1st African Graduate Students Conference convened by Bahir Dar University starts today
The 1st African Graduate Students Conference which was organized by Bahir Dar University with the theme “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its graduate students towards agenda 2063” commenced today.
Opening session of the conference was moderated by Dr Dawit Amogne a teacher and researcher at BDU. He welcomed all and invited Dr Mulugeta Admasu, chairperson of the conference organizing committee and Executive Dean of Graduate Studies, BDU. Dr Mulugeta Admasu welcomed all to the conference and briefly stated the objective of the conference. He said the conference is a good platform for graduate students to share their recent research works to their fellow graduate program students, researchers and experienced professionals across the academia. He added the event will help facilitate young researchers to create networks for a profound scientific problem solving researches.
Dr Firew Tegegne president of bahir Dar University on his part welcomed all to the beautiful Bahir Dar City and to Bahir Dar University. He mentioned that Bahir Dar was recognized as UNESCO’s learning city and Lake Tana area was recognized as Biosphere Reserve. The president made a brief but comprehensive account of the achievements of Bahir Dar University in the journey to becoming a research intensive University in areas of research production and dissemination, education, internationalization, etc.
Speaking about the day’s event, the president highlighted that the event is an integral part of the university’s ongoing effort to initiate, support, promote and disseminate research and knowledge from multidisciplinary areas. He highlighted that BDU works to deconstruct the wrong attitude towards indigenous knowledge through research based dialogues using conferences like the current one. According to the president, in its endeavor to internationalization, Bahir Dar University has been producing marine professionals for the international labor market and the professionals are ambassadors of BDU while cruising to different parts of the world. He also mentioned the graduate students from Africa, Europe and the USA BDU hosts as an indicator of BDU’s internationalization activities. The president remembered the debate held the previous day among political party representatives in the same hall /Wisdom Hall/ the current conference is taking place in front of scholars from all public Universities. He emphasized the role that higher institutions play in the overall development of a country from producing successful human resource personnel to unfolding policy impact innovative research ideas. Dr Firew Tegegne finally thanked sponsors and all people who participated in organizing the conference which is the first in its kind and world class by any standard.
His Excellency Professor Afework Kassu state Minister for MoSHE took the stage to officially open the conference. The professor welcomed all and congratulated Bahir Dar University for successfully organizing such a brand academic conference which has to develop and be emulated by other universities in the country and beyond.
In his opening address, professor Afework focused on three points oriented from policy perspective: policy context to research, the notion of connecting students’ research endeavors to national holistic development and issues to be focused for a better future. Professor Afework advised the participants to orient their researches in light of the policies and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals /SDGs/ crafted by Africans for Africa. He said researchers and scholars shall consider the indicators of the SDGs and bring those indicators down to their context and make something relevant to the wider academic discourse.
Professor Afework reiterated the importance of connections, both domestic and international, graduate students should create to benefit both professionally to produce quality and reputable research outputs and financially to win research grants. The state Minister also mentioned names of Ethiopian prominent academic figures to get connected to and benefit from their vast experience and knowledge. He also encouraged participants to join professional associations which create an environment for academicians and researchers to benefit in various ways. The professor finally wishes participants to have fruitful discussion in the days ahead.
The morning session was packed with very inspiring and critical keynote Speeches by three Prominent Ethiopian Professors lending the participants to the afternoon session which is learnt to take place in five parallel sessions entertaining different themes.
In this conference, graduate students from almost all universities in Ethiopia, professors, Dr Eshete Dejen and Dr Kebede Kassa from IGAD, government concerned bodies from different sector bureaus and others participated.
In the conference, three keynote speeches, a total of 120 presentations (70 oral and 50 poster presentations) are expected to be delivered.