Director: Mel Tewahade
Runtime: 101 min
Release Year: 2012
A new documentary entitled Point Four highlights the history of Haramaya University, an agricultural technical campus in Ethiopia established in 1956 in collaboration with the U.S. government and with assistance from Oklahoma State University. Formerly known as Alemaya College, the institution was officially inaugurated by Emperor Haile Selassie on January 16, 1958.
The film borrows its name from President Harry Truman's 1949 inaugural address in which he announced a technical assistance program for developing countries that later became known as "The Point Four Program." It was so named because it was the fourth foreign policy objective outlined in the speech. The Point Four program resulted in America's close partnership with Ethiopia in helping to establish some of the country's technical higher-education institutions.
"The documentary is about a US foreign policy that was successfully implemented in Ethiopia," said Mel Tewahade, the film's Denver-based producer. He noted: "The Alemaya College was established with the help of Oklahoma State University. Oklahoma State provided the expertise and Ethiopia provided the funds."
The film is narrated by the director and features interviews with Americans who were involved with the program in Ethiopia as well as Ethiopian graduates from the school. "My inspiration to make the movie is to honor all the great [people] including my own father who worked hard to establish this agricultural college," Mr. Tewahade said. "As a kid I traveled to Alemaya from our house in Harar and I have a pleasant memory of the place."