The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Hawassa University (HU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a framework of cooperation between the two institutions.
ECA chief, Carlos Lopes, signed on behalf of ECA while Professor Yosef Mamo, President of Hawassa University, signed for the higher institution of learning.
The two institutions are seeking cooperation in the areas of academic and research activities.
"ECA is looking forward to deepening its relationship with Hawassa University to support the promotion of Africa's development agenda," said Mr. Lopes. "We are expanding our collaboration with African universities, and are therefore looking forward to a very strong collaboration with Hawassa University."
The MoU will extend interdisciplinary research and promote regional and continental engagement to support Africa's transformation agenda spearheaded by ECA in industrialization and HU in knowledge.
The joint academic and research activities will help bridge the research-policy gap, both to better inform academic research on pressing policy issues and to bring academic research more to the attention of policy-makers and governments.
Mr. Mamo expressed optimism about the outcome of the collaboration.
"We are very honoured to be associated with this prestigious institution, ECA, which has done a lot in Africa and is a beacon of social and economic development on the continent," said Mr. Mamo. "We hope this collaboration will be a success story."
The signing of the MOU was preceded by a tour of some key ECA facilities with Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, leading the way. She reassured the university that collaborating with ECA was the right thing to do.
"It's the beginning of a long but good and successful journey, and I think ECA and HU have many areas of common interest in terms of the work we and the work you do," said Ms. Biha.
After the tour of ECA's print shop, library and the iconic Africa Hall, Mr. Mamo, who led the HU delegation, was impressed by the facilities at the ECA, adding both students and staff from the university would benefit greatly from the cooperation between the two institutions.
Mr. Lopes assured the HU delegation that the Commission is ready to support them.
"We can help you develop relations with the international community, and also serve as a filter for your relations with the international community," he said. "Also, we'll be sure to always furnish your library with our latest publications."
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Tel: +251 11 551 5826