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GDTC staff participate in training at Berlin

Four African universities (Bahir Dar University from Ethiopia, Juba University form South Sudan, Al-Neelain University from Sudan and University Evangelique en Afrique from D.R. Congo) took part in GIS training in Berlin for 21 days. The training has been undertaken for the last three summers, based on the agreement between African Universities and Berlin Beuth University of Applied Science. The project was supported by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Since the beginning of the first training, BDU students and instructors have been participating. In the 2014 summer school, which was held in Berlin from 14th of September to 2nd October) GDTC (Geospatial Data and Technology Center) members and one MSc Geoinformatics student from Geography and environmental sciences department have participated. The training was focused on didactical basics and network analysis. Our GDTC members gave lectures to students from African universities and from Beuth University of Applied Science. Since the first phase of the project will be phase out this year, vice presidents of the three universities joined the trainees and project coordinators at 28th of September, 2014 to evaluate the achievements and discuss the way forward. Intensive discussion was made regarding the effectiveness of the project. Dr.Tesfaye Shiferaw, Vice President for Research and Community Services of Bahir Dar University, addressed his university’s concern about the training. He also gave a brief presentation to the students, project coordinators, DAAD representative, Beuth University President and Vice President. His presentation was focused on the vision of BDU to become Research University and the opportunities that African Universities could have in collaborate. The relationship between African Universities and Beuth University (which is called South-North relationship) was evaluated as good. But the South-South relationship among African Universities was not given due emphasis by the project coordinators. BDU has taken the initiative to lead the South-South relationship. The Beuth university East Africa UNiGi community project coordinators have also admitted that they were no focused on this relationship and BDU is the right university to lead this relationship. BDU and Juba university representatives had discussions how to collaborate on capacity building, research, and staff exchange. The Vice Chancellor for Juba University and Vice President for BDU discussed thoroughly how to make it effective. The trainers from Juba University and Birhanu Gedif (director for Geospatial Data and Technology Center) from BDU-discussed and agreed on the major areas of research collaboration in areas of geospatial data and technologies: (1) Curriculum revision and development for Juba university (2). Further discussion is anticipated. The following areas were drafted during the discussion which is still subject for modification and approval of the two universities. 3. Staff exchanges for block courses 4. Scholarship (MSc) for Juba university students at BDU 5. Drafting project proposals for soliciting and securing funds 6. Tailor made training (capacity building) for Juba University Staffs

BDU, KSU partnership to commence

Bahir Dar University and Kansas State University (KSU) representatives held a discussion on possible areas of collabration on power/energy and agriculture-especially on postharvest grain loss minimization. Clarifying on the standing of Kansas State University, Dr. Noel N. Schulz, the leader of the delegates, has explained on possible areas of collaboration between the two parties. Dr.Noel has specifically underlined that bilateral relations can be built in areas of student and staff exchanges as well as in research on agriculture and energy. She has also made a presentation on energy management. The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie Damtie, has underlined on the event that collaborations need to be based primarily on the interests of the professors of the two higher institutions. Dr Baylie has also underlined on the necessity of off-grid and small scale energy solutions indicating that need of solar energy to deal with power shortage presently observed in rural Ethiopia. Briefing the delegates on Vision of Wisdom 2025 of his university, Dr Baylie has also pointed out that postharvest grain loss management and wealth creation through scientific and technological innovation can be areas of possible collaboration. Kansas State University’s (KSU’s) distinguished Professor of Grain Science and Industry, Professor Bhadriraju Subramanyam, made a presentation on various projects that are being undertaken in Ethiopia by KSU. Professor Subramanyam has also discussed on the introduction of model grain loss management methods in Ethiopia, with the support of USAID. BDU’s Bahir Dar Institute of Technology researchers, Dr Belachew Bantyirga and Dr Tasew Tadiyos, have presented on off-grid and small scale energy solutions in Ethiopia. Discussions on way-forward regarding the mechanisms of looking for funding agencies together and building effective communication and cooperation has also been made. BDU’s vice presidents, representatives of Technology Institute and representatives of Gondar University have attended the discussion. Donation of relevant books and other equipments used for the development post harvest grain loss management skills development has also been made.

