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A conference on Health, Science and Higher Education organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy was held at the ALERT on Wednesday, November 8, 2017. The Conference was attended by the Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Crown Princess Mette-Marit who were visiting the country this week, as well as state ministers.
The event that gathered Ethiopians that have been trained in Norway in the fields of health sciences as well as experts from Norway focused on how institutions in both countries can work together to contribute to addressing health problems in Ethiopia.
“I believe this conference on Health, Science and Higher Education could further strengthen the already robust partnership between Norway and Ethiopia and spur our march towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. It will also bring the collaboration between scientists, professors and health mangers of Norway and Ethiopia to a new level. I strongly support the continuity of this kind of important conference in the future,” said state minister of health Kebede Worku in his opening speech.
Historically, Norway and Ethiopia have a long standing cooperation through politics, development aid and missionary work. Norway has provided support to Ethiopia through different organizations and schemes including Save the Children, the Development Fund, Norwegian People’s Aid and Norwegian Church Aid. Additionally, the country signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with Ethiopia in 1995 to improve the health of Ethiopians; to expand quality education; to ensure gender parity; and to curb climate change and foster sustainable development.
“I am pleased to announce that the Government of Ethiopia has joined forces with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to promote research and development for vaccine development for unknown but potentially emerging pandemics. Rallying the global health community around this noble cause, the Government of Norway played unequalled role in establishing this critical initiative, CEPI. Of particular note, Dr Tore Godal has led the process from the inception as he did with the establishment other globally impactful partnerships including Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the Global Fund,” the state minister also said.
Speaking at the event was also Crown Princess Mette-Marit who reflected further on the strong relationship between the two countries. Speaking on the importance of a health society, the Crown Princess pointed out that “A healthy society is the driver of a good economy; Norway is always there to cooperate with the Ethiopian government to better the health of people here and work on prevention solutions and research,” she said.