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A new dawn for science in Ethiopia on sustainable green economy

(By Gebrekidan Gebresilassie, PHD student in Materials and Energy Technology
Tigrai Online Dec. 03, 2012

Africa’s second most populous nation, Ethiopia, has shown a great commitment to catapult itself into the world’s middle income countries within the next few years and the government has designed a very ambitious and visionary plan for its sensible discharge. To realize its pushy vision and strategy, the government has placed science and technology at the front line to back up the planned wide spectrum developmental strategies. To this end, we have witnessed practical activities on sustainable and climate salient green economy development such as in the energy sector including the ever largest renaissance dam, the escalating projects on Wind, solar, geothermal and bio-energy technologies etc. In terms of these sectors, Ethiopia has already practically demonstrated its intent to become the power house of the East Africa region, a very great leap for the nation.

The all-embracing government’s initiatives have also inspired a number of citizens to share their hands in the struggle against poverty. To this end, the scientists/researchers in our universities take the largest lion share as these are the hubs of our scientific community. At this point, scientists at Addis Abeba University, faculty of science are taking the lead and opening a new hope for Ethiopia and Ethiopians to engage in science and technology such as materials science, Energy Technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology and the likes. To revolutionize science and technology in Africa/Ethiopia, our scientists at AAU like Professor Dr. Teketel Yohannis (world class material scientist) have recognized the importance of collaborations with other African nations and researchers from developed countries for the viable and effective technology transfer.

As part of this strategy, for the first time, Ethiopia is going to host a number of scientific events to engage researchers, companies, investors, and policy makers from all over the world. One of these events is the world renowned Joint US- Africa materials science institute conference on December 9-21/2012 to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Others include MRS (Materials research society) - Africa in Addis Ababa, which will be held on December 8-13/2013 at Addis Abeba, Ethiopia and the African School on Nanoscience for Solar Energy Conversion in Addis Ababa etc

Our prestigious scientists at Addis Abeba and other universities are at the core of this movement and are pushing it forward to realize our nation’s sustainable development via establishing a strong scientific and technological foundation.

I would like to request all my most respected Ethiopians who are engaged in the academic area to join these kinds of historical movements, rather than spending too much time cooking unnecessary stuffs, which does not even push our beloved country 1 inch forward. Finally, I would like to use this opportunity to extend my highest regard and appreciation to the likes of Prof. Dr. Teketel Yohannis, who are working hard day and night to create a scientific society in our country and thereby improve the livelihood of our beloved people.

“At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been before.” President OBAMA (April 27, 2009)

US - Africa Materials Science Institute: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/juami/location.html

MRS – Africa: http://www.africamrs.co.za/Home.html

MRS International outreach interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgZCkRMdvkw&list=PLGVe6BxyFHNVDJk5mKUgbMruU4r-uNRAe&index=7&

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