This document explores the research partnerships since the establishment of the Arba Minch Water Technology Institute (AWTI) in 1986, the foundation of the current Arba Minch University (AMU). Such collaboration researches have recently attracted the attention of the academic and research institutes as it has the potential to increase the visibility of the partner institutes. Moreover, academic research is becoming ever more international as ideas go beyond borders; no country controls the marketplace of ideas. New ideas come when you interact with people from diverse backgrounds. Such collaboration leads to an extremely fertile cross-pollination of ideas. On the other hand, there are a lot of challenges in management of such international research partnership projects as teams are composed of expertise with diverse training, scientific expertise, social background, and life experience. Hence, it is clear that analyzing the past collaborative academic projects is a key to establish a robust follow-up and assessment system to further improve the process of internationalization of the AMU. The contribution of each partner institute in the accomplishment of the AMU mission and vision has been briefly summarized. This document was compiled by searching files both in hard and softcopies, and grey literature in Google search engine. As AMU is categorized as a research university, more collaboration and partnerships are a key feature of the university. Hence, this document summarized the collaborative projects mainly the international ones with some success stories to put a foundation for future internationalization process and the making the of AMU as a major international project hub. The aim of developing this document is therefore (1) to give a general overview of AMU’s externally funded projects to AMU academic staff; (2) to utilize the historical AMU partnership with partner countries and institutions information whenever designing new projects; (3) to AMU’s project mobilization capacity to funding agencies that confidence and trust in newly establishing project partnerships.      

Since its establishment, AMU has successfully implemented numerous international research projects with partnerships from 11 countries. These countries are Belgium, Djibouti, Germany, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and USA. A number of other partner institutions from African and other countries also engaged in bilateral research projects with AMU. The European Union and the World Bank are also the key funding agencies. Since the foundation of AWTI in 1986 to AMU inauguration in June 2004, the German government played a pivotal role in supporting and equipping engineering laboratories and field research facilities. Among the German universities, U Siegen, TU Dresden, FU Berlin, U Trier, and Goethe Institute were the major contributors. The AMU-Germany partnership established and strengthened a number of academic programs in the field of water science and technology and solid engineering domains. The objectives of the German based projects were to make AWTI to be a center of excellence in the water sector in Eastern Africa. Today, the strong German partnership with AMU should be strengthened to resuming the strong partnership through Alumina to regain the statuesque.   

Currently, the VLIR-UOS funded AMU-IUC program is the major project in AMU. The IUC program aimed to enhance institutional research capacity via doctoral studies in different fields. In the first Phase of the program (2017-2022), 18 PhD students enrolled in in five Belgian Universities. This program is also supporting AMU by supporting laboratory equipments and enhancing capacity of laboratory technicians’ skill training them in Belgian universities. In some projects, the local AMU PhD students are also getting support for their PhD research projects. Phase II of the AMU-IUC project will focus on the development activities in the coming five-years (2022-2026). More PhD training opportunities are there to further enhance research capacity of human and material capacities in AMU. The KU Leuven is coordinating the IUC from the Flemish side.  

Norwegian Government funded NORAD project accomplished Phase I (2014-2020) with fruitfully collaborations and outcomes. The its first phase, the project supported MSc program in medical entomology and vector control, which was the first of in its kind in Ethiopia. The NORAD project in Phase II (2021-2026) is supporting 7 PhD and several MSc students’ projects. Moreover, the project is supporting the-state-of-the-art laboratories in science in AMU. These facilities will help the scientific community in making advanced lab-based researches and attracting new collaborations and projects.  The University of Bergen in Norway is a coordinating university of the project.  

The Netherlands government funded (e.g., NUFFIC) projects are also one of the key ones in AMU. Among the projects, research, education and development are few to mention. The Dutch government is also strongly supported numerous MSc and PhD education of AMU staff. From the Dutch institutions, the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and University of Twente are the leading ones.  

You can find list of AMU’s completed collaborative projects here.