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AAU joins the Australia Africa Universities Network

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The Ambassador of Australia to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative of Australia to the African Union met Vice-President of the Addis Ababa University and Director of the Office of External Relations, Partnerships and Communication of the University to discuss the collaboration on the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN).

In the dialogue, Ambassador Incumbent Mark Sawers stated that it would a great opportunity for Ethiopia to have the Addis Ababa University as part of this initiative. “One of our reasons to come to Ethiopia is to check if Addis Ababa University is interested in joining the Australia Africa Universities Network,” said the ambassador.

The Ambassador pointed out that the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN), the only consortium of universities spanning Australia and Africa, has injected new vigor into the academic relationships between the two continents.

With the purpose of working together to find innovative, long lasting solutions for critical issues concerning both continents, the consortium has identified 4 areas of focus:

- Food & Nutrition Security

- Public Health

 – Education

- Mining & Development

Vice president of the Addis Ababa University, Jeilu Oumer (Ph.D.), stated that it has been the AAU’s long standing interest to work with Australian Universities. He said that the Addis Ababa University needs to collaborate with Universities on a number of areas and announced that the two parties agreed to start collaboration at a small scale and expand it through time. He further noted that the recently started Ph.D. program in food security and the infant stage of the mining sector in Ethiopia reflect the interest of the AAU to join the network.

The fact that the AAU would just plug in to the Network that has been running for quite a while has been mentioned as an advantage. The Vice President noted that it is important to have research and exchange programs that would be offered by the network side by side, even though research is the major interest of the Addis Ababa University.

As a concluding remark, the Ambassador spoke of his desire to see Addis Ababa University host an Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN) forum soon.