AMU hosts 4th symposium on ‘Science for Sustainable Development’

Arba Minch University hosted 4th national symposium on ‘Science for Sustainable Development’ at Main Campus from 12-13th May, 2017; researchers from different universities and institutions across Ethiopia presented their findings on natural, agricultural and health-related sciences. Click here to see the pictures.

The two-day intense discussions saw researchers deliberating on immediate concerns as how to develop innovative, green solutions to address climate, food and energy crises; and had a consensus to strengthen science education, stem brain drain and encourage more youth to go into scientific disciplines so that sustainable development can be accelerated in Ethiopia.

The symposium got off with Research Directorate Director, Dr Simon Shibru, welcoming researchers, said, the objective is to create a forum like this to initiate and strengthen dialogue between scholars of multi-disciplinary fields with diverse expertise, experience and knowledge to make people understand the true worth of basic and applied science, hence, this symposium is all set to generate much needed synergy in the next two days.

AMU President, Dr Damtew Darza in his opening speech, said, university is striving hard to complement government’s efforts for inclusive development; but efforts to transfer research results to end-user still seem inadequate, therefore, move is afoot to develop institutional framework and policy guidelines wherein priority is given to research projects to address immediate problems of the society. Emphasizing further he said, more efforts in this field are needed than ever before to ensure sustainable development.

Principal Scientist of International Livestock Research Institute, Dr Azage Tegegne, before racking researchers brains, revealed that AMU is one among four universities included in the list of 200 best universities of Africa, and further says it’s imperative to stimulate young generation as Ethiopia has umpteenth challenges ahead and at the same time has ample opportunities for university staff and students to prove their mettle using acquired expertise to bring respite.

On livestock scenario, Dr Azage said, the per capita milk and meat intake in Ethiopia is 19 & 10 kg against WHO recommended 100 and 50 kg respectively, far below standard; and to make the leeway, government through Ethiopian Livestock Master Plan’s 2028 projection is eying surplus chicken meat production (507,000 tons, or surplus of 453%), that could enable nation to meet domestic requirement for all meat, this would enable export of beef and mutton to earn foreign exchange.

In case of cow milk, future surplus could be realized through investment in better genetics, feed, health services, improving both traditional dairy farms and commercial-scale specialized dairy production units, etc, he averred.

In the second plenary speech, Dr Adugna Woyessa of Ethiopian Public Health Institute, on climate variability, said, 2.5 Billion people are susceptible to dengue fever in tropical and sub-tropical areas across the world, while Ethiopia is battling against climate-sensitive diseases like onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, diarrhea, meningitis, yellow fever, etc.

Of 36 selected papers, AMU has six of them which featured issues pertaining to agriculture, natural and health sciences. Remaining 30 findings were from Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Ethiopian Public Health Institute; Addis Ababa, Harayama, Mekelle, Bahir Dar, Dilla, Jimma, Adigrat, Debre Markos, Wolaita Sodo, Madda Walabu, Wolkite, Bule Hora, Assosa, Kotebe Metropolitan and Ambo universities.

On the occasion, an abstract of 36 papers were distributed to the participants. Researchers, academicians from different parts of Ethiopia, AMU community, stakeholders and others were in attendance; Dr Rahmeto Negash anchored the program.

 

(Corporate Communication Directorate)