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Investing in the Future of Disaster Risk Management: USAID Response Leadership Activity Hosts Successful Facilitation Skills Training in Ethiopia

Strengthening Ethiopia's capacity for disaster preparedness and response requires a skilled workforce. The USAID Response Leadership Activity, implemented by Bahir Dar University and 18 partner institutions, took a significant step towards this goal by conducting a facilitation skills training for 27 Fellows’ Trainers of Disaster Risk Management from January 22-27, 2024, in Addis Ababa.

This intensive training equipped project staffs, partner university focal persons, module developers, and potential trainers with the knowledge, skill and tools to deliver engaging and effective training sessions for the upcoming Cohort-2 fellows.

The #USAID - US Agency for International Development funded USAID Response Leadership Activity is a national capacity building program being implemented by Bahir Dar University in partnership with 11 universities and 7 TVET colleges to develop the next generation of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Professionals in Ethiopia. The project has employed 300 fellows to 34 government organizations across the country, where they learn and apply DRM skills and knowledge. By placing 750 fellows over five years, the project is working to fill the urgent human resource needs in the Ethiopian DRM sector.

Training on electronic procurement system is offered 

Bahir Dar University's Training Directorate in cooperation with the Procurement Directorate has organized a training session for the university's procurement directors, procurement team leaders and procurement professionals from all campuses regarding the government's electronic procurement system (eGP) and government procurement. A six-day capacity building training is being conducted in the training hall of the main campus with the help of experts from the property authority.
At the training, Getahun Workie, an expert in the government procurement and property management (eGP) system, explained that the main objective of the training, is to help the trainees to be able to implement clear, modern, efficient and effective government procurement and property management and to maintain, use, control and dispose (in obsolescence) government property properly.
He added that many government institutions are providing capacity building trainings to introduce trainees to the electronic transaction system with the aim to reduce the theft and corrupt practices that occur during the procurement processes.
The training, in which 27 procurement experts, directors and procurement team leaders from different campuses in the university are participating, will continue for six consecutive days.

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) Conducted Stockholders Validation Workshop for the Upcoming 10th Years BDU-Horticulture Department Support Program

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Its recalled that the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and BDU has agreed and signed a high level MoU by June 2022 to lay the foundation for establishment of cooperative partnership between Bahir Dar University (BDU) and the Agriculture team within the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the aim of contributing for horticulture sector development in the region as well as at a country level through conducting collaborative activities. The agreed and signed area of collaborations include strengthening Horticulture program of the university through capacity building (scholarships), providing tailor-made and Cross cutting skill trainings and others with the aim contributing to better match the competencies of the students to the labor market in the horticulture sector in Ethiopia.

According to Tadele Yeshiwas, the BDU_KNE partnership program initiator and focal person, after signing of  the MoU, by January 2022 a team of experts from KNE and Netherlands Ministry of Finance, Education, and Agriculture conducted a scoping mission and held a round table discussion with Bahir Dar University higher officials, and Agriculture college dean and program representative with the aim to understand the challenges, opportunities and potential solutions on the current education systems by hoping that the scoping mission experts from the Netherlands will contribute to the development of a country specific education development plan for the next 10 years. The program will be supported by the Dutch government to enable Technical support of Vocational and Higher education in Ethiopia, known in Dutch as the Beroeps & Hoger Onderwijs (BHO) Program.

Accordingly, based on the scoping mission study result, the KNE has conducted the feasibility study of the program through the assigned external consultant (Impact for Sustainability Consulting Service PLC) to identify key players in the TVT and Higher Education ecosystem in Ethiopia, and know their role and the challenges they face in providing students with the right skills to successfully engage in the horticultural labor market.  The aim of the study was to lay the foundation for the design of a 10 years capacity development program that supports the identified TVT and Higher Education actors and other key partners and stakeholders to prepare the students with employability skills as demanded by the horticultural labor market. The ultimate goal of the study was to contribute to the increased production and availability of vegetables and fruits in the market in order to improve the food and nutrition security situation across Ethiopia. Thus, today, January 15/2024, KNE organized a round table discussion workshop at Bahir Dar University with the presence of key horticulture sector stakeholders, KNE teams, Bahir Dar University higher officials, Dean of College of Agriculture and Horticulture and department staff. The aim of this workshop includes presenting the findings of the feasibility study, collect feedbacks and participants’ insights into the feasibility of some of the recommendations and proposed entry points for the upcoming 10 years EKN program. Furthermore, the discussion will provide a chance for stakeholders and other round table participants to share with KNE what potential role they could have inside the upcoming 10 years program.

