CVMA Holds National Conference on Veterinary Education and Research

College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture (CVMA) of Addis Ababa University (AAU) held the 5th National Veterinary Education and Research in Ethiopia with the focus of Policy Perspective and International Standards at its campus (in Bishoftu) on May 16 and 17, 2023.

The basic events deliberated in the Conference were keynote speeches that focus on veterinary service, education and cooperative efforts to be rendered by stakeholders like ministries of the FDRE, and a number of presentations by different scholars that were followed by audience discussions on their thematic areas.

“Veterinary Education: National and Global Perspective; Anima Health Research and Extension in Ethiopia: Challenges and Opportunities; Role of Animal Health and Veterinary Education in National Food Security and Safety: One-Health Perspective; National Policies and Strategies in Relation to the Current Trend in Veterinary Education and Services; and The Case for Investing in Animal Health to Support ONE Health: A Policy Brief” were the basic presentation directions held in the Conference.

Hika Waktole (PhD), the Dean for CVMA, in his welcoming remarks stated that the Conference would focus on sharing and learning experiences from each other and attributing valuable points for policy development in the area of Veterinary Education (VE), research and animal health services.

According to Dr. Hika, VE in Ethiopia must insure quality and day one competencies by harnessing relevant curriculum in well equipped and staffed institutions. VE should also meet animal health services in addressing the human needs of the wider community and national strategic goals as well as initiatives to play its part in the development of the country, he added.

Overall, as highlighted by Dr. Hika, research is one of the missions of higher institutions that must be a key for project sorting and transforming the livestock and the public health centres through cooperative approach.

He said that the 5th National VE Conference tries to address key and timely issues and generate constructive ideas that can effectively serve as an input for improvement in policies and institutional capacities.

I strongly believe that this Conference will come up with a productive networking and practical deliverable outcomes that can contribute to the advancement and quality of VE, research and animal health services,” Dr. Hika finally stated.

Professor Tassew Weldehanna, President of AAU, in his opening remarks said that the theme of the Conference was highly relevant and timely agenda that integrated the key missions of AAU’s education, research and community engagement.

According to the President, the Conference marked with perfect consideration of within the University’s annual research week deliberation time when various research findings and outputs were presented as well as discussed in the consent of all colleges and research institutes of AAU.

On the other hand, our researches are undertaking surely with the aim of the real problems solving of the communities that alleviate and insure the development of the country. It is crucial to strengthen VE and research in Ethiopia to meet the country’s need of food and nutrition security, revenue generation for the export of animals and animal products, animal health monitoring services and disease surveillance mechanisms,” he said.

As stated by Prof. Tassew, standardizing and maintaining the quality of veterinary research and education in Ethiopia, promotes effective utilization of the huge livestock resources. Ethiopian government has determined to transform the agricultural sector through different initiatives, he added.

 The Green Legacy; and ‘Yelimat Tirufat’ development campaign with the goal of increasing export earning, ensuring food and nutrition security, and domestically substituting imported products were among ones he mentioned to indicate governmental commitment.

A well functioning system of animal health control and care is clearly a major economic importance especially in relation to international trade requirement, Prof. Tassew stated.

AAU is well prepared to institute the exit exam practises for graduating class students including the field of veterinary education is in line with the World Organization for Animal Health communications on the compotators of animal health veterinarians to ensure national veterinary services,” he said.

Prof. Tassew finally encouraged to use the platform of the 5th National Veterinary Education Conference to discuss and generate constructive ideas as inputs for the enhancement of policies and intuitional capacities for performance at all levels.

According to Fikru Regassa (PhD), State Minister at Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the resource of Ethiopia is not benefiting the country in proportion to its high potential. Though there are a lot of reasons for this impediment, the widespread of diseases and traditional production systems are the major constraints, he intensified.

 MoA is promoting agricultural transformation to better on and accelerate agricultural development to enrich production and productivity towards food and institutional security, import substitution, export earning and the like, the State Minister mentioned.

In this regard, cumulative effort and collaboration of national and international institutions is very much needed. This Conference will have vital roles in capacity building and accomplishing the goals of the Ministry of Agriculture in various ways. MoA is currently working on updating legal frameworks for veterinary services, he mentioned,” Dr. Firu stated finally.

Eba Mijena (PhD), Chief Executive Director of Academic Affairs at MoE, stated that this conference was unique for being held at the eve of AAU to be autonomous, and on the verge of presenting exit exams in some fields of veterinary sciences with among others nationally.

While agriculture is the backbone and the driving force of Ethiopian economy; and Ethiopia has the largest livestock production in Africa, why it is still poor? This should be considered with countries which are rich in products from resources which they don’t have,” he affirmed.

Mentioning that one case of Ethiopia is animal disease and the fail to control the case, Dr. emphasized that the veterinary science of the country should be strengthen as it is the source of solutions, food security, health, wealth and technology. “So, better education is essential to make our veterinary science well advanced and able to solve our problems hovering around our needs,” he added.

Dr. Eba reiterated that veterinary service plays key roles to maintain food security, increase animal productivity, rural development and poverty alleviation, environmental protection and save international trade. “When we are talking about veterinary education, we are talking all about these important entities which this Conference has primarily set out,” he stressed.

Dr. Eba call up on AAU, CVMA and stakeholders to collaborate on striving to produce highly trained manpower and the technology that can help to boost livestock production as well as productivity, animal health research, diagnosing animal diseases and so on.

MoE has been committed to making the College among the leading continental centres in the area of veterinary science, production of world class research outputs, diversified community engagement, curriculum review, put exit exam into practise, the development of new veterinary schools in other higher learning institutions of the country,” he confirmed.

 Editor: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene