The Newly Appointed Executive-Leadership of AAU Visits Sefere-Selam Campus

The Interim Executive-Leadership of AAU, ahead of the autonomy, visited the Sefere-Selam Campus of the University where The Centre for Drug Discovery and Therapeutics in Africa (CDT-Africa) and Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology are found, and discussed with the staff on the 15 th of September 2023.

Professor Abebaw Fekadu, Head of the World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence in Therapeutic Discovery (CDT-Africa), briefed the participants what the Centre has been doing so far as a regional platform which focuses on health and medicinal activities, including its future forecast.

According to Prof. Abebaw, CDT-Africa works on three programs: medicinal transitional development (MTD), health innovation platform, and computed tomography (CT) and Regulatory Sciences. The MTD focuses on production of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that basically target on import substitution, he added.

Prof. Abebaw mentioned the 2021 ECA report that access to medicine is a chronic problem to African societies as 94% of medicine across Africa is imported from other continents. And “80% of mortality is due to lack of medicine,” he intensified the problem.

Whereas Prof. Abebaw hoped that there is a great potential to research and development to address this problem if institutions like CDT-Africa cooperatively engaged in alleviating medicinal social issues.

Prof. Abebaw finally stated that CDT-Africa carries on research, training (up to post doctoral level) and community engagement activities on the three programs. “We have about 25% regional students from 20 African countries; we have published more than 500 papers on internationally reputable journals, and we are also accredited on some programs,” he added.

Representatives of Aklilu Lemma Institution of Pathobilogy mentioned that the Institute works on human and animal health issues focusing on tropical and infectious diseases; rendering community services on communicable diseases, vector control, medicinal plant research and other related activities.

Abdurazak Mohammed (PhD), Vice President for Administrative and Student Affairs of AAU, briefed the participants focusing on what AAU will do and will gain as an autonomous university from now on.

He detailed that AAU will be transformed on issues that include wealth creation and administration, engages in employing to firing works based on its own rules and regulations, focuses on infrastructure development including renovation, receives students based on its capacity and public interest, etc.

According to Dr. Abdurazak, about 12 transformation documents have been developed and they will be discussed in all AAU colleges and institutions in detail and they will be serviceable after they get approval from concerned bodies.

Samuel Kifle (PhD), the Interim President of AAU, said that the current movement of his team is to handle the start of practising AAU’s transfer to self-autonomy. There is an established team to enable compiling the institution’s guideline documents, policies and strategies, he added.

Dr. Samuel stated that his team is not going to start from scratch; there are certain things done so far and the team will continue filling gaps and upgrading the promising ones. “Transforming AAU into autonomous status will not be a complicated science as there are several experiences which the world has gone through,” he intensified.

“The cumulative effective performance of each institution in the University will make AAU very competitive autonomous university in its overall endeavours. Being AAU an efficient autonomous university in Ethiopia means, it will be the shopping centre of solutions for any economic, social, political or religious matters in the country,” the Interim President said.

According to Dr. Samuel, the knowledge and the skills that our professors and researchers write and publish in world reputable journals should be the guideline for the solution of our problems that we face as a country. “Making AAU the solution centre of our societal problems without any external pressures and interference will be the final destination of the autonomous activities,” he added.

Editor: Abraham Girmay
Photo: Fikremariam Beyene