedical Engineering, Accounting and Finance, exchange of professionals, collaboration on gender study issues, experience sharing on the issues of self-authorizationand others.

Ambassador Professor Iqbal Jhazbhay, Acting Director of Projects, Office of the Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UNISA, told to the AAU staff report during an exclusive interview that:

“UNISA is one of the oldest and the largest universities of South Africa. For the first time in its 147 years old history, has appointed a woman as a Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Puleng LenkaBula.

We need to advance the presence of UNISA in Ethiopia taking the strategic position of Ethiopia considering UNISA the hub unit for the IGAD states. We want to engage all our partners here how we could make partnership in this respect with them for more graduate students with Master’s and Doctoral degrees as well as Science and Nano Technologies and on those key priority strategic areas for Ethiopia and the region’s development.

The second view is that Ethiopia made a critical and strategic decision to develop peace with Eritrea, which is very seminal peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea.  So, our presence here with the president, the Vice president as well as the key staff of AAU was to explore how could keep the peace development in the region.

In many ways, the issue of peace and stability as well as development is often born at the university. The aspect of nurturing and developing peace is also based at the university.

We agreed to explore priority interest areas for the two universities. We have agreed on key areas, for example, on the issue of water and dam as UNISA has a rated Nano Water Technology department which we have got common ground for the two universities.

The other area is to start joint publications and to insure that knowledge development within our continent goals in terms of Ethiopia-South Africa relations. This is the highest level if possible to connect both alumni of the two universities and diaspora community.”

By: Abraham Girmay

Photo: FikremariamBeyene