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Bahir Dar – In remarks today to government officials, faculty and students at the Ethiopian Maritime Training Institute (EMTI) in Bahir Dar, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia M. Haslach announced the establishment of a new visa class for Ethiopians – the C1/D visa. This new crewmember transit visa will facilitate travel to and from the U.S. for shipping vessel crewmembers.

Speaking about the expanding U.S.-Ethiopian relationship, Ambassador Haslach stated, “The U.S. has an old and cherished maritime heritage, and we are pleased and excited to help foster a maritime tradition in Ethiopia as well.” She added that Ethiopia is a surprisingly good place for a maritime training program. With a growing cadre of strong English speakers with solid technical skills, Ethiopia has the potential to “export” considerable maritime talent, generating incomes that benefit families and entire communities.

Highly skilled marine officers are in demand in today’s merchant shipping sector. This demand is fuelled by the growth of global trade and the volume of cargo shipped by sea. EMTI, working in cooperation with Bahir Dar University, is creating professional opportunities for Ethiopian students, in a field that offers very promising career opportunities. The skills learned at EMTI and at sea, such as discipline, resourcefulness, tolerance for diversity and crisis-management, are all skills that have applications on land as well.

EMTI is a higher educational institution established by a U.S. company, the YCF Group operated in Ethiopia in cooperation with Bahir Dar University. One of the largest Marine Academies in the world, EMTI provides a major supply line of highly trained marine officers to international shipping companies. Through EMTI, YCF Maritime is also addressing an important challenge facing Ethiopia, finding suitable employment for its increasing number of university students.

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