ADDIS ABABA, May 12 (Xinhua) — Residents of Alamata town in Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia have celebrated establishment of a standard secondary school financed by a Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).
The school, which is a project of the Tigray Development Association (TDA), has been constructed with a finance amounting to 35 million Eth. Birr (about 1.75 million U.S. dollars) from CCCC in Alamata town, about 640 km north of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’ s capital.
The school, named “Zikre Meles” in memory of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is part of the 21 model schools under the education plan developed by TDA.
Residents of Alamata town, who were gathered at the school during the inaugural ceremony of the school on Thursday, expressed their joy over the school with an area of 5,000 square meters and 22 classrooms, one comprehensive building, one library, one hall, and play yards among others.
Ethiopian officials hailed the school as instrumental to educate students who will contribute to the development endeavors in the country.
Stating the positive role of education in development and technological advancements, Abay Woldu, President of Tigray Regional State, underlined the need to have collaborated efforts of all to bring about change.
He commended the Chinese company for the support to the construction of the school.
Having entered Ethiopian market in 1998, CCCC has carried out large-scale infrastructure projects in the East African country, including Bole Road, and the Addis Ababa-Adama Expressway, and currently, the company is undertaking the Weldia-Mekele Railway Project in the northern part of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Zhou Yongsheng, General Manager of CCCC East Africa Branch, recalled that his company has successfully completed different projects in the country, for which he said CCCC has won reputation and trust in Ethiopia.
He said that Zikre Meles Secondary School is an opportunity to renew the company’s relationship with Ethiopia, and a milestone to enhance friendship.
He also said CCCC would continue to contribute to development in the country.
“This donation of Zikre Meles is an opportunity for renewing our relationship with Ethiopia and the milestone for enhancing friendship. CCCC will continue to perform its social responsibility,” he said.
“Let us work together to create a new chapter of friendship between Ethiopia and China,” he said.
Speaking during the inaugural ceremony, Tadelle Hagos, Executive Director of TDA, has commended CCCC for the support to the successful completion of the school.
Getachew Reda, Communication Advisor to the Prime Minister, told Xinhua that the school has its own contribution to support the country’s development endeavor by creating opportunity of education for more students.
“Education is what will determine the future of a country; success or failure of a country is basically a function of whether we have educated people or not. So, in this part of the country efforts have been exerted to make sure there are schools catered to the growing population,” said Getachew.
“And by building this school, what we are doing is more and more students got school and with more and more kids going to school, and there will be more and more advantage for those students to be part of the growth and development narrative of this country. So, basically its contribution is immense and it will be also instrumental in expediting the development endeavors of the country,” he noted.
Getachew also hailed the contribution of the Chinese government and companies to development endeavors in Ethiopia.
“China is one of the most reliable partners of our development in this country. Not only is the Chinese government contributing financially, technically and in other ways to the development endeavors of the country, but also there are several number of Chinese companies which are involved in supporting the local development endeavors including building of schools, financing of local projects such as this one; and I think, this is one of the best exemplary partnerships we have,” he said.
Tesfaye, who is a 10th grade student, told Xinhua that the school is important not only for the students now but also for the coming generation.
“I am lucky here and happy about the school. This school is not only for us (current students) but also for brothers and sisters, and for others too. The school is pleasant and the community is very happy about it. Everything is nice here, the library, the hall, the rooms. I am also very happy because it has been named after Meles,” he said.
Asefu Mekonnen is a resident of Alamata. She told Xinhua that she is very happy about the school.
“I am very happy, especially it has been established and named after Meles, to keep his legacy, and the children grow up here with knowledge. I am very happy to participate in the celebrations here; and I think, with the school, my students will be happy and I also advise them to pursue their education properly here and be successful,” she said.