IUCEA and World Bank Country Office Visited ACE Climate-SABC

 

An appraisal team constituted from the Inter-University Council for Eastern Africa(IUCEA)and World Bank (WB) Country Office paid a visit to Haramaya University’s Africa Center of Excellence for Climate Smart Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (ACE Climate-SABC)accompanied by representatives from two national partner institutes, the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute and Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute on September 2, 2019 at Resource Center.

Prof. Nigussie Dechassa, Vice-president for Academic Affairs Office and Leader of ACE Climate-SABC, made a welcoming remark emphasizing the importance of such face-to-face meeting in order to jointly review progress of the Center, and reflect upon progresses made and challenges encountered rather than solely relying on written reports. He appreciated the team’s commitment to visit the Center to see progresses on the ground and to interact with the partners, university leadership, center leaders, staff and students.

According to Dr. Mike and Dr. Jonathan from IUCEA, the visit was to seethe performance of the Center, identify key challenges, develop home-grown solutions, and examine sustainability options. The appraisal team believes that effective dialogue and interaction with the project team, partners, students, and the university leadership is the right approach to appraise the Center’s performance and provide technical support.

Dr. BobeBedadi, Deputy Leader of the Center, presented a report on the performance of the Center and the challenges constraining the implementation of ACE Climate-SABC’s training and research activities. According to the report, the Center had met some of the key Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) such as students’ enrolment with the required sex and regional composition, publications in peer reviewed international journals, number of approved PhD proposals, and generation of revenue/external revenues.

In addition, the report also iterated that impressive achievements were made by the Center with regard to engaging seasoned visiting scholars in teaching and advising postgraduate students at the Center; supporting participation of faculty and students on training and knowledge sharing events at national and international levels; promoting the Center and its programs; establishing functional governance and management systems; and creating conducive teaching-learning environment by improving facilities such as smart classrooms, well-furnished students’ accommodation, video conferencing etc. It was also indicated that the programs were accredited at national level and effort was underway for accreditation at regional and international levels.

Research activities at ACE Climate SABC are mainly carried out by the postgraduate students under the supervision of affiliated senior faculty from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, the other colleges of the university, and scholars from national, regional and international partners. MSc and PhD students in the first cohort are doing their field research in their respective countries (8 countries including Ethiopia).

Students of ACE Climate-SABC are expected to generate new knowledge, technologies, management options, and insights for policy formulation through the thesis/dissertation research projects in areas of CSA, biodiversity and ecosystems management in eastern and southern Africa. To this effect, the Center had established thematic research areas to guide research activities.

The partners appreciated the progress that the Center has made so far and reiterated their readiness and commitment to continue their relationships and contribute more toward mutual benefits through formal and concrete partnership arrangements. In addition, the partners advised ACE Climate-SABC to be more pro-active in making itself part of the larger national institutional ecosystem.Representative of Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute indicated that staff members of his institute are the major beneficiaries in terms of capacity building through MSc and PhD training at ACE Climate-SABC and that the institute considers the Center as its own and committed to do whatever it can for the success of the center and its programs. In particular, the representative from Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute indicated the possibility to provide financial support for technology transfer and innovation activities once the center would start generating research outputs. In addition, it would like to jointly work with the center to create the required capacity and state-of-the-art facility for measuring GHG emission.

Dr. JemalYousuf, Acting President of the University, stressed the commitment of the University’s leadership to help the Center succeed, and thanked the mission and partners for visiting Haramaya

The team visited the facilities of the Center and had a discussion session with MSc and PhD students about the Center and its performance.The mission expressed its overall satisfaction with the relative performance of ACE Climate-SABC and the support provided by the University leadership, including matching fund and close guidance.

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