Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan visits ZEF

May 26, 2010.  

On May 20, the ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, His Excellency Dilshod Akhatov and his first secretary, Mr. Mavlon Mamirov, visited ZEF. They were welcomed by Prof. Joachim von Braun, Prof. Solvay Gerke (both ZEF directors) and Dr. Ahmad Manschadi (scientific coordinator of the Uzbekistan Project at ZEF). Several scientists from the Uzbekistan Project also attended the meeting.


In his welcome speech Prof. von Braun emphasized the excellent scientific collaboration between Uzbek Universities and ZEF and pointed at the successful cooperation which resulted over the years in about 30 highly talented Uzbek students participating in the Doctoral Program of ZEF. Prof. Gerke acknowledged the excellent collaboration between Uzbek and German partners in the Uzbekistan Project and emphasized the need for strengthening the social sciences at the universities in Uzbekistan.


Mr. Akhatov thanked ZEF for its efforts and engagement in the area of sustainable land and water management within the framework of BMBF-funded project in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan. He highly appreciated the ZEF involvement in the training and education of more than 100 Master and PhD students from Uzbekistan since 2002. Mr. Akhatov highlighted the fact that the Uzbekistan project is one of the most important research projects in his country and pointed out the interest of Uzbekistan in future cooperation with ZEF in other regions of Uzbekistan. Mr. Akhatov also stressed the interest in strengthening the technological and industrial base of the country and establishing cooperation in university partnerships, such as a joint higher-degree educational institution in the area of agriculture and natural resource management in Uzbekistan.


In a fruitful discussion about strategic development issues with the visitors Prof. von Braun stressed that in addition to technological improvements, a key factor for sustainable development of Uzbekistan will also be institutional reforms and decentralization of decision making, such as related to farmers’ and other business sectors’ production and market decisions. Historically, this has been a root of success in countries such as Switzerland and Germany.


Dr. Manschadi and the ZEF scientists involved in the Uzbekistan project reported on the core activities of the project and highlighted some interdisciplinary innovative concepts and technologies that have the potential to conserve natural resources and increase the productivity of the agricultural sector in the Khorezm region.


Mr. Akhatov thanked ZEF and the scientists in the Uzbekistan Project for their long-term engagement in Uzbekistan and invited them to attend a round table discussion at the Uzbek Embassy in Berlin later this year.