Korean Envoy meets Dr Damtew; urges for greater collaboration

Ambassador of Republic of South Korea in Ethiopia, Mr Kim Moon-Hwan, in his courtesy visit to Arba Minch University on May 26, 2017, expressed his country and embassy’s desirability to engage with AMU bilaterally in the fields of education, science and technology, etc. Click here to see the pictures.

Mr Kim Moon-Hwan talking to University President, Dr Damtew Darza, and Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Yechale Kebede, has assured that in order to firm up the relationship, South Korea for the first time will send five volunteers from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in October 2017, who will be assisting university in the areas of health and child education.

Expressing his keen intent, Ambassador said that South Korean Embassy wants to strike a balance in according assistance in the areas of education, science and technology to AMU, for it has been disproportionately going to Adama Science and Technology University; he also showed preparedness to comply with any kind of requests coming from AMU in this regard.

Replying to queries, Envoy said, ‘‘I believe science and technology have special importance to Ethiopia in general and AMU in particular as it’s known for natural science since 1980, so there is a room as South Korea is well-known for world-class science and technology.’’ He also informed that presently 20 Korean professors are working with Addis Ababa University and Adama Science and Technology University.

On growing ties with Ethiopia, he said, ‘‘Our trade volume has been minimal, but, I believe, there is a huge complementarity between Ethiopia and Korea as Korea has state-of-the-art technology and huge investment capability while Ethiopia has competitive yet very cheap labor. And I expect more and more investment in Ethiopia and that is my priority.’’

On areas of further collaborations, he maintained that at this take-off phase, the focus must be on labor-intensive industry, such as textile and garment, but Korean companies have already been investing in competitive industry including assembling of electronics, etc.

On move to scale up cooperation in education, he said, ‘‘I think there is a huge potential, given the cheap labor and relatively educated and disciplined Ethiopian mass, I am very optimistic in this regard,’’ he quipped.

Dr Damtew said, at national level with regard to university, South Korea will collaborate in job creation, technology transfer and rendering management skills which is in line with AMU’s strategic and Ethiopian government’s plan.

He said that the visiting Envoy didn’t put any straitjacket with regard to collaboration, rather showed keenness in entertaining requests from AMU. In future, Envoy’s deputy will be visiting the university, wherein possibly Memorandum of Understanding in the identified core areas will be inked, Dr Damtew informed.

The South Korean Envoy was accompanied by his Research Officer-Project Coordinator, Ms Na Yeunjin; later, they visited Dorze and Chencha to enjoy ethnic splendor of the region.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate)