Partnerships and Collaboration

The partnerships/collaborations of the Department of Geography and Environmental studies, AAU

The department has wide range of international and national partnership and collaboration experiences. At international level, it has close relationships with some internationaluniversities such as European Universities (Berne, Wagenegen, East Anglia, Oslo, Norway, University of Hudriesfield, Uppsala); American Universities (Boston, Wyoming, Michigan State University); African Universities (Makerere, University of Cape Town, University of Free State, University of Kuwazulu Natal, Botswana, Ghana). It has also collaboration with international development organizations such as African Wildlife Foundations (AWF), CIAT, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Indian Institute for Human Settlement (IIHS). Locally, it has collaboration in all aspects of teaching/researching with all national Universities. Moreover, it has different forms of collaboration with some governmental and nongovernmental organizations – such as Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Communication and Technology, Ethiopian Mapping Agency, National Meteorological Agency, Central Statistical Authority, Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ministry of Geology, Ministry of Urban Development and works, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, UNDP and  USAID and OXFAM- Ethiopian Offices. Currently, the department is running two consortia research projects as stated here under:

Project one

Project Title: Adaptation of small-scale biogas digesters for use in rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa

  1. Background of the collaboration as introduction

The overall objective of the action is to adapt existing technology, provide new tools and develop local approaches to support the uptake and use of biogas digesters in SSA. The rural households planned work will output a range of potential biogas technologies, specifically adapted for construction and use in SSA, and designed to meet the needs of different socioeconomic groups and fit into different farming systems. This will be supported by a toolkit for promotion, selection, installation and long term maintenance of biogas digesters. Trials and pilot projects will also be used to establish “energy villages” where the different biogas stalls can be showcased, and training and advice provided on maintenance and availability of materials.

  1. Specific unit (s) of the collaboration/Anchor Institution.

2.1. Research

  • Assessment of barriers to the uptake of biogas digesters in SSA
  • A full life-cycle quantification of the socio-economic and environmental costs and benefits
  • Adapted designs appropriate for different socio-economic groups of the rural community in SSA
  • A toolkit to improve uptake and long term use of biogas digesters

2.2. Manpower training.

This project provides financial supports to 1 PhD and 3 MA students of the department of Geography and Environmental studies. One MA student already graduated and iscurrently an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Currently, one MA student is involved in the project. A PhD student involved is in the project’s last year and currently engaged in data collection and thesis writing. One more MA student will be supported next academic year.

  1. Start Date of the Collaboration (Both formal agreement and informal if any)

The project formally started on September 2013 and will be closed on August 2016.

  1. Areas of Collaboration.

Areas of collaboration include research, manpower development and adaptation sustainable technology in the rural households of SSA.

  1. Activities done with regard to the Collaboration: past, present and future.

Extensive socio-economic, environmental and biophysical data havebeen collected in Kumbursa village, a case study site. Three biogas digester technologies including fixed dooms, floating drams and flexible balloons were installed at selected households of the study site.

  1. Contact details of the Collaboration.

African Union Research Grants, Open Call for Proposals -2012: Reference: [HRST/ST/AURG/CALL2/2012].

10th European Development Fund. The African Component of the ACP Research Programme for Sustainable Development: Ref: EuropeAid/132-331/M/ACT/ACP

Project two

Project Title: ASSAR- Adaptation at Scale in Semi -arid Region- ClimateChange Adaptation Mitigation strategy in the Semi-arid Areas of Africa and Asia-

  1. Back ground of the collaboration as introduction (a paragraph of about 100 words)

The project focuses on climate change adaptation in the semi-arid pastoral areas of Africa. The research deals with a wide range of issues ranging from the strategies, barriers and enablers and issues to impacts of climate change. It also concentrates on livelihood strategies and options under climate change-stressed environments, with focus on semiarid regions of Africa and Asia.

  1. Specific unit (s) of the collaboration/Anchor Institution.

The project is undertaken in collaboration with University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of East Anglia (UK), African Wildlife Foundation (Kenya), University of Botswana (Botswana), University of Ghana (Ghana), University of Namibia (Namibia), START- USA, and OXFAM -UK.

  1. Start Date of the Collaboration (Both formal agreement and informal if any)

The project started in February 2014 and will be closed in April, 2018.

  1. Areas of Collaboration.

The partnership/collaboration is in the forms research and technical exchanges. It is a form of staff capacity building enhancing their understanding of climate change situations in the semiarid regions of the world with focus on Africa and Asia. As a capacity building endeavor, it also plans offering short-term trainings to stakeholders on climate change study. To this end, experts from the Ministry of Agriculture have beenselected for short-term training inclimate change and its impacts.

  1. Activities done with regard to the Collaboration: past, present and future.

Literature review on climate change studies in Africa was systematically conducted. A series of meetings on the possibilities of implementing the project were undertaken in Nairobi (Kenya) and Bangalore (India). The third meeting will be conducted in Botswana in May. Case study sites from Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Ghana and Namibia and Botswana have beenidentified. Actual field work will be undertaken in 2015 and onwards. This will be continued with application of the findings on the ground.

  1. Contact details of the Collaboration.

In Addis Ababa

Mohammed Assen

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, AAU



Dr. Roger Few

University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK