Having attained the status of a university, Arba Minch University, initially had few pupils, now it’s hosting 23,329 students, which speaks volumes about its rapid development. Now it’s rated as one of the premier education institutions, proactively contributing in nation’s development by churning out trained professionals in water technology in particular, Dean of Social Science and Humanities College, Mr Tesfaye Alemu said.


Mr Tesfaye said this while addressing the students during 25th anniversary celebration held at Students’ Café, Chamo Campus. Elaborating further, he added, ‘‘The evolvement of Arba Minch University from Arbaminch Water Technology Institute (AWTI) is noteworthy. The institute mandated to do research and academic activities keeping in mind the development of the nation has been bang on target.

The celebration started with a student reciting poem; followed by the panel discussion by Mr Zikie Ataro, who informed the gathering about AMU’s 25-year-long journey.

He said, initially, it started with Arbaminch Water Technology Institute in 1979 EC (1986), which then was running diploma and certificate courses with only 177 students. And in the year 2004, it was granted the status of a full-fledged university. AMU celebration is special in way because the present Prime Minister was once the Dean of AWTI.

In the beginning, it had just one campus which now snowballed in four sprawling campuses. And each of them is running important courses right from engineering to social sciences & humanities, to medicine and health streams etc. And rest is the history as university has already carved a niche for itself in Ethiopia, he maintained.

In the second and last presentation on ‘International Legal Perspectives on Utilization of Trans-boundary Rivers,’ and ‘Colonial Treaties’, Water Resource and Research Centre Director, Dr Mekonen Ayana apprised the gathering about the present scenario with regard to Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and kinds of technical and political hurdles it faced.

Stating about 263 international river basins, he said, 1/3rd of the total basins are shared by two or more states. GERD is the biggest ever hydro-power giant in African continent. He also touched upon the basic features of Nile Basin, its characteristics, potential opportunities it offers, number of countries it covers and quantum of water contributed by respective countries.

Dr Mekonen also answered the queries of two students who asked as to how AMU would arrest the high attrition rate and how far it was equitable to say that only upstream nations has the exclusive rights for the usage of water than that of downstream nations.

Strategic Plan Evaluation & Implementation Directorate’s Director, Mr Gezmu Kelbo Kayka moderated the panel discussion. The Dean of College of Business and Economics, Dr Solomon Markos, Director of Corporate Communication Directorate, Mr Genene Gedebu Feleha and others graced the occasion. Later, students presented plays and burst into jubilation.

By Philips Joseph