Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Damtew Darza, will leave for Ghana to participate in a two-day workshop on Benchmarking Initiative - ‘Benchmarking of Applied Sciences Engineering & Technology Education in Africa’ is slated for 9th to 10th November 2015, at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana. The workshop is jointly hosted by World Bank and Association of African Universities (AAU). The main objectives of this Benchmarking Initiative launch meeting are to discuss the methodology and scope of the upcoming benchmarking exercise, and plan for benchmarking capacity building in the region.
Dr Damtew further informs, the main goals of the workshop are to train African institutions in effectively using benchmarking as a tool to assess and improve their performance. And to partner with interested universities, regional, sub-regional organizations as well as with national tertiary education agencies, and support them to build capacity to guide and support benchmarking in institutions under their purview on a regular basis
He said adding, the main benefit for participating universities will be to have access to detailed data from other ASET universities, to compare their results with the performance of these universities. It will enable us to follow the evolution of performance and its determinants over time.
Back in Ethiopia, it will help to identify our strengths and areas for improvement, and take action to work on these areas. Such engagement will facilitate appropriate knowledge transfer from the Benchmarking team to the relevant African organizations.
This meeting will provide a roadmap to develop the framework and criteria to evaluate the existing standard within Ethiopian universities. The nine participating universities are expected to share the experiences gained and with the other universities in Ethiopia as well, he added.
Participants are drawn from universities, interested regional, sub-regional organizations as well as national tertiary education agencies from within the region.
The invited organizations and agencies will include AAU, Inter-University Council for East Africa, Southern African Regional Universities Association, Economic Community of West African States, East African Community, Southern African Development Community etc. and national agencies responsible for tertiary education in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Senegal and Nigeria.

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)