ABU DHABI // A group of students from Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi were so impressed during their visit to the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia they compiled an economic report and presented it to the UAE authorities.
The group of five masters students made the trip to the African Union - a council of 54 African states that works to promote unity and advancement of the continent - to gain insight into UAE-African relations.
"It was a remarkable opportunity for us to deepen our knowledge and learn more about our future with a continent that holds immense possibilities," said Majid Al Khamiri, the main organiser of the trip. "The report was well received by the Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed and Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed."
Three Emirati students - Majid Al Khamiri, Khalid Al Remeithi and Ahmed Al Marzouqi - travelled to Ethiopia for five days along with Qatari and American students Mohammed Al Mohanadi and Joshua Alcorn.
The group was hosted by Dr Youssef Issa Hassan Al Sabri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union.
Majid Al Khamiri, a history graduate who is studying for a second Bachelor's degree in Geography and Planning while simultaneously completing a Master's in International Law, Diplomacy and International Relations, explained: "We wanted to visit an international organisation and we decided to go to the AU because of the limited coverage of their activities and the fact the UAE is the first Gulf Arab nation to be elected as an observer there."
Khalid Al Remeithi, who is studying diplomacy and international law and hopes to enter the diplomatic corps, described the trip as eye-opening. "We were informed about the intricacies of African diplomacy, which we would have not known if we had not gone there," he said.
Details of the visit, which took place in February, were presented on campus as a multimedia report on Monday.
"I tell my students who are interested in International Law to know their geography well," said Dr Jean Yves de Cara, executive director of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.
"These students decided to go on an expedition, which is the best method of learning. The Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi continuously works towards preparing our leaders of tomorrow."