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Interview: A Journey from “Home to Home”
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· Rahel Kassa
· Science and Technology Information
  Center(STIC), Ethiopia

With the goal to capacitate Ethiopian science and technology information center researchers, Science and Technology Policy Institute(STEPI) organized a training program in Sejong, Korea from May 9-19, 2015. Even though our 17 hour flight to Korea was very tiresome, it did not diminish our curiosity seeing the country that our ancestor had fought & died for. This essay mainly focuses on giving insights about our stay in Korea & what we gained from it. Our training made major emphasis on STI policy and Information Analysis along with global IT collaboration and Super Computing. In addition to the training we visited research institutes, Hi-tech industries and Museums. We also had an opportunity to learn the value nurtured from Korea and Korean people in aspects of development sectors, peoples attitude and such.

The training program was well organized and beneficial. The working culture of STEPI employees, their support and their habit of knowledge sharing is influential. The lectures were motivational, informative and had showed us the direction on how to perform our activities at institutional & national level.
The trainers were professionals and in one or another way they were part of Korean history of STI development. This gives us a great opportunity to learn & develop our knowledge. All of the trainers and coordinators had given us what they’ve got without hesitation.
We visited KISTI, POSCO, Korea’s modern history museum, ETRI, KIET, Palace, POHANG accelerator that have great role in Korean economy. The visits were very much beneficial, inspirational & it was like a practical education. We have found Korean peoples peaceful, ethical, respectful and patriot. When the dwellers we have meet found out that we’re from Ethiopia, they were like “Oh Ethiopia!” followed with a word full of positive facts about Ethiopia and with a happy face. This has showed us the value that Koreans gives to history. The effort to make the country green and obligation of the people towards the traffic system is fascinating. Also we observed that maintaining one’s country cultural heritage plays a very significant role for the sustainable growth of the country.

The training opened our eyes to explore what we have & what we don’t have and helped us to refine what we have & identify possible areas of cooperation. This will be significant for effective knowledge transfer & capacity building. The training had clearly indicated what we need to do & improve further.

Based on the experience we have got from the training program, we have planned different projects and started to work accordingly. In general, the program was useful and has enhanced our research capacity; it advances our understanding of STI policy & information analysis. Other institutions will be beneficial from such kind of training programs.

Being with people that have positive attitude, willingness to share their knowledge and staying in a country that shares major history with Ethiopia was a pleasure. This makes our journey to Korea “from home to home”.
STEPI-IICC Newsletter