Norway’s envoy in Ethiopia, Mr Andreas Gaarder, on UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Program’s stock-taking visit to Arba Minch University and town, reiterated long-standing relation with Ethiopia on higher education hints at greater cooperation on primary education.

On the project in focus, he said for Norway it’s important to support in facilitating products on reproductive health projects in Ethiopia. The dissemination of such kinds of information will be of immense significance for students joining university that will have direct consequences on their health, so for me it’s reason enough to support it.

On collaboration with other Ethiopian universities, he said, funds are dispersed by UNFPA and UNICEF, and Norway is engaged with universities like Mekelle, Hawassa, Jimma, Addis Ababa, Arba Minch and others on such issues to improve the health of youth population.
Clarifying his role he further adds, with limited capacity to manage concrete funds with the embassy, we find channels which are efficient and organization competent with determination to make the difference in their endeavor to serve community. We don’t micro manage the project but have political dialogues with these organization on regular basis.
Further adds, I haven’t came here with the concrete ideas but to assess the impact of the project, humanitarian situation and whether to continue other projects and include new areas. He expressed desire to support city mayor in his idea to twin up with Norwegian cities on the issue of common interest.
Extending invitation to Dr Feleke, he revealed his intention to host conference to celebrate 20th year of academic high-level cooperation with Ethiopian universities. He informed, Norway has already decided to make Ethiopia as its focus country in bilaterally providing primary education to girls and marginalized groups.
Norway will also provide education to people in crisis whether they are refugees or those living in pastoral areas. Appreciating Ethiopian government’s effort in allocating 25% of its annual budget for education, he says, in that perspective global partnership is important.
On strategic ties with Ethiopia, he said, our relations had its origin decades ago, which is based on mutual respect, deep understating and knowledge as it has commonality of interest.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)