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Russia Ethiopia
17.05.24 16:16

Cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia in the field of science and technology

Joint initiatives and prospects for cooperation between the two countries

The history of Russian-Ethiopian relations has been going back more than 125 years, consistently developing from geopolitical ties aimed at combating the policy of colonialism to active work in a wide range of areas, including a powerful educational track.

In 2012, the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology and the Russian Academy of Sciences concluded an agreement on science and technological collaboration that allowed the Joint Ethiopian-Russian Biological Expedition to carry on with its 1987-started research in Ethiopia.

“We are now discussing full-fledged scientific and technical collaboration, the development of which is outlined in several bilateral agreements, largely due to Ethiopia's achievements”, said the director of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) St. Petersburg, Andrey Khlutkov.

Cooperation in the field of education

In December 2023, a meeting of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Russian-Ethiopian Commission on Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation and Trade, headed by the head of the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use of the Russian Federation, Evgeny Petrov, and the Minister of Innovation and Technology of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Belete Mollem, who heads the commissions from Russia and Ethiopia, was taking place in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

During the meeting, special attention in the educational sphere of Ethiopia was paid to the support of the Russian Centre for Culture and Science, which implements programmes of cultural and linguistic cooperation.

The two nations have the potential to increase their cooperation in a number of areas, such as teacher professional development and retraining, vocational education and early career guidance experience sharing, admitting gifted students from Ethiopia to study at All-Russian children's centres, and exchanging experiences in inclusive education and working with children with disabilities.

Joint Centre for Biological Research

Among the joint projects of Russia and Ethiopia in the field of scientific and technical development, we can highlight the agreement of 2023 to establish a joint biological science research centre within the framework of a joint biological expedition, which has been in operation since 1978.

The main objectives of the Russian-Ethiopian expedition are to study biodiversity, the evolution of living organisms, the biological resources of Ethiopia, identify promising animal species for use in the national economy, develop environmental recommendations, and assist in the training of national scientific personnel through the joint participation of scientists from the two countries in research programmes.

The creation of the Centre allowed countries to expand joint research and launch new areas of work in genomics, agrobiology, and other fields. The results of joint research in the future will have fundamental and practical implications not only for Ethiopia but also for the whole world.

According to the Russian Academy of Sciences, this initiative is currently the only and unique long-term scientific project of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the African continent, carried out by highly qualified specialists with extensive experience on the continent.

Joint Space Research

Another very promising area of scientific cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia is the field of space research.

In recent years, the African country has been actively developing its own research base in the fields of space research, remote sensing of the Earth, and space communications.

In 2020, an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation was signed between the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Ethiopian Institute of Space Sciences and Technologies (ESSTI).

This agreement calls for the installation of a Russian telescope and related equipment on Ethiopian soil, enabling the observation of minor bodies in the minor bodies in the solar system and the forecasting of potentially hazardous circumstances in near-Earth space.

The largest observatory in East Africa, which is situated in the Addis Ababa suburbs at a height of 3,200 metres above sea level, is where the Russian telescope is intended to be installed.

Cooperation in the field of technology

Another promising area for mutual cooperation between Russia and Ethiopia is the field of technology. It is particularly important to exchange developments aimed at creating and improving the digital state.

“The development of contemporary electronic technologies and their use in the field of public administration to construct a complete infrastructure of the digital state may be one of the contemporary vectors of partnership between the two nations. This area generally meets the modern requirements of global development and, in the future, will further contribute to the formation of a unified context for the development of the BRICS association”

Andrey Khlutkov Expert in International Relations

The fact that Ethiopia and Russia are cooperating on these projects is a sign of their growing closer relations. Exchanges in education and technology, along with Ethiopia's entry into the BRICS, indicate the country's expanding global influence.

Taken together, these initiatives are likely to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ethiopia.

Photo: iStock

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