It is 30 years since the harrowing images of the famine crisis in Ethiopia hit our screens, all of which led to Band Aid, and the massive aid operation that saw Irish people donate in their droves. The modern-day Ethiopia is a radically different place, and while the country has a way to go before it is completely self-sufficient, it is making great strides and has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
This growth comes as a result of improvements in education, which is where Camara Education is maintaining the long tradition of Irish assistance to Ethiopia. However, this support comes in the form of educational IT equipment donated by companies and private individuals across the island of Ireland – which is paid for by the Ethiopian government. Unwanted computers and laptops – refurbished and loaded with educational software – are sent to disadvantaged schools in Ireland and across our four hubs in Africa – the most successful of which is Ethiopia.
In 2014, Camara installed over 4,500 computers into Ethiopian schools. These computers will impact over 100,000 students who will, in time, propel Ethiopia towards becoming a middle-income country by 2025 – the stated goal of the government.
With 2015 being the European Year of Development, support for countries such as Ethiopia will come into sharp focus across Europe, but Ireland can be proud of its contribution. The type of support Ireland is giving Ethiopia has, like the country, evolved in the last 30 years, but will be just as important to the development of a nation that has risen from its knees and is now very much back on its feet.