In his closing remark, Dr. Amdissa Teshome, President of EEA, explained why the conference is in its 20th edition. During its first 10 years, EEA held annual national conferences before switching to international conferences. This was a major milestone for EEA.
Dr. Amdissa remarked that the conference has two dimensions: academic and human. As academic platform, the conferences gave young researchers the opportunity to put their findings to the test. Some of these end up in national or international journals; some book chapters; and after a peer review, they are also published as EEA proceedings. The conference also has a human dimension. In this regard, the 20th edition has gone into our record book. It honoured one of our founding fathers and brought the two pillars of the association, Prof. Berhanu Nega and Dr. Befekadu Degefe, on this platform for the first time in many years. The conference also brought five presidents on one platform. These are important to us as individuals and the Association. It is what makes EEA unique and we endeavour to continue this tradition.
In their opening and keynote speeches, H.E. Ato Mamo Mihertu, and H.E. Prof. Berhanu Nega, respectively, expressed their expectation of the role EEA must play in the economic policy debate. The Governor in particular outlined key priorities and invited EEA to proactively engage in tackling these priorities. Dr, Amdissa gave a special attention to Prof. Berhanu’s speech by saying “we missed him a lot” and EEA shall find convenient time to learn from his strategic thinking both formally and informally.
As the above paragraphs show, EEA has a very rich history. The President informed participants that this history will be captured and documented in a book authored solely by members who volunteered to dedicate their time, knowledge and experience. He promised that if all goes well, by the time we meet next year, we may be launching the book. Soon we will be looking for volunteer translators.
Before ending his closing remark, the President thanked all those who made this conference a success including the EC members; the CEO and his management team and staff (both the research and the IGA wings). He emphasised that for the first time, the IGA wing was able to provide full catering service for a major conference.
He also thanked members of the Advisory team, most notably Dr. Alemayehu Seyoum Tafesse and Dr. Tadele Ferede, paper presenters, panellists, session chairs and rapporteurs.
Finally, as in previous years, he recognised the financial support from partners who share EEA’s vision. These are the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung of Germany, UNECA, the European Union, UNICEF, World Bank, International Growth Center, and Oromia Planning and Development Commission. He expressed his hope that this partnership will go from strength to strength. He wished those who are travelling back home safe journey. With this remark he declared the 20th edition of the IC on the Ethiopian economy closed and invited participants to the cocktail organized by the EEA-IGA!