Haramaya University Held Annual Research, Extension and Community Engagement Review Workshop

The 39th Annual Research Extension and Community Engagement Review Workshop were conducted from June 2-4, 2022 at Haramaya University’s AfrenKalo Hall under the theme “Enhancing the Alignment of Research and Community Engagement Programs at Haramaya University to Address Grand Societal Challenges.”

The workshop brought together more than 400 participants includingrepresentatives of government Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Federal and Regional Research Institutes, Universities, Farmer’s Cooperatives, Technical-Vocational and Training (TVET) Colleges, community representatives including Aba Geda and religious leaders.

The first day was devoted to ‘Community Day’ where grassroots level activities involving and directly benefiting rural and urban communities were presented and discussed to solicit feedback on achievements and challenges.

Moreover, an exhibition was organized to profile and showcase activities, innovations, products and services rendered by the University, TVET and private sectors. The exhibition also aimed to strengthen University, TVET and Private sector linkages and partnerships.

Haramaya University’s Vice President for Research Affairs, Dr Tesfaye Lemma, and Vice President for Community Engagement and Enterprise Development, Dr Yesihak Yusuf, made welcoming and opening remarks, respectively.  Both extended a warm welcome to the community representatives and encouraged them to actively participate in the workshop.

The second and third days of the workshop were dedicated tothe technical review of the research projects supported by the internal and external funds.

The review began with a welcome and opening speech made by the Vice President for Research Affairs, Dr Tesfaye Lemma. In his speech, Dr Tesfaye remarked that the purpose of the research program at HrU is to provide context-relevant and sustainable solutions to local and national development challenges through conducting impactful applied and basic research. He also highlighted the importance of giving equal attention to research on indigenous knowledge.

Following that, Dr Mandefro Nigussie, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency, made a keynote speech onthe Alignment of research & community engagement at HrU to address local, regional and global challenges. He highlighted different government strategic initiatives that HrU can contribute.

After the keynote speech, the deliberations were pursued in the form of plenary and parallel sessionpresentations on the six selected universities’researchthemes. Overall, more than 48 research results from a wide range of disciplines were presented. Theresearch results presented ranged from Agriculture to health sciences, engineering and technology, and social sciences.

During the general discussion, the workshop noted that remarkable progress has so far been made in research relevance and community impact. Major challenges werediscussed and solutions were suggested.

At the closing session, Professor Mengistu Urge, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr Tesfaye lemma, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr Yesihak Yusuf, Vice President for Community Engagement and Enterprise Development shared their reflections and the way forward. They also thanked the organizing committees, University community and participants for their enthusiastic support and intellectual contribution to the success of the workshop.