Preparations are underway at state-run Addis Ababa University (AAU) to launch a distance learning programme for postgraduate students, pro-government news site Walta Information Center (WIC) reports. Textbooks and course material are being converted into electronic format and teaching staff are being given instruction in the use of internet and video conferencing in order to extend higher learning opportunities to those unable to attend regular teaching programmes. The service is being set up with input from the University of South Africa, reputedly one of the largest distance learning institutions in the world.

University president Andrias Eshete has told WIC that the university will replace its existing extension or evening courses with short-term vocational training to meet the needs of development in the private sector, the export trade, banking and the rapidly growing floriculture industry.