A delegation of Mekelle University management and academic leadership members led by President Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot visited the Republic of Turkey from Feb 24 to March 1, 2018. The delegation took the mission of expanding existing collaborations and negotiating mutually benefiting opportunities with various Turkish governmental higher education institutes and cultural and public diplomacy institutes. The delegation discussed how to materialize scientific cooperation and further develop more partnership opportunities with Turkish universities and institutes.

During its stay in Turkey, the delegation has visited various institutes, facilities, cultural and historical destinations. The main visits were made to offices and facilities of the Yunus Emre Institute, such as the mobile science lab at Maraş Geçici Barınma Merkezi Çok Programlı Lisesi School at the Maraş Geçici Barınma Merkezi Refuge camp, the Yunus Emre Enstitus Headquarters, Yunus Emre Head Office in Ankara and Higher education institutions including Ankara University and Social Science University. The delegation also paid a visit to Diyanet Vakfi, an organization that has assisted visually impaired Ethiopian with a material donation.

During the meeting at the Yunus Emre institute, in addition to the presentations made on features of both institutions, discussions were held with special focus on further opportunities to work together. The possibilities included on strengthening the Turkish Language Program, summer school scholarships, possible support to disabled students, engaging in public diplomacy and cultural promotion. Both parties agreed that with the fulfillment of requirements for opening a center, they would work towards opening a Yunus Emre Center at Mekelle University. Director of Turkology at Yunus Emre Institute, Mr. Tayfun Kalkan and Director of Strategic Development Mr. Bulent Ucpinar together with their colleagues received the delegation of MU.

On the issue of working together on public diplomacy, Yunus Emre expressed interest on getting an Ethiopian partner to become a member of the GDPNet (Global Public Diplomacy Network). Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Ethiopia and the Ambassador of Embassy of Turkey in Addis Ababa were approached on ways forward towards which Dr. Aklilu Hailemichael, State Minister of MoFA and Ambassador Fatih Ulusoy expressed strong interest and agreed to provide necessary support.

The President of Mekelle University has awarded certificates of recognition to Yunus Emre Institute and Diyanet Vakfi; to the first for the practical support provided towards establishing the Turkish Language Program and to the later for the donation of supplies to visually impaired students.

 

With the objective of renewing previous communication and going into actual collaboration, the MU delegation visited the University of Ankara and met Vice President Prof. Ayhan Elmali and Director of the Center of African Studies Prof. Nahide Bozkurt. Potential opportunities ranging from short term staff and student exchange to joint work on grant calls were discussed and approved as future areas of focus. To help materialize key engagement with a good start, both universities agreed to go in to a collaboration agreement.

During the meeting at the Social Science University, Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot and Rector Prof. Mehmet Barca discussed common interests of focusing on Post Graduate studies. Both agreed to collaborate in capacity building, staff and student exchange and to further establish respected offices to work on the partnership potentials.

 

At the end of its mission, the delegation visited the state of the art Konya Science Museum with a purpose of learning the practice in order to take experience for the Science Museum under construction at Mekelle University.

 

The delegation from MU, led by President Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, consisted of Director of Registrar and Alumni Dr. Abdelwassie Kedir, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Languages Dr. Zenawi Zerihun, Advisor of University and Industry Linkage Mr. Macit Koc and Director of International Affairs Mr. Goitom Tegegn.

 

By: International Affairs Directorate