Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI)

Colourful illustration with cow and plants and lettering © Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI)

The Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) is a public institute established in August 2000 with a mission to generate, multiply and promote appropriate agricultural technologies suitable for smallholder farmers that would contribute to the betterment of their standard of living and the sustainability of the resource base. It has seven research centres located in different agro-ecological zones and farming systems of the Amhara region. Its main research areas represented by departments are crops, Livestock, Soil and water management, Forestry, socioeconomics and extension. The crops research focuses on Teff, Maize, Wheat, Sorghum, Pulses, sesame and other oil crops as well as potato and other horticultural crops aimed at variety development and developing recommendations for crop protection and agronomic management. The livestock research focus on dairy cattle, small ruminants and poultry aimed at genetic improvement, feeds and nutrition as well as veterinary care. The soil and water management research focuses on organic and inorganic fertilizer utilization, soil conservation as well as irrigation and agricultural water management. The forestry research focuses of agro-forestry, plantation forestry, Bamboo and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The socioeconomic aspect focuses on production economics, agricultural extension, farming systems and resource economics. It has strong research partnership with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and international actors like the CG-centers and universities in Europe and the United states. Although ARARI is a regional institute, it has been given national responsibility for coordination of potato, small ruminants and fishery research by the federal government. Besides research ARARI multiplies and disseminates breeder, pre-basic and basic seeds of improved crop and forage varieties, fruit and vegetable seeds/seedlings, forest seedlings, cross-bred sheep and cattle, improved chicken, fish fingerings, etc. To hasten technology multiplication and dissemination of vegetatively propagated crops, ARARI uses its tissue culture laboratory. With regard to manpower, ARARI has a total of 1280 employess of which 547 are researchers (Women make up 10%).

Founding member
Membership: Since 2020


Tilaye Teklewold Deneke PhD, Director General

Tilaye Teklewold Deneke (born 1975) holds a BSc Degree in Agriculture (1998) form the Alemaya University of Agriculture specializing in Agricultural Extension, an MA Degree in Development Studies (2004) from Addis Ababa University and a PhD in Agriculture (2011) from Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB) specializing in the area of Resource Economics. He has worked as socioeconomic researcher at different capacities for the Amhara Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI) since March 1999. After graduation from HUB, he was given the responsibility of organizing and directing ARARI’s agricultural Economics, Extension and Gender Research Directorate. Between 2014 and 2017 He served as the Deputy Director General of ARARI. Following this, he worked as a research consultant for the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) for two years until Feb 2019. Since February 2019, he is serving as the Director General of the same Institute (ARARI). He has extensive experience in joint research project implementation and coordination with CG centers. He also teaches graduate course at Bahir Dar University in the area of resource economics, institutional economics, rural development and value chain analysis. He has also served as editorial board member for The Ethiopian Journal of Agricultural Sciences (EJAS) of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and also that of The Journal of Agriculture and Environment of Bahir Dar university College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. His academic and research interests focus on institutional resource economics, sustainable agriculture and rural livelihoods, agricultural production and marketing economics as well as agricultural innovation systems for pro-poor agricultural value chain development. He has published several journal articles, book chapters and conference papers in the above mentioned areas.

Debre Markos University (DMU)

Colourful illustration and red lettering in a yellow circle. © Debre Markos University

Debre Markos University(DMU) is one of the Ethiopian Public Higher Education Institutions established in 2005 G.C. which is located 300 km northwest of Addis Ababa, capital of the country. The University has started its function with 53 academic staffs, 15 administrative staffs and 760 students. The University has the overarching vision of becoming one of the top ten Universities in Africa by 2025 with the mission of producing competent, ethical and innovative graduates, carry out problem-solving research and provide community and consultancy services. Currently, the University has organized in five colleges, three institutes and two schools within three campuses, which launched 58 undergraduate and 51 postgraduate programs accommodating more than 30,000 students in regular, extension and summer programs. The University currently has a total of 3,226 staff members. Ever since its foundation, the University has made remarkable expansion in infrastructural development, undertake problem-solving researches, education, training and community service activities.

DMU is found in the area endowed with potential resources, such as the Choke Mountains water-shade which covers six different agro-ecological zones within 50 km radius having various biodiversity and the source of many tributaries to the Nile and Upper Blue Nile Gorge. In the vicinity of the University, there are historic, renowned and ancient church schools: Dima Giorgis, Mertule-Mariam, Debre Work Mariam, Debre Elias and other traditional schools, which played a significant role in the development of modern education in Ethiopia. Cognizant of these potentials, the university has recently approved its center of excellence in Crop production and agro-processing as well as Culture, Literary & Language Development.

DMU is also undertaking joint research projects with Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar Universities on Choke Mountain funded by international NGO’s. Apart from this, the University is also running EduLAND2 project with Austrian Universities (BOKU and TUW) and with Bahir Dar University funded by APEAR. The university has different projects with Indiana University under university partnership initiative, Academic without border (AWB), Canada. DMU has also signed several MoU’s with both national and international institutions.

The university has numerous research thematic areas including agriculture; environment, natural resources, and biodiversity; health and nutrition; education: quality, policy, leadership, and governance; land and tenure policies, development and social justice; water resource management, policy, and socio-economics; business and economics: micro and small-scale enterprise development and entrepreneurship; gender, gender relations and gender awareness; minerals and energy; agro-processing and biotechnology; industrial process improvement and product development; information and communication technologies; the planning and management of infrastructure engineering; languages, communications, and folklore; morality and applied ethics; conflict, peace, and security; dispute resolution, constitution, administrative and investment laws.

Founding member
Membership: Since 2020


Ayelech Kidie Mengesha, MSc

Ayelech Kidie Mengesha is currently a PhD student at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). Before she joined BOKU, she has worked at Debre Markos University, Ethiopia since September 2010 as a lecturer. She has also served as the head of the Rural Development department. Ayelech has taught many courses related to rural development and gender; for example, Gender and Development, Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), Rural Sociology and Agricultural Extension, Rural Livelihood and Social Welfare, Environment and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development and Rural Livelihoods. Ayelech has two master degrees: MSc in Mountain Forestry from BOKU, Austria and MSc in Rural Development from Hawasa University, Ethiopia. She has received her second masters on 19th of February 2019 and she got an excellent grade on the master thesis. The MSc research was nominated for the BOKU Sustainability Award in 2019 and it won the Inge Dirmhirn Award 2019 of BOKU. She has received a Master of Science degree in Rural Development (1stMSc) on 10th of July, 2014 at Hawassa University, Ethiopia. She graduated her Bachelor degree in Rural Development on 24th of June, 2010 at Ambo University, Ethiopia and received a Gold award in recognition for the first rank of good performance female graduate students of the university. Ayelech’s research interest areas are agroforestry, women and gender, land tenure and women’s land rights, rural livelihoods, and rural development.

Debre Tabor University (DTU)

colourful illustration with a fotograph and lettering © DEBRE TABOR UNIVERSITY, DEBRE TABOR, ETHIOPIA

Debre Tabor University is a public university registered in Ethiopia approved and accredited by Regulation Number 229/2011 by the Ministry of Councils of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on 18 May 2011. Debre Tabor University is a young higher learning institution founded in a historically rich and ancient political capital of Ethiopia. Paradoxically, DTU is a young university founded in Gafat/Debre Tabor, a unique and historic industry and learning centre of Africa established by Emperor Tewodros II during 1850s.

Since 2011, with the aim and vision of development of the country, DTU is changing often leading the way with new ideas and innovations. With in the last 8 years, it has been able to launch more than 50 graduate and undergraduate programs in major areas of agriculture, technology, health medicine, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, business, and economics. Immersed itself very quickly into research and community services other than education, it has established a Guna Tana Integrated Field Research, and Development Centre.

Debre Tabor University has been an essential stakeholder in institution building, and has achieved remarkably. Strategic planning and a progressive roadmap have paved our way for 2015-2020 leadership goals. The strategic plan of the university focuses on ensuring quality and higher order learning, research and community service. The University is extensively involved in planning futuristic and innovative curriculum and focusses on regular updation as per the industry requirements. This approach also focuses on the teaching learning process to be student centred in order to ensure sustainability and maintaining the quality of education and its value by aligning with the goals of nation building. The University focusses on equipping students with practical experiences and skills required to reduce the gap between what corporates expect and what the students offer. In order to enhance partnership with community our research team works together with the community, business sectors, professional institutions and other stake holders.

Collaboration is an essential and an integral part of higher education system which is continually evolving. It is the way forward to truly adopt globalization, through new thematic models of agreements like the Amhara Universities Forum and other forms of multi-lateral collaboration, interdisciplinary research ventures involving teams of faculty and students, and the incorporation of internships and service learning. Now a days, the pool of our potential partners is expanding, as our institution seeks to engage with government agencies, private companies, and other organizations outside of academia. For these reasons, it is important to understand not only the explicit guidance set forth in standards of good practice developed by various organizations, but also the spirit of the recommendations, and the broader, underlying principles that cut across program types and particular cultural contexts.

Collaboration is a foray in the strategic plan of Debre Tabor University, and is intended to serve as guideposts to help all those interested international partners to not only ensure the efficacy of our possible collaborations, but also successfully navigate the uncharted waters of future endeavours with Debre Tabor University, and the city administration of Debre Tabor, and the entire community around. We look forward to our partners to share good practices and additional guidance that would help to build upon expected standards in the nation building. In the globalized world we cannot afford to remain isolated and disconnected with the world. Debre Tabor University is keen on building relationships and internationalization with counterparts in accordance with common overall institutional mission and goals It is true that the world of higher education and knowledge development has always been networked. Now is the time for all institutions of higher learning to collaborate and cooperate towards common goals that capitalize fully on the rich possibilities of global engagement and that, ultimately, will help build a better world for all.

