Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has said intellectuals in the country are expected to play immense role in the country’s journey towards renaissance.

The premier held discussion with intellectuals drawn from all universities, colleges and other related public institutions.

Hailemariam’s discussion with scholars was aimed at exchanging ideas on the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP2) and reach at a consensus regarding its proper execution.

The inputs and knowledge of intellectuals would help in expediting the country’s renaissance journey and build national consensus on development strategies of the country, the Premier remarked.

He confirmed that the coming ten years will also see agriculture play fundamental role in the national economy in which more contribution of scholars and researchers would be expected.

The research that has been undertaken on agriculture is insufficient as it is confined only to crops and cereals with low yield, Hailemariam noted.

Agricultural transformation and modernization is a key strategy to ascertain equity in accessibility to modern agricultural technologies, the Premier added.

Hailemariam said untapped potentials in horticulture; livestock and fishery are of low quality and quantity with minimal involvement of the private sector.

The Prime Minister stressed that the country’s marketing system suffers from systemic bottlenecks that need to be resolved in the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP-2).

According to Hailemariam, industry is expected to register fast growth with special attention to manufacturing sector, especially, labor intensive manufacturing which will continue to prevail in the sector with gradual transformation to automation in heavy industry.

The private sector is engine for the development of industry and scholars should play their role in minimizing bureaucratic red tape in the sector, he stated.

The premier further explained the importance of promoting the service sector with emphasis on transformation in tourism industry, and recommended that quality and quantity be maintained in expanding infrastructures like power, road, potable water and irrigation which receive special attention.

Hailemariam underscored that human resource development is critical to execute goals of GTP-2 and the vision to attain middle income status by 2025. In this regard, attention will be given to teachers to provide quality education to students.

Intellectuals in each university have a responsibility to ensure quality of education alongside the increasing government commitment to expand such higher learning institutions.

The premier responded to questions from intellectuals on fighting corruption, maladministration and other issues. He stressed that the public and intellectuals should cooperate in identifying the perpetrators of maladministration and corruption.

He pledged to hold biannual meetings with scholars to share views on a range of national agendas.

Intellectuals attending the event also said the discussion can be used as a springboard to intensify their roles in speeding up the journey towards renaissance.

Natural and Computational Science Faculty Dean at Kotobe University College Kedir Jemal said he was attending the discussions for the first time and underscored on its importance.

Scientist and Manager at IBM Research Africa Dr. Kommy Woldemariam also expressed his belief that such gathering of intellectuals would help convert ideas into reality.

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