By Embassy Media,
At the 28th Annual European Association for International Education (EAIE), this year’s conference took place from 13-16 September in Liverpool, UK with 5200 attendees from over 80 countries. In the conference, Prof. Tadesse Mehari, Executive Director of the Commission of Higher Education in Eritrea, gave a presentation on “Migration and Root Causes: Education Cooperation in Refugee Sending Countries”.
As part of the visit to the UK, on Saturday 17th September, Prof. Tadesse led a seminar hosted by the Embassy of the State of Eritrea to the United Kingdom and Ireland under the theme “Schemes and Opportunities for Eritrean Professionals in Diaspora to partake in the enrichment of Eritrean Human Resources and Nation Building Process”.
With over 70 Eritrean professionals in attendance, the event was insightful to the achievements and challenges of Higher Education in Eritrea and the Diaspora’s role as stakeholders in the country’s human capacity development process. Amongst the participants were academics, educators, practitioners, community leaders.
The opening remarks conducted by Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Mahmud, Chairman of British Eritrean Community Organization and Network, (BECON) welcomed guest speakers, participants and gave a briefing focusing on the program, thereby updating participants on opportunities and BECON’s efforts on future engagements with scholars.
In connection with the seminar, Ambassador Estifanos Habtemariam, stressed the importance of ensuring popular awareness, strong organization, and explained that Eritrea’s main long term mission is to focus on the nation building process which is geared towards the creation of viable state based on a sustainable economy and strong social fabric.
Ambassador Estifanos explained the aim of the seminar is to start mobilizing Eritrean professionals and occupation based skilled work force in UK. The strategic outcome of this forum will be to start working towards the establishment of strong, viable and vibrant professional associations in UK and to establish practical and formal links with Eritrean professional associations and institutions.
At present there are over 330 Eritrean professionals registered with BECON and growing. They have a wide range of specializations including health sciences and medicine, law, journalism and media, engineering and technology, social and economic development fields, ICT.
BECON states that it will continue to raise its visibility among various social and professional groups and the Eritrean community at large. It will also strengthen its work in establishing strong links with Eritrean Departments and professional associations.
Keynote Speaker Prof. Tadesse illustrated the current situation of Higher Education in Eritrea since its formation in 1992 until today. He eloquently explained the milestones and achievements recorded in recent years along with the challenges faced and the means used to overcome them.
He further underlined the key role the Eritrean Diaspora can play in developing curriculum and skills transfer, and the importance of the so called “brain-gain” strategy where educated and professional Eritreans can contribute to the Nation Building process.
Giving his closing remarks and acknowledgements in conclusion, Professor Tadesse Mehari, noted on the aim to actively identify and build relationships with potential scholars as well as to nurture and solidify the relationship with existing partners.
Dr. Seife Berhe, Director of Andiamo Exploration Limited, Ms. Mebrak Ghebreweldi, Director of Vandu Language Services, Dr. Tewelde W. Kidan, Department Head of Earth Science at EIT College in Mai Nefhi, were invited to address the audience and share facts on the ground in building human capacity, education services and opportunities, gave insightful presentation on their experiences on the ground in Eritrea.
Towards the end of the presentation, the participants were given the opportunity to ask Professor Tadesse questions, adequate answers including current achievements with regards to the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE) goals, as well as the policies that the government of Eritrea is taking on the overall diversification for the purposes of sustainability were clearly explained.
According to the participants, the outcome of the seminar was enlightening and was one that gave an insight into the overall issue of all Institutions of Higher Education, how nations should take Eritrea as a model. In addition to that, most of the participants expressed extreme satisfaction in the presentation both on content and delivery.
On 19th and 20th September, Professor Tadesse was also participated as a guest speaker in both Brighton University and Birkbeck University in London on a seminar “Eritrea Education, Youth Migration, Challenges and Opportunities” with an audience of students, academics and professionals.