Founding member
Membership: Since 2020


Dr. Ferede Anegagregn Gashaw; Assoc. Prof. and President


Started the world of work as a young age as a diploma graduate of English Language Teacher in a remotely located public school, presently a well-experienced PhD graduate, Associate Professor, president at a public university, Leader, volunteer and social worker. I graduated in Diploma in English Language and Literature in the then Bahir Dar Teachers College in 1997 and continued to study my Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in English Major Minor Amharic and graduated in Bahir Dar University in 2004. I studied Masters of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the field of English Language Teaching as a foreign Language (TEFL) in Addis Ababa University in August 2007 and August 2012 respectively. My teaching and research interest include pronunciation, phonology and phonetics, intelligibility, world English, etc.

I have accumulated above 20 years of teaching and later administration and research experiences, spanning all school levels of education including primary schools, colleges, and universities. I have moved around all corners of Ethiopia as a teacher including ‘Maji’ in the Southern Nations and Nationalities in 1997, and later to‘ Mankush, Manbuk, GilgelBeles’ in the Benishangul Gumuz National Regional State in 1998 - 2005, and later in 2008 – 2017 in Dessie , Wollo, in the North before recently moved to Debre Tabor in February 2018 in Amhara National Regional State where I presently live and mainly serve as a president in a young, and promising public university which currently enrolled more than 15000 students studying in more than 50 programs both in graduate and undergraduate programs. A rich experience of teaching and educational across all corners of Ethiopia exposed me to diversified people, culture, language, custom and ways of life. It reflects my adaptability to different roles and different situations. I have established well-tested, amicable, friendly, open-minded, responsible, caring, and passionate career personality.

I have proven extensive educational administration and leadership experiences particularly in the past seven years since entrusted as College Dean Position and Director of Community Services and Training, and later entrusted as a Vice President for Academic Affairs in my former employer, Wollo University. Presently, I am serving as President in one of the public universities in Ethiopia namely Debre Tabor University since February 2018. I am a man of passion, responsibility, and commitment, always keen on working together with others for common goals and greater public interests. I am highly skilled in teamwork, communication, understanding contexts, cooperating with internal and external partners, initiating and establishing institutional linkages. In general, I am a high-performing academician and a strategic-thinking professional who is always keen on learning and accomplishing further for the good of my country.

Haramaya University (HU)

Colourful illustration and blue lettering © Haramaya University

Haramaya University (HU) is the second senior public university of Ethiopia. The College of Agriculture, which gradually evolved to Haramaya University in 1985, was established in 1954. HU has been producing competent and qualified professionals in various fields of studies since its establishment. Since recently, the University has been striving to be one of the leading African Universities with international reputation by 2025. Its mission is to produce competent graduates in diverse fields of study, undertake rigorous, problem solving and cutting edge researches, disseminate knowledge and technologies, and provide demand-driven and transformative community services. Currently, the University is running around 200 academic programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is also running research and community engagement programs that address the social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental problems of the country. HU has developed well recognized links with many academic institutions and other organizations over the last 60 years of its existence. South-south collaborations have been made with universities such as Makerere, Stellenbosch, Jomo Kenyatta, Cape Coast, Lilongwe, Eduardo, Cape Town, Pretoria, Mondlane, etc. in Africa. Likewise, North-South collaborations have also been experienced by the university with universities such as Oklahoma State University, Wageningen, Ghent, Upsala, Oslo, University of Innsbruck, and so on. The University is now functioning on three campus premises. The main campus, where the first milestone was laid, is Haramaya Main Campus. This campus is located at about 510 km East of Addis Ababa, between Dire Dawa and Harar towns. This is the nerve center of the University where the offices of the management of the institution are located. The second Campus is located in Harar Town where College of Health and Medical Sciences including Hiwot Fana Specialized University Teaching Hospital are situated.

Founding member
Membership: Since 2020


Dr. Gutema Imana Keno

Dr. Gutema Imana Keno is an Associate Professor of Sociology and an academic staff member of the Department of Sociology of Haramaya University. He obtained his BA and MA degrees from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and his PhD degree from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. He has been serving at Haramaya University since 1993 engaging actively in learning–teaching, research and community service activities. He has also served the university as head of Department of History, Director for Development Works, Dean of College of Continuing and Distance Education, and Director of Institute of Gadaa Studies. Currently, he is the principal coordinator of the project titled HU-UIBK Partnership for Strengthening Institutional Capacity in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation (PSICPCT), a partnership project between Haramaya University and the University of Innsbruck that is financed by APPEAR (Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development).