The Ethiopian Education and Research Network (EthERNet), built by the Chinese telecom service provider, ZTE, was inaugurated on Saturday in Addis Ababa.
The project, which took three years with an investment of 50 million U.S. dollars, connects 36 public universities in the East African country for exchange of information and educational activities.
Speaking during the inaugural ceremony at one of the campuses of Addis Ababa University, Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, Deputy Prime Minister for Finance and Economic Cluster and the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, said the EthERNet project is one of the demonstrations that show the government’s commitment to improving quality education in higher institutions in the country.
“We will expect as output from this project highly competent graduates in their respective fields. We also expect to get a return on the development of our instructors because they will be exposed not only to Ethiopian highly skilled lecturers but to global network,” noted Dr Debretsion.
He said the project would help conduct of quality researches that could address problems of development in the country, and contribute to other countries in Africa and even beyond.
Li Guangyong, Vice President of ZTE East Africa Business, told Xinhua that the project provides the platform for the universities to share their information and libraries as well as to carry out different functions in the education sector.
Stating that ZTE promotes advanced technologies in the ICT sector to African countries, Li said his company can connect other universities and high schools with the network in the next stage.
“The infrastructure, everything is done by the Chinese company ZTE. ZTE is the one who is delivering everything,” said Zelalem Assefa, Director of the EthERNet.
“They (ZTE) are good telecom service provider; we are satisfied with their services,” he added.
The director told Xinhua that the project would have an important role in improving quality of education.
“We have been connecting 36 universities with this network. This is part of the national research and education network,” said Assefa.
“The main aim of the project is to provide the network connectivity for the research and education community,” he said, adding that the universities would be connected to African and international education and research networks in the future.