BDU reaffirms promise

On a recent celebration of the 7th Ethiopian National Flag Day, BDU community has confirmed their commitments of intellectually contributing to the country’s ongoing effort of neck-to-neck struggle against long standing poverty. “Our flag links our past generation with the present one, and it embodies our deepest commitment to engage in the current momentous struggle of our country to create a promising tomorrow.” said BDU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Matebe Tafere. For a free nation like ours which was handed down, its flag is a lot more than just a symbol; The university, as it has been doing great job for the last 52 years, is instrumental in building noble national values on intellectual basis, said BDU’s Acting Vice President for Information and Strategic Communication, Mr. Moges Abraha. A paper dealing with the historical origin of flags, and, specifically, the significant evolution of Ethiopian national flag was presented by a young and enthusiastic historian, Mr. Daniel Meseret, on the event. Mr. Daniel has underlined on his presentation that flags deserve respect. Diverse issues have been discussed on the program, and it has also been indicated that the university will continue colorfully celebrating the Ethiopian National Flag Day through regularly renewing its promises.

Ethiopia is celebrating the Seventh National Flag Day on October 13, 2014 under the theme, “A nation flying its flag higher and reclaiming its honor in an unwavering struggle to defeat poverty”. Bahir Dar University will be marking the day, October 13, 2014, organizing a panel. An expertise-based presentation will be made on issues related to the Ethiopian national flag in connection to its history and its present circumstances. Enlightening intellectual discussion is anticipated. Inviting all the university community, the Office of the Vice President for Information & Strategic Communication has announced that the panel will be held in Auditorium, on Main Campus, and the program will commence at 8:00 pm.

Bahir Dar University’s chapter of the Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) held its 6th national conference on the successes and challenges of the Amhara National Regional State’s economic policies and strategies in the previous fiscal year. Research papers dealing with the economic contributions and challenges of different economic sectors were presented, and critical policy ideas based on the socioeconomic and political realities of the region were forwarded. “The events undertaken by the BDU’s chapter of the Ethiopian Economic Association has a positive contribution in the economic development of both the region and the nation at large,” the President of the Amhara National Regional State, Mr Gedu Andargachew. Mr Gedu has also urged the association to continue conducting researches on the fundamental economic challenges of the region and to be part of the solution of the current Ethiopia’s endeavor of economic development. Bahir Dar University is committed to encourage and stand by the side of those intellectuals who form associations like the Ethiopian Economists Association to help the nation guided by the light of scientific principles, said BDU’s Vice president for Research and Community Services, Dr Tesfaye Shiferaw. Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Economic Association, Dr Assefa Admassie said on the event that Ethiopian Economic Association, comprising members of solid intellectual background on economics, is presently engaged in research and intellectual discourse to be part of the solution of Ethiopia’s project of economic development. Based on the discussion made on the conference both on national and regional economic issues, the members of the association have laid plans and strategies of dealing with the fundamental challenges of the region’s economic development endeavor in the coming fiscal year. The association has been contributing in the formulation and implementation of the regional policies and strategic plans. It has also significantly contributed in boosting executive capacities of regional economic actors.

BDU’s Gender Office has offered training on teaching methodologies and measurement and evaluation to the newly employed female graduate assistants of 2014. Fifty one academically fit female graduates were recruited in 2014 as part of realizing the university’s goal of redressing gender imbalance among the academic staff. The training has primarily focused on building the confidence and pedagogical skills of the trainees to equip them the necessary skills of teaching in a higher institution. “The university is moving steps forward in realizing its vision of addressing the challenges the country has in gender imbalance.” BDU’s Director for Gender Office, Rediet Mesfin. Senior female instructors of the university have shared the rich experiences with the novice female assistant graduates

