Home | News    Saturday 7 May 2011

Sudanese university honors Ethiopia’s first lady as board member

By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

May 6, 2011 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia’s first lady Azeb Mesifin attended a ceremony at Sudan’s University of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) where she was invited to become an honorary board member of the institution in Khartoum.

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Azeb Mesfhin first Lady of Ethiopia

According to Walta Information Center, the invitation was made at the inaugural ceremony of the renamed ICT University formerly known as the Computer Man College, on May 2 in the presence of Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

“The young should use their education to serve their society, promote economic growth of their country, and improve the health situation of their people and enabling the use of ICT across the border to create understanding among people to live together peacefully”, she said at the occasion.

“Ethiopia and Sudan have long standing relations with cultural and historical ties” she said further recalling Sudanese generosity and hospitability in sheltering and assisting Ethiopians who were fleeing the Derg regime.

Mesfin, is well-known for her commitment in advocating for more women’s rights and leadership on the issue of women and girls.

The Sudanese university has pledged to offer a number of scholarships to meritorious Ethiopian young women in recognition to the commitments she has made towards ensuring girls’ education as part of the efforts to empower girls to escape poverty.

The first lady accompanied by Ambassador Haile Kiros Gesses, Ethiopian ambassador in Sudan, has also held discussions with the Ethiopian community members in Sudan on various issues of concern and on ways the Ethiopian Embassy in Sudan can further assist the Ethiopian community there.

At the conclusion of her visit, she attended a dinner hosted by the Sudanese first lady Fatima Khalid al- Bashir.

The wife of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin, is a women’s right activist, businesswoman and Member of Parliament.

She is also the vice-president of Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS and founder and patron of Ethiopia’s National Initiative for Mental Health.

The political spouse is also known for her aggressive education work to teach rural Ethiopians about HIV/AIDS.

In January 2007, she was given the "Legacy of a Dream" award for her leadership and during an awards ceremony commemorating the life of the famous American civil rights activist and leader Dr. Martin Luther King.

(ST)