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Grant Proposal writing training offered

Grant Proposal writing training is offered for Sport Academy and Science College teachers at BDU. According to Dr. Fekadu Melak, one of the trainers from Biotechnology Technology Institute, in terms of being a research university, it is necessary to exchange contemporary knowledge and experience in the fields via different modalities. In connection to this, the training on grant proposal writing is offered to faculty in the two institutions with the objective to equip the staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to win both national and international project calls that benefit themselves and the university. Therefore, it is necessary to provide trainings on writing Grant Proposal Writing, as the students need funds to conduct researches and the university needs to generate the income at this time when it is striding to autonomy, said Dr. Fekadu.

Dr. Fikadu added that through the training, teachers' capacity building and experience sharing will be done by setting up an effective joint team that writes grant winning proposals. Apart from that, he pointed out that the training is a door opener for them to gain international recognition in the process of writing and stated that the university will provide the necessary support and supervision to turn the training into practice.

Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences in collaboration with UNICEF provides social and behavioral change training to different implementers.
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(December 28,2023, Bahir Dar): Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at the college in collaboration with UNICEF has provided social and behavioral change training to different implementers drawn from various organizations including academic staff of the university.
In an effort to build the capacity of the trainees, and enable them promote to establish SBC centers in their respective institutions, a wide range of crucial topics have been addressed, including but not limited SBC and sociological model, understanding social norms, understanding social inclusion, behavioral change process, understanding communication, skills for effective communication, interpersonal and group communication, risk communication and community engagement, understanding teamwork, using communication materials.
Senior academic staff at the college, Professor Fentie Ambaw and Professor Netsanet Fentahun, have provided the training and it is hoped that this collaborative effort will significantly contribute to bring positive change on a broader scale.
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The university started providing training on management for female teachers

Department of Multidisciplinary Affairs together with the Training Directorate, BDU, started providing a two-week hands on management training to more than 40 female teachers at the Wisdom Training Hall.

The president of the university, Dr. Firew Tegegne, in the opening program of the training said that in addition to the excellent work on teaching, research and community service, the university made remarkable achievements in campus beauty, technology transfer, collaborative engagements with international institutions, hosting international workshops such as the Tana Forum, and playing major role in the process of registering Bahir Dar City as ‘Education City’ by UNESCO.

In addition, he explained to the trainees the future focus of the university. Also, the president mentioned that university’s previous effort to bring women into leadership has laid the foundation for the emergence of female leaders who will lead not only the institution but also the region and the country, and urged the trainees to attend the training properly.

Dr. Mulugojjam Wondifraw, the Executive Director of Multi-disciplinary Affairs at Bahir Dar University and the coordinator of the training, He said that about forty female teachers of the university will receive hands on management training. She added if the leadership capacity of women is supported by training, it will give them an opportunity to serve their families, institutions and communities in a better way. The trainees on their part expressed their belief that the training will motivate them to use their leadership potential and put it into practice.

The training will be given to forty female teachers for two consecutive weeks. This same training was delivered to female teachers at the university in 2019 many of whom are in different administrative positions  currently.

Grant Proposal Writing training offered

Grant Proposal Writing training for teachers of Bahir Dar University College of Science was given at Peda campus for two consecutive days from 8-9/2023.

Prof. Tsagaye Kasa, the College's Postgraduate Research and Community Services V/Dean, the coordinator of the training, said that the purpose of the training is to raise awareness in terms of finding foreign funds. The dean further noted that the college has been organizing teams whose task was to hunt funds even before the training was given.

Prof. Tsagaye stated that the training was given by the professors with wealth of experience in winning grants from the college, such as Prof. Endalkachew Nibret and Dr. Mellesew Nigussie. The V/Dean extended his belief that the current training of 42 staff further enhances the college’s capacity to winning grants and contributing to meeting the mission and vision of the College and the University.

