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The Ethiopian government is tapping into tracing technology to address the prevalent problem of counterfeit educational credentials within the nation.

Two government entities—the Ministry of Innovation Technology and the Education and Training Authority—have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SICPA, a Swiss-based company known for supplying security inks for currencies and developing tracing technology to combat counterfeit documents.

This collaboration, which was signed today August 8, 2023, aims to fortify the security and credibility of certificates issued by higher education institutions in Ethiopia.

As part of this arrangement, an experimental phase will commence, involving the issuance of 4,000 security verification codes to six selected educational institutions. Additionally, the Education and Training Authority will be allocated 24,000 codes to further bolster the authentication process.

Backed with a database, the security verification codes are generated and assigned to each legitimate educational certificate.

In April of 2022 alone the government identified more than 200,000 counterfeit degree certificates with a significant portion of these being utilized within governmental offices. Some universities have taken proactive measures to address this concern. For instance, Debrhan University has introduced an online portal in response to repeated requests from employers seeking credential verification. This portal allows interested parties to verify the authenticity of academic information.

In addition, in 2020 it was reported that an electronic information system that details the performance of higher education institutions and the academic background of students was in the works.

Known as the Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS), the web-based platform provides information about graduates and higher education institutions for government and private institutions.

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