On February 10, 2024, a closing ceremony was held at the Syndicate Room of St Mary’s University (SMU) to mark the completion of the project “Digital Learning Platform of the Ethiopian Education System”. The project was funded by DEG Deutsche Investitions-und Enticklungsellschaft mbH, a German development finance institution, and implemented by suPPPort Ltd., an international consultancy and service provider with offices in Hong Kong, Bangladesh, and Germany.

The ceremony began with a speech by SMU President, Wondwosen Tamrat (PhD, Assoc. Prof.), who remarked that the impact of the partnership was immense for SMU’s digitization and that it was quite remarkable that it catered education for more than 6000 students through its distance learning program. He also expressed SMU’s commitment to ensuring the continuity of the project and its aspiration to remain more digitized and paperless. He noted that the lesson learned from the project was more than what was anticipated and hoped the partnership would continue in the years to come.

The event continued with a briefing about the project by Misganaw Solomon (PhD), who discussed the objectives and outcomes of the SMU-DEG-support joint initiative. The project, which started on March 31, 2020, and lasted for three years, aimed to improve SMU’s delivery of educational services, especially its digital system and infrastructure. As a result of the project, 13 distance-learning centers have been upgraded; student enrolment in 5 undergraduate and 4 graduate programs has increased; and the learning process has been streamlined and made easier for educators and learners to access and manage educational content. The project also enabled learners to access educational materials and courses from anywhere with an internet connection, which is particularly valuable for remote learning, distance education, and corporate training programs.

Suraya Akter, General Manager of Support Ltd, acknowledged and commended the University’s commitment to the realization of the project and promised that the partnership would continue. Finally, a vote of thanks was given to Ozan Oezdemir and Suraya Akter and their team, who played instrumental roles in the inception and implementation of the project.