Arba Minch University has added another feather to its cap by bagging a European Union’s 3-year project called - ‘Leaving something behind’ - Migration governance and agricultural & rural change in ‘home’ communities: Comparative experience from Europe, Asia and Africa’ (AGRUMIG). It will get operational from February 2019-to-April 2022, the legal signatory of the project, Dr Simon Shibru, informed.

Research and Community Service Vice President, Dr Simon Shibru, said, overarching goal of this project is to engage in an innovative qualitative and comparative analysis to understand the unique economic, institutional, cultural and agro-ecological contexts that will mediate particular relationship between migration and agriculture, as well as role played by diverse governance actors throughout the process.

It will bring together a range of key governance stakeholders at a national and international level and have a series of action plans aimed at achieving integrated migration governance solutions that can simultaneously support sustainable and equitable transformation in agriculture while reducing the distress associated with migration process, he added.

Its four-objectives state that at the outset it will understand complex relationship between migration and agrarian change, second to understand how migration governance mediates relationship between migration on one hand and agricultural and rural change on other hand. It will also identify integration framework for migration governance that harnesses positive synergies between migration and agriculture and rural development followed by move towards integrated migration governance framework by supranational and national institutes that reduce the distress from migration while harnessing mobility to promote gender equitable and sustainable agrarian growth in sending region, he quipped.

The project allows seven post-doctoral research studies, one from each partner on merit and these post-doc candidates will be the lead researchers; Herein migration is taken in positive context, when youth immigrate or migrate it will evaluate as to how they contribute to their nation’s economy and the nation where they move, get benefitted and the aspect of gender equity will also be looked into.

Emphasizing further, he adds, the purpose is to assess the impact on home countries, in the process big qualitative data will be collected in developing policy briefing document and later regional and national dialogue will also be organized. Migration has wider ramification so developing common understanding for conflict resolution approach is the ultimate motto.

This project may impact government interventional strategy in enhancing livelihood of people as poor communities are the target who immigrate and migrate for better pasture. In Ethiopia, northern part will be cared for by Mekelle University, Arba Minch University supported by International Water Management Institute will look into southern and Haramayya backed by University of Vienna will train its focus on eastern part, he informed.

Legitimizing AMU’s inclusion in European Union initiative, Dr Simon, said, it gave us the mush-needed push to widen our strategic horizon; the fact is we made the headway for it will increase our visibility. The overall budget for 14 institutes is € 3 Million, of which € 45,287.5 each (ETB 1.45 Million) meant for AMU and Mekelle respectively while Haramaya’s share is half and School of Oriental and African Studies claimed the big chunk.

During project period, there will be trainings, national and regional policy dialogues; according to the plan itineraries include one in Addis Ababa and four out of Ethiopia.

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London is the overall coordinator of this project, which is funded by EU’s Horizon 2020 program. It will cover seven countries i.e. Morocco, Ethiopia, Moldova, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Thailand and China.

The 14 participating partners of this project are SOAS of University of London, University of Birmingham, International Water Management Institute, University of Vienna, University of Central Asia/Mountain Societies Research Institute, National Institute for Economic Research, University of Bologna, University Mohammed V, Rabat, Social Science Baha/Centre for Study of Labor and Mobility, Raks Thai Foundation, OSCE Academy Bishek, Arba Minch University, Mekelle University and Centre Polis Asia; while Haramaya University and South China Agricultural University are two sub-contracting partners.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)