Arba Minch University in association with Ministry of Culture & Tourism has hosted 5th national meet on ‘Indigenous Knowledge for National Development’ on 3rd June, 2021, at Main Campus. State Minister for Culture and Tourism, Mrs Bizunesh Meseret, many regional, zonal officials and stakeholders graced the event. Click here to see the pictures

Honorable Minister, Mrs Bizunesh Meseret, in her brief speech reiterated that having signed a pact with Ministry of Science & Higher Education, they are establishing indigenous knowledge research centres all across. She adds that Ethiopia with its rich culture and tradition have treasure of indigenous knowledge on medicine, agriculture, health, conservation of natural resource management, etc. that offers solutions to different problems in the society.

She assured that Ministry of Culture and Tourism is working hard to formulate policies and strategies to stimulate research endeavors and promote practices of indigenous knowledge in different aspects of life in the society. She claimed that multiple advantages and efficacies of indigenous knowledge are known to entire mankind.

University President, Dr Damtew Darza, while opening the workshop, said, government is presently giving more emphasis on application of science in every sector to ensure sustainable economic development in the country and in this regard, our university is complementing their efforts by establishing many research centers and promoting indigenous knowledge by incorporating it in university’s curriculums. And tourism being one of the five focused areas, we are also conducting various promotional activities pertaining to culture and tourism sector.

By now, we must know the inevitable fact that indigenous knowledge’s potency has no expiry date and yet it’s underexploited, says Vice President for Research and Community Service, Mr Behailu Merdekios, in his welcome speech. Communities’ various traditional practices and cultural values reassuringly reflect indigenous knowledge that show who they are. If we look into the cultural heritage of Gamo Zone i.e. Konso terracing, Hamar tribes’ evangadi, Dorze’s scintillating weaving and bubbusha will mesmerize you. Their socio-cultural ties with biodiversity systems contributing for sustainable conservation of biodiversity; hence, we are working hard to imbed it in formal education system.

Dr Endalkachew Hailu, on ‘Revaluation of traditional ecological thoughts, knowledge and practices of Aari people of Southern Ethiopia’, said, Aari tribe has rich indigenous conservation practices for they have been preserving virgin forests, water springs and biodiversity that has myriad medicinal plants, leafy vegetables; fruits and root crops endemic to environment are also being conserved by them. He urges authority that their indigenous practices must be part of environmental conservation initiative and they should be involved in the process of formulation of environment conservation policy.

Depicting conflict resolution tactics used by local people at a Garda town in Gamo Zone where a group’s effort to gain special status of woreda was denied that led to violent unrest; Dr Yasin Hussein, said, it was Tughe – a cultural insignia that finally brought peace and not political brinkmanship, therefore, he said, if we use indigenous knowledge appropriately it can save even emergent situation.

Institute of Culture and Language Research’s Director, Dr Seid Ahmed,, being host of the program, said, such events will always strengthen government’s move to promote indigenous knowledge at national level and our institute is committed to study traditional and cultural heritage, promote various elements, educate mass, revive, restore their pristine aura in national context and showcase them on the global platform.

(Communication Affairs Directorate)