Ethiopia, a very special place on the African continent

Over 110 alumni attended the Ethiopia Alumni Breakfast

Dr Phasoane Mokgobu, Vice-Principal of Institutional Advancement, opened the Ethiopia Alumni Breakfast by saying that Ethiopia is a very special place within the African continent as it shares its borders with five countries, namely Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Kenya.


He further gave context to the establishment of the Unisa Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre after an agreement was reached between the governments of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The agreement was signed on 17 March 2004. This agreement showed the intent and expression of the two countries’ mutual responsibilities towards the economic, social and cultural development of Africa within the NEPAD programme.

As per part of the prescripts of the agreement, the government of Ethiopia provided the University of South Africa (Unisa) with a campus situated in Akaki (the Kality subcity) from which to operate. Dr Mokgobu stated that all academics are based in South Africa in the various Colleges. However, with Unisa being a leading university in open distance electronic learning, it enables students all over the world to continue their journey in life--long learning. An example thereof is that academic staff come to Ethiopia several times a year to present academic programmes as well as attend to individual post-graduate students.

“The University however provides adequate support staff at the Centre to primarily bridge the gap between the University and students,” Mokgobu said.

He further acknowledged that the current number of contactable alumni in Ethiopia is 700. Dr Mokgobu stated that leadership is needed which is just as consistent in its articulation of the vision as well as its application of principles. A lot of work has been done in the continent to ensure that we have sound governance structures for the consistent application of democratic governance principles. The need for new leadership offering a new perspective in the application of governance principles cannot be overemphasised in a continent where most of the population comprises young people under the age of 35.


Prof Lumkile Lalendle, Executive Director of the Department of Planning and Quality Assurance, did a presentation on quality assurance at Unisa. He and his team facilitated a workshop after the breakfast asking the alumni and students to do a presentation about the experiences and perceptions of the quality of support received by Unisa. Prof Lalendle stated: “Stakeholder feedback is necessary to ensure ownership of the challenges and successes, and will enable the University to continuously provide quality education.”  

Ms Haimanot Tesfaye, Convenor of the Ethiopia Alumni Chapter

Mr Meseret Tafera, Deputy Director: Ethiopia Centre, College of Graduate Studies, acted as the programme director, and Dr Tsige

Aberra, Director: Ethiopia Centre, College of Graduate Studies, welcomed everyone at the event. Dr Tsige

Ms Amandla Tlale, Manager: Alumni Relations

stated that “the quality scholarship culminating in the success and graduation of students who will make a difference in the service of humanity are the hallmarks that have been clearly foregrounded in the 2030 Mission Statement". To this effect, in Ethiopia alone, Unisa has graduated around 680 students till 2018. We continue to shape futures.The Convenor of the Ethiopia Chapter, Ms Haimanot Tesfaye, updated the Ethiopian Alumni of what is happening in the Chapter. She has been actively involved in the Chapter and organises regular get-togethers for the Chapter to engage and socialise.

The Manager of Alumni Relations, Ms Amandla Tlale, thanked the alumni for coming out in their numbers and reiterated that it demonstrates that the alumni take pride in their identity with Unisa as alma maters of the University.  

Publish date: 2019/10/18