International workshop on University-Community Engagement

Addis Ababa University, Haramaya University and Hawasa University in collaboration with Colorado State University (USA) have organized a workshop on University community engagement on November 19, 2018 at Ghion Hotel.

This workshop was organized with the goal of transforming the Ethiopian Universities that are responsive to public needs and problems in their teaching, research and community outreach and accessible and accountable to their communities.

Prof. Tassew Woldehana, president of Addis Ababa University in his welcoming remarks noted that Addis Ababa University had been working persistently on community service till Haramaya, Bahir Dar and Hawassa Universities separated from AAU. After these three Universities became independent, said Prof. Tassew, our contribution in community service was limited to health (CHS), legal (law) and veterinary service (CVM) and to some extent agriculture via our publications from the college of Natural recourses and our CASCAPE project run by college of Development Studies.

Prof. Tassew further noted that the workshop intends to create awareness among Ethiopian universities administration, teachers, staff and students, policy makers, regional, national government and development -agencies about the benefits of University community engagement.

 Addis Ababa University community engagement activities in different community services was displayed on this workshop by Dr Belay Simano from College of Development Studies:- Center for Environment and Development Research findings of community engagement practices special emphasis on AAU Gurara-Bio Farm and Choke Project; Dr Mitike Molla presented about AAU Butajira Health and Demographic Surveillance System/ Butajira Rural Health Program and AAU Clinical Legal Aid Project by Dr Yonas Birmeta. Similarly, Dr Assefa Gebre-Amlak and Dr Ashley Stokes shared trends of Colorado University Community engagement.

The workshop featured discussion on how to move from community service to engagement within Ethiopian Universities and way forward for betterment.