Addis Ababa University Conducted Stakeholders’ Validation Workshop

The College of Developmental Studies (CDS) of Addis Ababa University (AAU) held a one-day validation workshop at Elilly International Hotel with the attendance of several stakeholders and invited honourable guests, on the 12th of October 2023.

The workshop’s main goal was to validate a study on the best practices adopted for implementing innovative technologies and systems for boosting resilience in Ethiopia’s arid and semi-arid regions, specifically in the Amhara (South Gondar), Oromia (Borena), South Ethiopia (Dassenech), and Somali region (Siti Zone).

Solomon Kiros (PhD), director for the University Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer Office of AAU, in his opening speech accentuated on the timeliness of the study and its importance in demonstrating the role of university in speeding up the journey to the full autonomous state.

Dr. Solomon stated that one of the pillars of AAU as an autonomous university is conducting problem solving researches and reaching them out to the community. Adoption and technology transfer is one of the ten year strategic plans of the University, he added.

The purpose of this workshop is not only doing research but also adopting technologies and let them reach to the society. “One of the pathways in reaching the adopted and innovated research results is to make them commercialize and encourage the private sector to enhance the progress,” he intensified.

The other way of reaching research results, according to Dr. Solomon, is public inspection system and adopting community based technologies, which the research under discussion basically used.

Even if publication is increasing as AAU, we are still left with something to do; there are some lacks in transferring technology, speculating and reaching them to the consuming community. So, solving societal problems that currently exist or we anticipate them in the future, can crucially be solved through discussing with stakeholder like now,” he summarized.

The research project Principal Investigator (PI), Dr Meskerem Abi, stated 13 innovations were implemented by EU Reset Plus Innovation Fund programmes to foster social innovations and enhance resilience building capacity of the arid and semi-arid communities in different regions of the country. The RESET Plus Innovation Fund programme has been financed by the European Union Delegation in Ethiopia and implemented by Cordaid Ethiopia, in collaboration with Fair and Sustainable Ethiopia.

Accordingly, the research was designed to assess best practices on adoption of new technologies and systems for resilience building in arid and semi-arid areas of Ethiopia, particularly in the regions where the project was implemented, Dr Meskerem added.

Tesfaye Zeleke (PhD), Dean of the College of Developmental Studies, in an exclusive interview indicated that senior Professors and faculties from the College of Development Studies and College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture of the University participated in conducting the research and presented their finding at the workshop.

Accordingly, the researchers shared indicative results that enhance the resilience capacity of the arid and semi-arid communities towards droughts, climate change, diseases and conflicts. The adoption of the technologies had enabled the communities to survive shocks from natural and manmade causes. Among others, the adoption of innovative technologies were meant to assist in developing systems enabling the communities easily exchange information regarding market, disease outbreaks and livestock insurance.

Dr. Tesfaye finally hinted that the next step of the studies will be finalization of the research report and publication of the results in national and internationally recognized journals, reaching to policymakers through policy briefs, and design pathways to scale up the adoption of technologies in other parts of the country in close collaboration with Cordaid Ethiopia and other stakeholders.

In conclusion, it was stated that such concerned efforts shall help to improve environmental protection, food security and resilience capacity of communities in arid and semi-arid regions of Ethiopia.

Editor: Abraham Girmay

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene