Following the success from last year, STEPI and Ministry of Science and Technology of Ethiopia (FDRE MoST) jointly organized 2014 Critical Mass Training from 10th to 14th August in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. More than 70 staff from MoST participated to take lectures on science and technology policy. This training aimed to empower the staff of MoST in the areas of STI policy by enhancing their capacity in policy development and its implementation in line with the Ethiopia's National Development Plan. H.E. Demitu Hambisa Bonsa, the Minister of Science and Technology, also joined the event and emphasized an importance of having excellent lecturers in Ethiopia.

Topics of lectures included R&D policy for national development, Korean experience on special science and engineering graduate schools, etc. Dr. Jung-Won Lee, the Vice president of STEPI delivered a presentation on National R&D programs in Korea and raised awareness on the importance of R&D for Ethiopia, which is currently seeking driving forces for development and growth of the country in the next 10 years.

The theme of this year’s training workshop was on sharing experience about the role of Korean Ministry of Science and Technology and the establishment of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and other relevant graduate schools. Participants showed interests on details of the establishment of KAIST and related role of Korean Ministry of Science and Technology back in the 60’s.

Active group discussions also took place which succeeded in bringing fresh ideas regarding ways to enhance capabilities of FDRE MoST, identify R&D programs in Ethiopia, reform Adama Science and Technology University and Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, ways to raise performance and quality of Ethiopian researchers, etc.

Through 2014 Critical Mass Training, both STEPI and FDRE MoST had an opportunity to strengthen the existing ties between the two countries. In addition, German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) which sponsored the workshop also expressed great appreciation to all institutions involved and to staff of STEPII-IICC for the successful facilitation of the entire schedule and process of the workshop.