ADDIS ABABA – The University of Addis Ababa has conferred honorary doctorate degrees on two “true sons of Africa” today.
The honorees were Dr. Pietro Salini, Chief Executive Officer of Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo), and Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was presided over AAU’s honorary degree commemoration ceremony, during which he congratulated both, describing them as “the true sons of Africa”.
“A recognition well deserved for your great contributions to the field of economics and engineering,” he said, and expressed his optimism that “African youth would forge such examples of excellence.”
AfDB President Adesina thanked PM Abiy for his kind words and congratulations in a tweet.
The President also said he felt greatly honored by AAU’s recognition. “It was such a great honor to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Addis Ababa University,” he said.
Salini is the CEO of Webuild, an Italian construction company in charge of the ongoing Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) construction project.
The dam started producing 375 megawatts electricity using one of its turbines, signaling the beginning of the end for the construction project.
During a ceremony that started the power last February, Dr. Salini said he felt “honored and happy” for receiving the responsibility to carry out the €3.48-billion construction project which is currently 84% complete.
Once completed, it will become an energy hub for the region and allow Ethiopia to generate and export clean and renewable electricity, avoiding the emissions of more than two million tons of CO2 a year.