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U.S. Sponsors University Preparation Camp for Young Women at Three Ethiopian Universities: U.S. Ambassador Urges Young Women to Complete College Education

Ambassador Donald Booth

Ambassador Donald Booth delivering remarks

Ato Endale, Ambassador Donald Booth and Dr. Admasu Tsegaye

(L-R) Ato Endale Shewangezaw, Advisor State Minister of Higher Education, Ambassador Donald Booth, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and Dr. Admasu Tsegaye, President of Addis Ababa University

December 5, 2012, Addis Ababa – U.S. Ambassador Donald Booth presented certificates today to representatives of the 167 first-year female students who completed the first stage of the new University Preparation Camp (UPC) at Addis Ababa University (AAU).  AAU President, Dr Admassu Tsegaye, hosted the ceremony.  UPC organizers and representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Women’s, Children, and Youth Affairs also participated in the event.

The UPC is a new, three year partnership with three Ethiopian universities designed to provide 2,250 women with skills and support that will be useful in completing their university education.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is administering the project as a pilot program, implemented by Education Development Center (EDC) in cooperation with Family Health International (FHI) 360, with collaboration from the U.S. Peace Corps and the Gender Offices at the three current universities: Addis Ababa University, Jimma University, and Adama Science and Technology University.  The UPC will also give special attention to preventing young Ethiopian females with disabilities from dropping out of university.

Ambassador Booth explained the importance of the project:

“The purpose of this inspiring project is to identify successful strategies to support young women coping with the demands of university life so they are able to successfully complete their degrees and gain the opportunities available to university graduates.  This pilot “prep camp” will lead to an increase in the number of female professionals whose contribution is essential to the progress of Ethiopia’s economic and social development.”

The main training topics at the prep camp include: academic and life skills, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, reproductive health, hygiene, English language and study skills, time management, self-esteem, leadership, and positive relationships. After the initial training, the UPC will continue to provide mentoring for the female students during their university life.