Bahir Dar University and Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital have penned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Aberdeen to collaborate on academic and research related development activities in the field of medical science. The collaboration includes Medical Elective Exchange Schemes (MEES) among the three parties. The partnership will also comprise student and staff exchange visits. The provision of relevant learning guides and CAL package developed at University of Aberdeen to Bahir Dar University’s Medical Science faculty was also part of the agreement. The President of Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie Damtie, while signing the agreement on the behalf of the university, said that BDU will be working toward moving this partnership to the higher level. The University of Aberdeen will be devoted to engaging in the partnership based on the principles of collaboration, said Professor Wendy Graham while signing the memorandum on behalf of Mrs. Caroline Inglis, Secretary of the University of Aberdeen. Thanking the representative of the University of Aberdeen, Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital, Mr. Bizuayehu Gashaw pledged that the hospital will be committed to working toward the success of the collaboration

BDU has taken part in the 19th General Annual Meeting, International Scientific Conference, of the Surgical Society of Ethiopia (SSE) that has been held on 28th and 29th of August, 2014, with a theme of “Surgical Education in Ethiopia: Past, Present and Future”.

The objective of the conference was to exchange information, knowledge and skills on the up-to-date state of the art technology of surgical medical science. Twenty oral and five poster presentations were made on the conference.

Delivering an opening remarks on the conference, the president of Bahir Dar University, Dr. Baylie Damtie, has outlined the brief historical overview and the present activities of the university in line with its vision of 2025.

Bahir Dar University is striving to elevate the standard of its College of Health and Medical Sciences to meet the demands of the present reality, Dr.Baylie stressed.

The surgical staffs of the College of Health and Medical Science of Bahir Dar University are presently participating in the SSE, Dr. Baylie said.

Dr. Baylie has extended an invitation to the SSE to cooperate with the university through presenting scientific papers and delivering lectures.
The president of the Surgical Society of Ethiopia, Dr Millard Deribew, said that creating networks among different stakeholders is apriority of the Surgical Society of Ethiopia.

Surgical campaign has been conducted for five days and 125 patients from Finoteslam, Debretabor and Bahir Dar have undergone surgical operation, and surgical training was given to 31 Medical Doctors, Dr. Millard added.

The Amhara National Regional State, representatives of Eastern, Central and Southern African Surgical Societies and different other stallholders have participated on the conference.

Bahir Dar University has conducted an official celebration of the handover of high definition video conference system donated by I-TECH Ethiopia. The system was intended to assist the Medical Science Education of the university. Expressing his utmost appreciation to I-TECH Ethiopia, BDU’s President, Dr Baylie Damtie, said on the event that the organization has been assisting the university with necessary facilitates enhancing standardized teaching and learning. I-TECH Ethiopia’s aid to Bahir Dar University, Dr Baylie underlined, would be instrumental in creating globally competent graduates and building a dependable medical institution. Introducing telemedicine to our classrooms, I-TECH Ethiopia has enhanced the possibility of collaborative and technology-based distance learning with strong commitment contributing to the presently ongoing process of technology transfer in Ethiopia, Dr Baylie added. I-TECH Ethiopia, according to BDU’s Dean of College of Medicine and Health Science, Dr Getachew Muluken, has enormously contributed in giving international training on capacity building, providing rare standard text books to the college. I-TECH Ethiopia has also provided the university with laptops. It has also extended support with curriculum development, short-term and long-term trainings and experience sharing, Dr Getachew added. The video conference would assist in building the students’ capacity through providing them with lessens and supervisions, said the Representative of People to People, Dr. Tigist Wuhib. On the event were also representatives from I-TECH Ethiopia, BDU’s top management and the staff of the College of Health and Medical Science.

BDU’s Centre for Capacity Building has offered training, recruiting experts, to the university’s students with visual impairment. The objective of the training was to familiarize the students with computer-assisted reading and to help them develop their skills of reading using computer software. “Previously, the students used to read with the help of other fellow students; this training will help them read without depending up on the assistance of others.” said the Director of Centre for Capacity Building, Dr. Berhanu Abraha. Some of the trainees said that the training helps them to be self-reliant, and it does resolve the challenges they face in getting someone to read for them.

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