A delegation of Ethiopian officials visited the Skolkovo Foundation on Friday as the African country seeks to boost its ties with Russia in the field of science and technology.

The Ethiopian delegation visited the Skolkovo Foundation last week to talk innovations. Photo: Sk.ru.

The delegation, which also visited the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), was headed by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, and also included Education Minister Shiferaw Shigute and Science and Technology Minister Abiy Ahmed, as well as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Russia, Grum Abay Teshome.

“Ethiopia is interested in expanding its multifaceted cooperation in science and technology with Russia,” Mekonnen was cited by Russian media as saying during the week-long visit to Moscow.

“Our visit to Moscow was dedicated to discussing a memorandum of cooperation with representatives of the Russian government and various science and technology institutes and companies,” he said.

At Skoltech, the delegation heard about the institute’s educational programmes and principles from its honourary president, U.S. aeronautics professor Edward Crawley.

Last year, the Ethiopian government devised a science, technology and innovations policy that stipulates the application of scientific achievements, the best foreign technology and the results of scientific research in industrial and agricultural production. A national council for the development of science, technology and innovations was set up and is headed by Mekonnen.

Members of the delegation touring Skoltech. Photo: Sk.ru

The deputy prime minister told Finmarket.ru that his country’s rapidly developing economy had entered a new phase.

“To support that development, the training of labour resources is absolutely essential,” he said. “That’s why we are looking to countries like Russia, which has some of the most advanced knowledge and experience in these areas,” he said.

Mekonnen said scientists and teachers from Russia could be invited to go to teach in Ethiopian universities, and that young scientists from Ethiopia could be sent here to study.

In Soviet times, thousands of Ethiopians studied in the U.S.S.R. under a scholarship scheme, but today, there are less than 200 Ethiopians living in Russia, the ambassador said last year.

Russia and Ethiopia already have an intergovernmental commission devoted to cooperation in science, technology, trade and the economy.

Mekonnen also met with Education Minister Dmitry Livanov and representatives of Moscow State University and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, as well as Rosatom and Gazprom.