 

Zimamnesh tower, a business hub in Bahir Dar city, is offered to BDU by its owners to serve as women and children medical center for Tibeb Ghion specialized hospital of the university. 

Mrs. Atsedwein Bekele the owner of the building has done an exemplary philanthropy by offering her five storey building named Zimamnesh Tower which is located at the hub of Bahirdar city to Bahir Dar University. It is learned that the building which is estimated to worth more than 500 million birr was inherited from her mother Mrs. Zimamnesh Woldeyesus. Mrs. Atsdewein's family said that the gift was presented with the objective to support the services provided by Bahir Dar University in the health sector.
Dr. FirewTegegne, president of the university, has paid his utmost gratitude for the philanthropic contribution of Mrs. Zimamnesh Woldeyesus's family responding to BDU's Diamond Jubilee call for supporting its mission to improve the social status and livelihood of Bahir Dar city dwellers. He reiterated the Jubilee's call for similar others to follow Mrs. Zimamnesh's family "love pilgrimage" in supporting the university's community engagement responsibilities. The president noted that with the reception of the ownership of the building, the university is shouldering a great responsibility.
Zimamnesh Tower, which was donated to Bahir Dar University, is a building located close to saint George church of Bahir Dar city that is currently providing various services such as Cafe and Guest House (Ours), office work and others.

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BDU, 21 Dec. 2023(Internal Relations and Communication) Dr. Birtukan Atinkut, an Assistant Professor at the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Institute of Bahir Dar University, has been honored with the esteemed BOKU Best Talent Award for her outstanding dissertation. She successfully completed her PhD studies in Social and Economic Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Boku) in Vienna, Austria, in January 2023.
Dr. Birtukan's research focuses on the socio-economics of the Lake Tana Basin, employing a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates social and natural sciences. Her exceptional work has been recognized with the BOKU Best Talent Award, a prestigious accolade presented for exceptional scientific Dissertations from all thematic fields of BOKU. This award, which is limited to a maximum of three dissertations annually, is accompanied by a cash prize.
This recognition is a testament to Dr. Birtukan's remarkable skills, knowledge, and unwavering dedication to academic excellence. Bahir Dar University takes great pride in Dr. Birtukan's achievement and is confident that her future endeavors will continue to reflect the same level of excellence demonstrated in this remarkable accomplishment.

Business Demo Day Event held

Bahir Dar University, Entrepreneurship development and incubation center (EDIC) successfully run the demo day event at Bahir Dar university, EDIC entrepreneurship hub.  This demo day event took place on June 02, 2023 with the presence of representatives from the financial and industry sectors.

As part of the Lifting up young female entrepreneurs /LiYFE/ project, which is US embassy Addis Ababa Annual program statement  (APS) –FY 2023 it is being implemented in collaboration with Debremarkos university, Injibara University, Indiana university and The Mill. More than 100 young female entrepreneurs in corridor from Bahir Dar to Debre Markos are part of the program.  The LIYFE project is an excellent initiative to promote entrepreneurship among young women in the corridor.

Participants successfully completed 12 modules in two major categories of the project (I.e. 8 Modules in pre-accelerator program and 4-modules in accelerators program) that can help them to refine their business ideas, building business models, prepare instant business plan and future milestones.   Entrepreneurship trainers, business development services advisers and mentors are working with the young female innovators to facilitate access to resources and mentorship services.

From 30 young innovators, 10 have been selected for final pitching program and for the seed money award.  Hence, three business expertise and adviser were assigned as business judges and evaluated their business idea to put them in order of impacts.  Based on the results those with better innovative ideas will receive seed money.

Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw, vice president for the research and community services at BDU delivered a speech addressing the young innovators.  He said, “It's always exciting to see young entrepreneurs and innovators bring their ideas to life. Having business advisers and judges present to provide feedback and guidance is also beneficial for those looking to start a business, we have to use our competitive advantages in the corridor and replicate our positives impacts to other parts of the country too.”

 ‘Internationalization and innovations’ are among the university’s core values, and EDIC is striving to satisfy these values in working with various international expertise and institutions.

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