The much awaited Pan-Africa e-network got underway today when External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a tele-education centre at the Addis Ababa University here.
The project is the direct outcome of an offer made by President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in 2004 during the inaugural session of the Pan-African Parliament at Johannesburg.
During the inauguration, Mukherjee said: "We have a long tradition of co-operation between our two countries in the field of education. During the sixties and seventies, very many Indian teachers were teaching in Ethiopian schools. Many of their students, who now belong to the older generation still recall their contribution."
In fact, here in Ethiopia about 450 professors are teaching in various universities of Ethiopia.
An integrated tele-education delivery system software has been provided to bring virtual remote classrooms in a multi-studio and multi-class environment with seamless two-way interaction between the teachers and students through collaborative tools.
Taye Mengistu, a student at tele-education centre, said the progamme would have several benefits as it would help provide higher education at low costs in diverse subjects from top quality Indian institutions."
At present about 3000 Ethiopian students are studying in various universities in India. With the tele-education facility now underway, students are happy that they will not have to leave the country and that they can avail quality education at affordable price.
Mukherjee also inaugurated the tele-medicine centre at the Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia. The network provides connectivity of a tele -medicine set up of CARE Hospital, Hyderabad with two tele-medicine centres in Ethiopia, which enables the Indian medical specialists to provide on-line medical consultation to the doctors in the tele-medicine centres in Ethiopia.
In the present network, black Lion hospital at Addis Ababa and one remote hospital in Nekempte have been chosen to receive tele-medicine services from CARE Hospital, Hyderabad.
Dr. Asfaw Atnaf, the chief of the Department of Radiology and of the tele-medicine unit, said that with this facility the patients will no longer be required to travel to far off places to avail expensive and expert medical advice.