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A workshop on strengthening links between policy and research for sustainable development in the Lake Tana basin prepared by Blue Nile Water Institute BDU’s took place on November 18, 2014, on the presence of American Ambassador. 

The workshop was conducted with the objective of linking between decision-making and research leading to the realization of sustainabledevelopment.

The Lake Tana basin which is dynamic is experiencing a significant population, economic, ecosystem and social changes as well as other issues like urbanization, intensification of rural land use, environmental degradation and climate change deserve critical attention.

The workshop was also intended to help participants identify specific policy-relevant research direction and to promote a continuous dialogue between researchers and policy makers.

Using structured system thinking process, participants were made to identify major problematic development trends, related policy questions and research needs; then develop system maps from discussions about what causes those problematic trends.

While addressing the participants of the workshop, the Ambassador of USA to Ethiopia, Mrs. Patricia Haslach, expressed that USG is pleased to work with Bahir Dar University in this area of the link between decision-makers and researchers.

Mrs. Patricia Haslach said that one area of that USG extends its support to development endeavor in Ethiopia is through assisting through such exchanges as the Fulbright program which brings US scholars to Ethiopia.

Thirty five policy experts and scientists were engaged in the discussion. Researchers from Bahir Dar University and Addis Ababa University, in the areas of social, economic and ecological aspects of Lake Tana, and representative of regional environment and development bureaus have participated in the workshop

Bahir Dar University has participated in the 8th Forum of the Public Universities found in the Amhara Region at Woldia University.


The objective of the forum was to exchange the good performances accomplished in the preceding academic year by member universities, and to identify and forward relevant solutions to the challenges experienced by those universities. 

The forum also aimed at scaling up good models, exchanging experiences in t-Learning, Research, Community Services, Good Governance, and applying those good experiences in the future.

The forum has generally focused on dealing with the regional and national problems, and creating a platform for member universities to engage in resolving these problems and bettering the life of our citizens.

The forum has so far been launched an interdisciplinary journal, and is working in partnership with other organizations by identifying necessary themes in areas of agriculture, health and education.

The representatives of the health and education bureaus of the Amhara National Regional State, presenting papers on the event, have outlined possible areas of collaboration with members of the forum.

The President of the host university, Woldia University, Professor Yalew Endawek, said on the event that since the inception of the forum, some contributions are made in scientific and technological developments. “We must work towards breaking the spirit of impossibility in this country!” Professor Yalew underlined.

Indicating that successful things have so far been done in areas of secularism, Professor Yalew assured the audience that Woldia University will continue to determinedly contribute in this forum.

On the event, representatives of the seven member universities have made their reports of the final year accomplishments of 2006 E.C. 

Specific discussions on the preparation for the academic year of 2007 were made particularly focusing on peaceful teaching and learning and the fulfillment of necessary inputs for the success of the academic performance.

It has also been indicated that trainings offered to instructors, students, and administrative staff at the beginning of the present year were rated successful in all the member universities of the forum.

Public Relations, Participation and Organization Advisor to Amhara National Regional State President under a Vice President Portfolio and, Administration Board Chairperson of Bahir Dar University, Mr. Alemnew Mekonnen, indicated on the event that the major problems observed among the staff of those member universities, these days, are primarily related to lack of high level thinking, understanding and lack of knowledge and skills.

In order to tackle these fundamental challenges, an intellectual forum of this kind is instrumental in shaping the staff of the respective member universities through experience sharing; Mr. Alemnew said.

The regional government, according to Mr. Alemnew, expects from these universities to accomplish their roles successfully and to contribute their parts to the current process of the transformation of the country. 

And he vowed, on behalf of the Amhara national Regional State, that the regional government will always be by the side of the universities.

In discussing the future direction of the forum, Mr Alemnew has stressed that the supportive staff of the member universities need to be given a continuous training on ethics of service and accountability.

In connection to the challenges observed in relation to good governance among the students, Mr. Alemnew called for displaying good leadership. “The member universities ought to focus on community oriented and practical and problem-solving research”, Mr Alemnew.

On the forum, member universities have reached an agreement to build a skilled generation of human resource that actively and efficiently engage in the present process of national transformation.

This noble goal can be achieved through building an army of scientifically and technologically equipped young generation and member universities staff. In connection to students, Peer –led learning will be strengthened in all member universities to build a sense of cooperation and collaboration among the students and staff, said the President of Bahir Dar University and the chairman of the forum Dr.Baylie Damtie. 

According to Dr.Baylie Damtie, it is not enough to publish research findings, but they must be applied to bring about societal change.
Member universities pledged to build the tradition of good governance based on transparency, and to build a research partnership among themselves and with other stakeholders to engage in solving the country’s problems.

Community services focusing on modeling jobs where the universities are creating scientific models like model rural village and model solar village that can be expanded to the majority of the society by the regional government if proven appropriate. Short- term and long-term trainings and the evaluations of their outcomes will be performed.

Bahir Dar University has been chosen to host the 9th forum, and it was decided that nine participants from each member university, including student representatives, will be attending the conference beginning with the upcoming forum.

The Forum was established in November, 2012. And just in two years, the forum is partnering with other organizations in areas of education, health and others with organizations like Amhara Development Association (ADA).

 

The Forum of Public Universities in the Amhara Region is to hold its 8th regular annual meeting from 13th to 15th of November, 2014, at Woldiya University.

 

The meeting will be focusing on performance evaluation of the academic year of 2013/14, and the member universities’ plans and activities of the present academic year, 2014/15.

 

The Secretary General of the forum, Professor Abiy Yigzaw, will be presenting on the previous activities and present circumstances of the forum.

 

The Board members, presidents and the vice presidents, and student representatives of the member universities will be participating on the meeting.

 

Detailed news on the subject will be published soon.

 

Bahir Dar University has signed an agreement with NLA (Norwegian) University College. The agreement will specifically cover student exchange in journalism and communications studies.

 

Both undergraduate and postgraduate journalism students of NLA (Norwegian) University College will be studying at BDU and the Bahir Dar University counterparts will also be studying in Norway for a semester.

 

The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie Damtie, said on the occasion that the collaboration would be strengthened and expanded. 

 

Indicating that the government of Ethiopia is presently focusing on strengthening the practice of journalism in the country, Dr Baylie said that the student exchange agreement would be of paramount significance.

 

Dr Baylie has also indicated that his institution will be committed to translate the agreement into practice. “This will not just be Memorandum of Understanding; it will also be Memorandum of Action!” Dr Baylie added.

 

BDU’s Acting Vice President for Information and Strategic Communication, Mr Moges Abraha, on his part, has underlined that his office will specifically be committed to moving this partnership steps ahead.

 

Calling the participants join hands to realize vision of wisdom 2025, Mr Moges has also pledged that his office will be working jointly with the Faculty of Humanities to make the partnership bear necessary fruit.

 

The partnership was facilitated by NLA Professor, Dr. Terje Skjerdal. The cooperation will begin with two undergraduate and five postgraduate Norwegian students joining Bahir Dar University as of February, 2015.

 

Present on the event were, the faculty academic staff, university management and faculty students.

Abay Culture and Development Research Centre held a symposium aiming at rescuing indigenous knowledge and traditions from the sweeping impact of globalization. Indigenous knowledge is clearly the foundation of a country’s development, said the Director of the centre, Dr Muluken Andualem. The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie Damtie, said on the event that Ethiopia, as a country of extraordinary accumulation of indigenous knowledge, lags behind when it comes to using it. Dr Baylie stressed that Bahir Dar University will continue supporting the research centre’s endeavor of researching, documenting and preserving indigenous knowledge for the benefit of the country. The university, Dr Baylie added, will specifically support Abay Culture and Development Research Centre in order to make it achieve its noble goals. Abay Culture and Development Research Centre has the objective of preserving and promoting both manmade and natural resources of the region and country.Various papers on areas of Kine and Menzuma were presented on the function. Ethiopia is a nation of beautiful traditional relics among which are Lalibela rock-hewn churches, Fasiledes castle and different monasteries found in the islands of Lake Tana.

BDU participates on exhibition

Bahir Dar University has participated on the 24th Education and Training Conference held from October 27-29, 2014 at Hawassa, SNNPR. The conference was aimed at evaluating the education process of the previous academic year. Bahir Dar University has presented an exhibition on the event in relation to its experiences of teaching- learning, research, community services and communication and partnership of the academic year of 2006 EC. Particularly focusing on the activities being performed and the achievements being made by Bahir Dar Institute of Technology (BiT), the university has demonstrated on power-efficient oven and food preserving machine (for 19 days) on the exhibition. EiTEX instructors and students have also demonstrated different scientifically designed fashion garments on the event. A large number of visitors have expressed that they are impressed by what has been presented by Bahir Dar University, and some have even demanded to see the technological outcomes on market as soon as possible. World Bank has financially supported the energy efficient oven technology produced by Bahir Dar University on the basis of the idea that it is environmentally user-friendly.

Orientation workshop on journalism

A panel discussion on ‘Journalism Students for Professional Responsibility’ was held by Ethiopian Media Women Association (EMWA) focusing on Journalism and communication Department students at BDU. Thanking the representatives of EMWA for the panel, BDU’s Acting Vice President for Information and Strategic Communication, Mr. Moges Abraha, has underlined that his university is working towards strengthening the participation of women in the academic and administrative domains. Mr. Moges has also said that Bahir Dar University is deeply committed to engage in female students’ capacity building in all areas and to cooperate with different organizations working on the subject. EMWA’s Board Chairperson, Mrs. Emrakeb Assefa, welcoming the participants, made it clear that the objectives of the association include raising professional skills, increasing members’ access and participation in media, supporting interested media women and undertaking professional researches. A paper on “Media plurality, quality, and professional responsibility of journalists” was presented by Mrs. Tsige Aynalem. And critical and enlightening discussions on Ethiopian journalism, media challenges and ethics were made with the students. Students are expected to join the association as associate members. Present on the event were EMWA representatives, and Journalism and Communication staff and students. EMWA is a non-partisan and non-profit-making association working toward raising the skills of media professionals and practitioners to create gender sensitive media in Ethiopia.

GDTC staff participate in training at Berlin

Four African universities (Bahir Dar University from Ethiopia, Juba University form South Sudan, Al-Neelain University from Sudan and University Evangelique en Afrique from D.R. Congo) took part in GIS training in Berlin for 21 days. The training has been undertaken for the last three summers, based on the agreement between African Universities and Berlin Beuth University of Applied Science. The project was supported by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Since the beginning of the first training, BDU students and instructors have been participating. In the 2014 summer school, which was held in Berlin from 14th of September to 2nd October) GDTC (Geospatial Data and Technology Center) members and one MSc Geoinformatics student from Geography and environmental sciences department have participated. The training was focused on didactical basics and network analysis. Our GDTC members gave lectures to students from African universities and from Beuth University of Applied Science. Since the first phase of the project will be phase out this year, vice presidents of the three universities joined the trainees and project coordinators at 28th of September, 2014 to evaluate the achievements and discuss the way forward. Intensive discussion was made regarding the effectiveness of the project. Dr.Tesfaye Shiferaw, Vice President for Research and Community Services of Bahir Dar University, addressed his university’s concern about the training. He also gave a brief presentation to the students, project coordinators, DAAD representative, Beuth University President and Vice President. His presentation was focused on the vision of BDU to become Research University and the opportunities that African Universities could have in collaborate. The relationship between African Universities and Beuth University (which is called South-North relationship) was evaluated as good. But the South-South relationship among African Universities was not given due emphasis by the project coordinators. BDU has taken the initiative to lead the South-South relationship. The Beuth university East Africa UNiGi community project coordinators have also admitted that they were no focused on this relationship and BDU is the right university to lead this relationship. BDU and Juba university representatives had discussions how to collaborate on capacity building, research, and staff exchange. The Vice Chancellor for Juba University and Vice President for BDU discussed thoroughly how to make it effective. The trainers from Juba University and Birhanu Gedif (director for Geospatial Data and Technology Center) from BDU-discussed and agreed on the major areas of research collaboration in areas of geospatial data and technologies: (1) Curriculum revision and development for Juba university (2). Further discussion is anticipated. The following areas were drafted during the discussion which is still subject for modification and approval of the two universities. 3. Staff exchanges for block courses 4. Scholarship (MSc) for Juba university students at BDU 5. Drafting project proposals for soliciting and securing funds 6. Tailor made training (capacity building) for Juba University Staffs

