Pact Clears Way for Catholic University in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, SEPT. 28, 2005 ( Church and government representatives have signed an agreement for the establishment of an international Catholic university in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

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The Ethiopian Catholic Secretariat confirmed that news in a statement dated Sept. 13 and published by the Ethiopian News Agency.

The agreement was signed the previous day by Genet Zewde, the Ethiopian minister of education, Archbishop Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa, Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin and the apostolic nuncio in the country, Archbishop Ramiro Moliner Inglés.

Zewde said that numerous Ethiopians will attend the university once it is established.

For his part, the archbishop of Addis Ababa emphasized that the university will belong to all Ethiopians. He also recalled the cooperation between the Church and the government’s Ministry of Education.

According to the prelate, the Church has five colleges in Ethiopia.

Almost half of Ethiopia’s 73 million inhabitants are Muslim. The Orthodox represent about 35% of the population. The Catholic Church has been present in Ethiopia since the start of Christianity.

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