Poverty is our main enemy and education is the instrument to exterminate it for better tomorrow. Nevertheless, from 2 universities with 36 colleges to 34 of them with over 500 colleges in the span of 20 years, is a remarkable achievement for us, said the Education Minister, Mr Shiferaw Shigute. Pictures from the meeting.

Presiding over the Institutional Transformation Council (ITC) meeting, held in the backdrop of AMU’s 25th anniversary celebration from 23rd to 24th May, 2014, Education Minister, called upon the universities to secure stability by focusing on good governance in relation to service delivery i.e. food, dormitories, health and other educational services.
In the remaining one-and-a-half months of 2006 EC academic year, universities were told to work on organizing education change army to enhance the quality of education and keep up the momentum of change achieved so far.
The report of 2006 (2014) fiscal year and 2007 (2015) Annual Plan based on the strength and weakness has to be submitted. The ministry will also conduct capacity building training during the vacation.
Lauding AMU for its 25th anniversary, minister said, ‘‘AMU has achieved greatly so far, now it’s time to look for ‘2020 vision’ as per the strategic plan and wished its staff to celebrate golden jubilee and by then he expects Ethiopia to be a middle income country and told all institutions to have long-term plan.
Deputy minister for higher education, Dr Kaba Urgessa, when asked about Arba Minch University’s progress, said, ‘‘We are satisfied with the progress made so far by AMU, because the development is made due to the efforts of leadership right from the ministry to university. Their intake capacity has increased including well-equipped laboratories and other facilities are quite impressive, he said.
On bilateral ties with the foreign universities for technology transfer and sharing technical knowhow & innovative ideas, he adds, ‘‘The directives for the same is being communicated to the Ethiopian universities from time to time and all of them are mandated for it. In this two-day meeting, a decision will be taken which will be implemented in the long run, he summed up.
The celebration began with AMU President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes, informing the dignitaries about the rich flora and fauna of Arba Minch town. He thanked all dignitaries i.e. both ministers and high officials from 34 universities for gracing the function.
Soon, the Institutional Transformation Council meeting began with Addis Ababa University (AAU) President relating the achievements, claiming AAU to be the most prestigious amongst the listed global universities as per the recent regional analysis.
Thereafter, universities like Wollega, Debre Tabor, Assosa, Wolaita, Haramaya and others presented their accounts before the ministers. In the assessment report presented by the ministry pinpointing failures and achievements of all higher education institutions didn’t go well with others and the discussion ensued.
The President of Adama Science and Technology University, Dr Jang Gyu Lee, miffed with the report, termed it negative, said, ‘‘It’s demoralizing, we have constraints yet we are trying our level best to march ahead.’’ He underscored that the universities badly need good teachers and proper instruments to upgrade quality of education.
During the discussion, other visiting presidents and vice presidents of all universities also shared their problems and practical difficulties faced by them and sought solutions. The Director General for Administrative Affairs, Dr Samuel Kifle conducted the program.
The closing ceremony of anniversary held on 25th May, began with Police Bands playing some melodious tunes while people donning blue cap and a colorful stole displaying Arba Minch University logo dotted the newly built hall.  
In the panel discussion, invited guest Dr Yacob Arsano, Associate professor from Addis Ababa University with minister for water and energy, Mr Fekahmed Negash, enlightened the gathering on Hydro-Diplomacy. Dr Feleke Woldeyes briefed the people about AMU’s 25-year long journey.
At the end, AMU felicitated academic, administrative staff and others for their valuable contributions for making anniversary celebration a success by giving them certificate of appreciation. Indian, German embassies and an NGO - GIZ were also lauded for their sustained collaboration and cooperation.
Much to the delight of entire university community, a documentary film on AMU’s 25-year-long journey was screened on the occasion.
By Philips Joseph