Despite the economic growth of Ethiopia, currently a sizable proportion of the country’s population has been surviving on imported food through government and private purchases, aid and relief support over many decades. One of the means to overcome these overwhelming problems is through innovative intervention which re­quires professional experts participating in researching and analyzing appropriate development policies and strategies.

In cognizant of this, since 2009, Addis Ababa University (AAU) in collaboration with the French Government has initiated the launch of the center of excel­lence as one of its thematic areas to the inter-college and multidisciplinary approach in food security and established Center for Food Security Studies (CFSS) within the College of Development Studies. The goal of the program is laudable when seen in the contexts of the overall socio­economic development mission of the Government of Ethiopia in general and the AAU mission statements in particular. Hence, the goals and learning outcomes of the program are aligned with the country’s mission and strategic plan as well as with national development agenda and policy documents (such as Agricultural Development Policies and Strategies, Higher Educa­tion Policy; Poverty Reduction Strategy, Green Econ­omy Strategy, and the GTP).

The MSc Program of CFSS is expanding its training and research programs. Based on the need assessment undertaken by the Center, the alumni of the Center has been contributing vigorously in teaching, researching, offering consultancy services, policy advisory services, and active development prac­titioners in various governmental organizations, NGOs, UN agencies and private enterprises, which are involved in food security and disaster risk management as part of the country’s endeavor for sustainable development.

In addition to its MSc Program in Food Security and Development Studies, the Center is currently planning to launch a PhD Program in Food Security and Disaster Risk Management (in two specialty areas: Food Secu­rity Management and Disaster Risk Management). To have accurate decisions towards this and to produce a need-based curriculum, the Center has conducted a need assessment survey, which has resulted in a very positive result justifying the relevance and importance of the PhD program contents. As a result, the Center is accomplishing all the necessary activities to launch the PhD program as of 2016/17 academic year.


The vision of CFSS is ‘to become Center of Excel­lence for training professionals in multidisciplinary ap­proach that would provide quality academic and prac­tical education in the field of Food Security in Africa’.


The mission of CFSS is to train professionals, research, consult and promote scholarly policy dialogues in areas of food security, disaster risk management and development from interdisciplinary perspectives so as to contribute to the national efforts aimed at attaining food security and disaster-resilient community in Ethiopia.


CFSS is aspiring to:

  • Train qualified personnel at MSc and PhD levels in Food Security and Development Studies, and Food Se­curity and Disaster Risk Management, respectively
  • Provide short-term tailor-made training courses on food security, livelihood, nutritional security, and
  • Undertake research and consultancies on food secu­rity, livelihoods, nutritional security, disaster risk man­agement and other issues relevant to its mandate areas

Faculty Profile

The CFSS programs are multidisciplinary in nature. Hence, CFSS has an adequate, well qualified and com­mitted academic staff with relevant specializations to effectively offer the program courses and practices. The program has also adjunct and home-base staff members who involve in the activities of the program based on their qualification and specialization. The major spe­cialization of the faculty includes, but is not limited to, Geography and Development Studies. Agricultural Economics, Development Sociology, Forestry, Eco­nomics, Veterinary Medicine, Law, Crop and Livestock production, Food Science and Technology, Food Secu­rity Studies, Disaster Risk Management, Environment and Nutrition. The faculty to student ratio may vary from year to year. When computed on the basis of maximum intake of 25, the faculty to student ratio is 1:2 with good gender mix of students.

Available Resources

  • Well-equipped IT laboratory
  • Digital library (on progress)
  • Well qualified academic staffs
  • E-books, journals and advanced teaching materials
  • Offices for PhD fellows

Research Areas

  • Food and nutrition security, and livelihoods
  • Disaster risk management
  • Vulnerability and coping strategy
  • Right to food and food policy analysis
  • Rural and urban household food security situation analysis
  • Rural development and food security
  • Famine and famine history in Ethiopia
  • Agriculture and food systems
  • Value chain and post- har­vest management
  • Nutritional security and human health
  • Environment and food security

Number of Graduates

Over 100 graduates since its establishment in 2009/10 academic year

Future Expansion Plans

  • PhD in Food Security and Disaster Risk Management (in two specialty areas: Food Security Management and Disaster Risk Management)
  • MSc program in Disaster Risk Management
  • Distance education and e-learning in all programs
  • Demand tailored short-term trainings
  • Consultancy services on issues pertinent to food se­curity, disaster risk management and development