UMass Delegation Visits Addis Ababa University
From November 16th to November 26th, 2012, a delegation from UMass Boston comprised of Provost Winston Langley, Professor Maria Ivanova, and Center Research Associate Michael Denney traveled to Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In Addis, the delegation was hosted by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network (HoAREC/N), a leading environmental institution in East Africa with its institutional home in AAU.
Prof. Ivanova has been involved with HoAREC/N through the Global Environmental Governance Project since 2008 and through the Center for Governance and Sustainability since 2010. HoAREC/N has participated in a number of GEG events, including the 2009 GEG Forum in Glion, Switzerland. Additionally, HoAREC/N hosted Michael Denney for a lengthy research trip in the summer of 2012.
However, this most recent trip marks a turning point in the relationship between the Center, UMass Boston, AAU, and HoAREC/N. The primary purpose of this visit was for Provost Langley to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between UMass Boston and Addis Ababa University, which he did on November 23rd along with President Admasu Tsegaye of Addis Ababa University. The MoU will provide for shared projects between the universities, student transfers, faculty transfers, and capacity building, among others. Much of the free time on the visit was spent discussing how UMB, the Center, and AAU can work together to advance an environmental agenda in the Horn of Africa.
The delegation also spent a few days of the trip at two conferences, one on Mainstreaming Environmental Sustainability Education in African Universities, and one on the same topic but for Ethiopian universities specifically. There, they engaged with professors and University Presidents from all over Africa and Ethiopia, sharing their experiences with environmental education in the UMass system.
Finally, Prof. Ivanova and Provost Langley accepted an invitation to meet with Girma Wolde-Giorgis, the President of Ethiopia. The President is one of Ethiopia’s longest-standing politicians, his career spanning three distinct governments: Haile Selassie’s Empire, Mengistu Haile Mariam’s communist Derg regime, and the current regime. One of President Girma’s most high-profile political commitments is his drive to reforest much of Ethiopia. The UMass delegation was honored to meet President Girma, and the experience speaks well to future collaborations between UMB and Ethiopia.