Following the second India Africa Forum Summit that was held last May
in Addis Ababa in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, India pledged to support the establishment of 80 capacity building institutions in Africa. “Under this framework, an ICT Centre, a Barefoot Training College and a Farm Science Centre will be set up in Ethiopia. These are in addition to the vocational Training Centre being set up as outlined in the first India Africa Summit,” said Indian Ambassador to Ethiopia Bhagwant Bishnoi in his address at the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and International Students Day reception held at Hilton Addis on Thursday.
“In Ethiopia ITEC was launched in 1969. The number of slots given at that time was for five students per year. Making a steady progress the number has gone up to 58 in 2007. In 2010 the number further increased to 120 and last year its reached 150. In just four years 400 percent increase in the number of training slots,” added the Ambassador. The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation progamme was launched in 1964 to provide vehicle for cooperation with other developing countries.
The Ambassador further noted that Ethiopia has a special place in the ITEC programme because suitable candidates are chosen for the training and “they are keen to learn and come back and utilize the training that they have received in India.”
Meanwhile, India has established a tele-education centre at the Addis Ababa University. At the ITEC and International Students Day reception, a batch of 29 Ethiopian students, who did their MBA through tele-education and video-conferencing with the Indira Gandhi Open University were awarded their degrees.
Present on the occasion were members of the Ethiopia India graduates Forum. This brought together Indian alumni. Capital also learnt that the 40 scholarships that are offered on an annual basis are administered through the Embassy, and following the visit of Dr. Manmohan Singh to Ethiopia it was decided to increase the number of scholarships to 50.
The Ambassador noted that apart from this there are about 350 students who go to India for university studies on self financing basis.
History has documented that the cooperation between the two countries in the sector of education began at the time of Emperor Hailesellasie I. At that time there were tens of thousands of Indian school teachers in Ethiopia. It was possible to see an Indian teacher even in the remotest parts of the country. “They have now been replaced by university lecturers and professors from India. We would estimate that their number presently stands at 900,” the ambassador remarked.