interviewBy Sirak Habtemichael
Asmara — The Halhale College of Economics and Business Administration graduated 869 students on October 3, 2009. Before the re-establishment of the college at a broader scale in its current location, the college was located inside the University of Asmara and could only graduate less than a hundred students each year. Dean of the college, Dr. Yemane Misgina gave Shabait a brief interview following the graduation. Excerpts follow:
Can you briefly tell us about the background of the College of Economics and Business Administration?
The college of Economics and Business Administration was established as an autonomous college in 2004 at a broader scale within the premises of the Mai Nefhi Institute of Technology. Later it was relocated to its former place inside the University of Asmara, where we graduated 500 students from seven areas of specialization. In November 2008, the college was again moved to Halhale when the necessary infrastructure was completed. This year we graduated 869 students at Degree, Diploma and Certificate levels. What we are doing at the Halhale College is not a new thing, it is just a continuation of what we were doing at the University of Asmara except of course the number of students grew considerably and the areas of specialization have been increased to seven.
How about the instructors, do you have enough teaching personnel?
Well when the college was inside the University of Asmara, we didn't have enough space to accommodate this much students, so the maximum amount of students we graduated back then could not exceed 100. But now that we have ample space we knew we could handle a lot more students and of course we considered hiring some expatriates to teach at our college including the assistant graduates and some more local instructors in the field.
Does you plan intend to further train assistant graduates and fill the gap of instructors?
Of course. As a matter of fact we are doing our level best at providing our graduates, especially those with outstanding grades, the opportunity to attend postgraduate studies abroad. In that case we would be able to have enough teaching human resource in our college and apparently we would be able to enroll more students.
Are there plans to make postgraduate studies available here at the college?
Indeed we are trying to reach that level. In fact it was put on hold until we prepared the required infrastructure and organization, but now the plans will hopefully be implemented soon. The required infrastructure has been laid to open postgraduate program in economics by the year 2010. The reason I am stressing on that specific field is that it is a field that is needed to go hand in hand with the present nation-building endeavors. The college is not just a separate entity, it works together with other government bodies and institutions. Basically our partnership is quiet close with the Ministry of National Development, the Ministry of Tourism, the National Bank of Eritrea and many others.
How do you view the contribution of the graduates in the national development programs?
Well, it is definite that their contribution would be important and effective. Besides, the curriculum of our college uses the Macro policy of Eritrea as a book of reference. By doing so, we believe that whatever we teach our students would be applicable in the long-run objectives and policies of the Eritrean government. We consider the export-oriented economic policy, promoting the trade free zone and many others to be some of the efficient approaches in the over-all economic revival endeavors.