Hawassa University has hosted a kick-off workshop for Institutional Collaboration Program Five (ICP V) with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Mekelle Universities of Ethiopia which is financed by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa.
HU president, Dr. Ayano Berasso, said in his welcoming speech that the university has already accomplished successful collaborations with NMBU for three decades. He admired the consistency and commitment of the Norwegian government for the realization of the Institutional Collaboration Program which is now renewed as fifth phase. Dr. Ayano remarked that Norway has been one of the most important development partners of Ethiopia, proven through successful bilateral agreements and project executions over the years. The president also presented the profile of completed and active collaborative projects at HU with their major outcomes, and finally thanked the government and people of Norway, the Norwegian Embassy to Ethiopia, partner universities (NMBU and MU) and the government of Ethiopia for putting its trust on Hawassa University to run the development projects with Norway.
His Excellency Mr. Stian Christensen, Ambassador of Norway to Ethiopia, stated in his opening remarks that Forestry, Agriculture and Education have been key priorities and constant elements in the Norwegian cooperation with Ethiopia. He pointed out that the long-standing partnership and collaboration with Hawassa and Mekelle Universities, and NMBU started 30 plus years ago every phase implemented in four years. He added that the two initial phases focused on enhancing human and infrastructural capacities of the two Ethiopian universities thereby enabling them to provide quality education for their graduates. Mr. Christensen underscored that within the framework of Norway's policy to improve food self -sufficiency, the three universities (HU, MU and NMBU) and the Embassy, in consultation with relevant government and research institutions, have developed a comprehensive new phase of the collaboration entitled "Strengthening the Ethiopian Food System through Education, Research and Dialogue” which is unique and timely program in terms of establishing linkages between education, research and policy formulation as necessary to address major bottleneck issues already identified in the Ethiopian Food System roadmap.
HU's ICP coordinator, Dr. Andargachew Gedebo, explained the goal of this collaboration to be contributing towards better qualified workforce in the partner and stakeholder institutions, adoption of applied sustainable solutions coupled with increasing agricultural productivity and practices, and shaping evidence-based policies in Ethiopia.
Finally, Senior Advisor and academic coordinator from NMBU presented brief notes and major activities of ICP V at NMBU followed by reflections by the participants before the workshop was concluded by thank you session for participants from Norway.