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It is in all the interests of our universities that the prospect graduates go out and become active agent in the national socio-economic development objectives.

That is why all the guests of honours and honoured personalities participating on graduation events of the universities and instructors urging the alumnus to discharge their responsibilities in transforming the livelihoods of the community and the country at large. The graduates are also expressing their readiness and taking oath in contributing their share in nation building with their respective profession.

Adama Science and Technology University celebrated the seventeenth students' graduation ceremony on July 16, 2011 with thousands of families of students and invited guests. On the ceremony the University awarded a Honorary Doctorate to the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ethiopian Airlines Girma Wake in recognition of his leadership with the flag carrier. Nominated by the Adama University School of Business and endorsed by the university's academic senate which has the mandate to award honorary degrees and other academic prizes to persons with outstanding achievements meriting recognition by the institution, Girma Wake received his Honourary PhD in Business Administration.

Handing over the Doctorate, Juneydi Saddo, Civil Service Minister said Girma deserves the honour for his prominent contribution in the country's aviation industry. Girma helped Ethiopian to evolve into a billion dollar company which is five-fold of its operating revenues and become Africa's number one carrier, he added.

According to Prof. Dr. Frank H. Witt, Founder Dean of Adama University School of Business, the school recommended Girma to be distinguished for the rare excellence he brought into the company to achieve economic profitability which is also ecologically and socially responsible. "The former CEO was awarded as a person, a witty Management Professional with intuitive and analytic skills for judgment, a good listener and as we will get to know later, also as a good and entertaining spokesman and figurehead for the people under his leadership," the Dean added.

It was evidenced at the event that Girma Wake has 45 years of airline management experience at various levels. He served for 37 years in different management positions before his appointment as CEO in February 2004. Before he joined Gulf Air in 1993 as Cargo Manager, he served at Ethiopian as Manager of Space Control, area Manager in Ghana, Tanzania, and Germany, Director of Cargo Marketing.

On the day, Adama Science and Technology University graduated 2,040 students who completed their studies in regular, extension, summer, and continuing and distance education programmes in first and second degrees. Out of these graduates 215 of them are post graduates. Including these graduates 17,420 students have graduated from the University so far.

According to Juneydi who is also the University Board Chairman, what makes the alumnus of this year very special was that they are graduating right at time when the country has set in to the five years Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and the launching of the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam. Hence, it is a good opportunity for graduates to prepare themselves for action.

With firm believe that Ethiopian's renaissance would be the reality upon manpower development, the government has been working to increase the enrolling capacity. Accordingly, ten other new universities are being built in addition to the 22 universities. Among these universities, Adama Science and Technology and Mekalle Universities are selected to be technical universities while new Science and Technology University, which is the first of its king is to be built at Akaki Kality Sub-city, the Minister added.

Adama Science and Technology University Vice President , Dr. Tola Beriso Said all the beginning and the end for growth of both the developed and emerging world nations is nothing but education. Indeed, the foundation of every state is the education of its youth. "In the same token, all the destiny of our country and its development is determined by the quality and education coverage we are offering to the citizens. In this regard, the role of higher learning institutions is of paramount important," Tola remarked.

Well, the quote by Aristotle 'The roots of education are bitter, but its fruit is sweet,' holds true with Dr. Tola's explanation about challenges in learning teaching. Since the rewards of the values of education is not immediate but through process, it requires an epitome perseverance. Specially, higher education is foremost is working to meet the manpower need of the economy and researching out socio-economic problems. Education is a lifelong process that benefits individuals and entire communities and countries and helps lay the foundation of the future through harnessing development.

Dr. Tola further explained that Adama Science and Technology University has by now finalized building its capacity to increase its students intake capacity. For the coming academic year 1,224 students will join the University in the regular programme increasing the total number of regular students to 12,576. After analyzing the market need of manpower in the country, Adama Science and Technology University is launching new post and undergraduate programmes. For instance, School of Humanities and Natural Sciences two study fields in Physics, three in Mathematics, two in Chemistry and one in Geography are some of the newly introduced programmes.

It is crystal clear that the researches performed at higher learning institutions serve to obtain scientific findings to advance as well as to provide scientific bases for the institution's teaching and learning process. The subjects of research at colleges and universities can consist of all fields of science findings in practical life, including the consequences arising from the application of these scientific findings.

In this regard, Adama Science and Technology University is driven by a culture of cognitive state and discoveries. Its research and teaching activities are guided by the important issues and questions that face the nation.

In fact, need based research activities and capacity building of the existing Ethiopian higher learning institutional has been given due emphasis side by side to the massive expansions of new ones. One of these universities undergoing overall reform to meet the national demand for transforming universities and linking them and with industries while expanding practical research activities is Adama Science and Technology University. Established as the first Technical College Teachers Training for TVET Schools in 1993, it became University in 2006 and expanded its enrolling capacity with various disciplines.

The year 2008 marked typical achievement for the University as it became a centre of excellence and a model in the overall education system for technical training education, business and technology. As per its objectives of becoming the country?s model university led by its own transformation framework that emphasizes on economic development and university enterprise cooperation according to the German paradigm envisaging excellence in teaching, learning and applied research, it has achieved a lot and become known and noticed for being a model in the country.

In fact, it was in the interest of the government that other new universities in the country to follow the suits of Adama University in transforming themselves. Looking forward to become a middle income nation within the coming two decades, the government has adopted several development policies and strategies in infrastructure, human development, rural development, food security, and capacity building. These policies and strategies have visibly taken the nation into new directions, all of them geared towards eradicating poverty from the nation.

Adama Science and Technology University is undergoing a fundamental shift from a an old system to a new system. Accordingly, Adama University has undertaken a number activities geared towards its transformation. The transformation endeavour is such in wide ranging sphere that include management, overall material and human capability, technology and innovation, applied research, income generating and job opportunities, link with industries and international relevant institutions among others.

The other milestone for the typical achievement for the University is the Council of Ministers Regulation to Provide for Establishment of Adama Science and Technology University issues on May 23, 2011.

It was noted at the graduation event that the University has given due attention to quality education. The School of Pedagogic and Vocational Teacher Education (SoP) runs the Pedagogic Skills Improvement and Support Center (PSISC) which is dedicated to systematically improve the teaching quality of the University instructors.

Its practical and relevant research based training venturing is also the worthiest step towards contributing its share to economic development and technology transfer. By doing applied research, the University would be of interest to industry, because genuine expertise in a lot of matters is acquired and accumulated.

Adama Science and Technology University is committed to excellence in research, identifying and supporting areas and projects which allow for the undertaking of internationally competitive research and research training. The University invests its resources in areas of proven and potential strength, significant to the University's mission. Such areas provide particular depth of academic and research capability to offer quality research and research training opportunities to staff, students and communities, including partners in industry. In recognizing the complexity and multi-disciplinary nature of issues confronting society, AU is committed to supporting collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

It is recalled that the government introduced universities-industries linkage as new development approach in its national development objectives. In this regard, the University introduced compulsory internships in its new degree programs which involved in real work activities for certain time as part of his studies. To achieve this, the University is linked formally and informally with various business organizations and enterprises in the country like The National Association of Ethiopian Industries. In one way or another Adama Science and Technology University is dedicated to economic development focusing on economic relevance.

It was also evidenced that the University is not only aiming at industrial production and but is also committed to contribute to or start up a tourism industry because the easiest and quickest way to generate hard currency is tourism.

Above and beyond, Adama Science and Technology has engaged in income generation activities. In order to gain commercial experience while creating income, the University has opened a new model agriculture enterprise in Asella as part of its agriculture activities. This would indeed, enable it properly discharge its leading responsibility of the pioneering technical and technology transference. (Source: The Ethiopian Herald Saturday 6, August 2011. By Berhanu Gemechu)