© 2016 Raume N / Jave Zamor
Ethiopia, one of Africa’s oldest independent countries, is today one of the continent’s fastest growing nations. This diverse, East African nation has a population that has more than tripled in the past few decades, going from 33.5 million in 1983 to over 101 million today, with its main cities growing exceptionally in the process. This immense increase in population has put pressures on many of the basic commodities of the country, such as housing, food production, and employment, but it has also lead to numerous opportunities of sheer scale and potential.
Despite the pressures of the growing population—and partly because of this growth—Ethiopia has long been one of Africa’s fastest growing economies. Annual GDP growth has regularly been above 10% annually for over a decade. Agricultural cash-crop export has been a mainstay, with Ethiopian coffee, lauded internationally as being some of the best, enjoyed around the world. Ethiopia’s socialist government has been selling off big blocks of state-owned enterprises for the last several years. This privatization has been drawing in big investment dollars, and the government has been raising funds in the billions while retaining control of certain “strategic” sectors such as telecoms, banks, and the national airline.
With these funds, Ethiopia has been undertaking ambitious infrastructure development programs, one of the most sure-fire methods of spurring economic growth. With a market quickly liberalizing, and conditions improving across the country with ever increasing access to water, sanitation, electricity, and roads. Improving reach of telecommunication networks, increased penetration of smartphones and mobile broadband, and improved health care are all having a large impact as well.
Much of progress in these areas has coalesced in and around Ethiopia’s capital and largest city, Addis Ababa. This sprawling highlands city serves as the country’s commercial and cultural center. With nearly 3.5 million people in the city as of last count in 2008 (the current number is estimated to be much higher), it has become one of the major capitals of Africa. The government has big plans for Addis Ababa, including a blueprint to develop the city to 20 times its current size. And to ensure that every resident is within 500 meters of a quick and easy path to the center city, the government plans to build a mass transportation service equaling the penetration of Paris’s metro system.
With all of these world-class infrastructure projects underway, one of the areas that Ethiopia is relying on the contribution of private individuals is education. The booming population, the prospective of an influx of jobs; all of this relies on a well-educated workforce. Education in the country was once controlled by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church until secular education was put in place in the early 1900’s. Countrywide, illiteracy was over 90% until 1974, but the situation has been improving rapidly in the years since 1991. Now, high quality tertiary education is absolutely essential to Ethiopia’s future on the world stage, and one of the institutions taking up the cause is Queens’ College, in Addis Ababa.
Queens’ College began its journey as provider of tertiary education in 1999 after a previous institution, which was mostly a language school, converted into a full college. Today, it has eight branches, all featuring high-speed broadband internet connections, new computers for student use and quality instruction provided by excellent teachers and professors. Queens’ College operates with the belief that education is the key for not only the development of individual careers, but also entire communities, cities, and countries. © 2016 Raume N / Jave Zamor
The college provides accredited degree and diploma programs in business, technology, and legal-related fields, and is certified internationally as a qualified instructor in computer systems by such major bodies as Adobe, Microsoft, and CompTIA. The focus of the institution is on providing an affordable path for students to attain the skills and qualifications they need to pursue their careers.
Queens’ College understands the importance of offering equal opportunities for students—78% of the 1200 graduating students in 2015 were female. The college has even offered scholarships to female students whose families would prefer to direct funds to their sons’ educations, correcting a sometimes damaging attitude that manifests in a country with limited resources.
Quality, for Queens’ College, is of the utmost importance, and its focus is directed at a few key areas. For one, the quality of the instructors is paramount. In addition to seeking out experts in their subject-areas, the college provides training so that instruction is at the highest quality. Secondly, the College maintains the standards set forth by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education, The Higher Education Quality Relevance & Quality Agency (HERQA). Third, the Quality of equipment, which is a stumbling block for many educational institutions in the country, is a point of pride for Queens’ College, which invests heavily in maintaining relevant, high-functioning computers and software for its students to learn with.
For its understanding of the importance of Education for all, its provision of an essential service for its country and city, and its success as a self-sustained business providing affordable education, Business Initiative Directions is honored to present Queens’ College with its 2016 BID Quality Award, one of the highest recognitions for institutional quality and excellence in the world.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY SUMMIT AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.