BDU, KSU partnership to commence

Bahir Dar University and Kansas State University (KSU) representatives held a discussion on possible areas of collabration on power/energy and agriculture-especially on postharvest grain loss minimization. Clarifying on the standing of Kansas State University, Dr. Noel N. Schulz, the leader of the delegates, has explained on possible areas of collaboration between the two parties. Dr.Noel has specifically underlined that bilateral relations can be built in areas of student and staff exchanges as well as in research on agriculture and energy. She has also made a presentation on energy management. The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie Damtie, has underlined on the event that collaborations need to be based primarily on the interests of the professors of the two higher institutions. Dr Baylie has also underlined on the necessity of off-grid and small scale energy solutions indicating that need of solar energy to deal with power shortage presently observed in rural Ethiopia. Briefing the delegates on Vision of Wisdom 2025 of his university, Dr Baylie has also pointed out that postharvest grain loss management and wealth creation through scientific and technological innovation can be areas of possible collaboration. Kansas State University’s (KSU’s) distinguished Professor of Grain Science and Industry, Professor Bhadriraju Subramanyam, made a presentation on various projects that are being undertaken in Ethiopia by KSU. Professor Subramanyam has also discussed on the introduction of model grain loss management methods in Ethiopia, with the support of USAID. BDU’s Bahir Dar Institute of Technology researchers, Dr Belachew Bantyirga and Dr Tasew Tadiyos, have presented on off-grid and small scale energy solutions in Ethiopia. Discussions on way-forward regarding the mechanisms of looking for funding agencies together and building effective communication and cooperation has also been made. BDU’s vice presidents, representatives of Technology Institute and representatives of Gondar University have attended the discussion. Donation of relevant books and other equipments used for the development post harvest grain loss management skills development has also been made.

BDU reaffirms promise

On a recent celebration of the 7th Ethiopian National Flag Day, BDU community has confirmed their commitments of intellectually contributing to the country’s ongoing effort of neck-to-neck struggle against long standing poverty. “Our flag links our past generation with the present one, and it embodies our deepest commitment to engage in the current momentous struggle of our country to create a promising tomorrow.” said BDU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Matebe Tafere. For a free nation like ours which was handed down, its flag is a lot more than just a symbol; The university, as it has been doing great job for the last 52 years, is instrumental in building noble national values on intellectual basis, said BDU’s Acting Vice President for Information and Strategic Communication, Mr. Moges Abraha. A paper dealing with the historical origin of flags, and, specifically, the significant evolution of Ethiopian national flag was presented by a young and enthusiastic historian, Mr. Daniel Meseret, on the event. Mr. Daniel has underlined on his presentation that flags deserve respect. Diverse issues have been discussed on the program, and it has also been indicated that the university will continue colorfully celebrating the Ethiopian National Flag Day through regularly renewing its promises.

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