AAU Signs Cooperative Agreement with Japan Embassy to Ethiopia

Addis Ababa University (AAU) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Embassy of Japan to Ethiopia to collaborate on the heath sector at Ras Mekonnen Hall on the 28th of May 2021.

The objective of the Memorandum of Cooperation focuses on accelerating Tuberculosis, Malaria and COVID-19 testing in Ethiopia through AAU (CDT-Africa as implementer) and EIKEN Chemical Co. Ltd. of Japan.

The two parties will work together to conduct testing of the sample of test kits, and once the certification of clinical use and the national guidelines are obtained, they consider the transfer of the technology.

Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of AAU, said during the agreement that Japanese government has been supporting AAU and the people of Ethiopia in various ways since the start of diplomatic relation between the two countries.

According to Prof Tassew, one of the visible supports that Japanese government provided to AAU is the renovation of Ras Mekonnen Hall, the place where this agreement signed. This is very beautiful and historical one built many years ago, he added.

“We have various academic and research relations with Japanese government. There is one Japanese university which has a department with Ethiopian Studies and publishes a lot of work on Ethiopian and its language issues. It also does various researches in collaboration with AAU,” Prof Tassew said.

The new agreement, as stated by Prof Tassew, focuses on health related issues such as Tuberculosis, Malaria and COPVID-19. The Embassy will provide very useful equipment that will be used by CDT-Africa, drug and therapeutic development institute of AAU, he added.

Pro Tassew finally stated, “The equipment that will be provided by Japanese government through its Embassy will be useful to conduct various researches at the CDT-Africa to enhance AAU research and also solving different problems of Ethiopia and Africa as whole pushing the scientific frontier.”

ITO Takako, Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, expressed as a privilege to witness the formulation of such a valuable alliance between CDT-Africa and Eiken Chemical, at a place where symbolizes Japan-Ethiopia cooperation (Ras Mekonnen Hall of AAU).

According to the Ambassador, being able to introduce the LAMP technology is not only applicable to Tuberculosis and Malaria but also useful to diagnose the COVID-19, brings immense hope and pride.

“Currently, the main method of diagnosing Coronavirus in Ethiopia is PCR test, but the LAMP technology has the potential to provide this diagnosis with as high accuracy as a PCR test but using less time and less financial cost,” she intensified.

The Ambassador sincerely wished that, in the near future, Ethiopia will become a local production venue of Eiken’s technology and the starting point for its distribution all across Africa.

Abebaw Fikadu (PhD), Director of CDT-Africa, on his part said that the main purpose of the cooperation is to get diagnostic kits and reagents that help us to differentiate diseases, and to work on producing these kits in Ethiopia.

According to Abebaw, the kits expected to come, enable us diagnose three kinds of diseases: Tuberculosis, Malaria and COVID-19; however, there is a possibility to adopt them to function to all infectious diseases and to focus on the technology transfer as a University.

The main purpose of CDT-Africa is to work on how to produce medical devices and drugs which have been demanding us the highest cost of foreign currency next to fuel in Ethiopia, Abebaw finally said.

This MoC will become effective from the date of signing and remain in force until June 1, 2023 and it may be renewed upon mutual agreement by the two parties and by way of simple declarative statements supplemental to this MoC.

Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of AAU, on the side of the University and Her Excellency ITO Takako, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan Embassy to Ethiopia, signed the agreement.

Source: Addis Ababa University

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