The main aim of BRTE programme is to use education as a vehicle to build resilience in the communities in Wolaita. One of the approaches the programme is following to realize this aim is by building the capacity of the staff of Wolaita Sodo University. As part of this initiative, 14 staff (Temesgen Yohannis, Kidest Getu, Yibrah Haile, Workneh Fanta, Afework Hailegiorgis, Teweldebrhan Abraha, Antehun Alemayehu, Nigatu Abebe, Alemayehu Elda, Almaz Balta, Niguse Mekonnen, Melese Yilma, Teshale Tegene, and Amistu Kuma) of the University have been in Ireland for the last six months to do their PhDs.
Through engagement between UCD, IT Carlow and Wolaita Sodo University (Ethiopia) fourteen exciting PhD projects have been developed that are aimed at enhancing capacities within the Wolaita region of southern Ethiopia. The projects span areas as diverse as small business development, female entrepreneurship, public health, veterinary medicine, nutrition, artificial intelligence, childhood education, climate change adaptation, water resource utilisation, communication, and cultural heritage. Each project has been aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
After six months of hard work in developing their proposals, preparing research budget, doing modules, getting ethical approval, preparing posters, creating a 3-minute video, and building working relationship with their supervisors, today on May 22, 2019, they have presented the works they have done on the ‘Conference of PhD studies’ in UCD.
In this conference, more than 50 participants from Embassy of Ethiopia to Ireland (His Excellency Ambassador Eshetu Dessie and colleagues), Institute of Technology Carlow (Dr David Ryan), and UCD (supervisors of the 14 PhD candidates and other staff and students of UCD) have attended. Each and every student have presented a 3-minute video to the participants, which was facilitated by the three selected candidates (Teshale Tegene, Niguse Mekonnen and Teweldebrhan Abraha). Associate Professor Pat Gibbons appreciated the work done by the PhD candidates. However, he indicated as the four-year journey has just started and explained ‘where to go from here’. The students have also explained to the participants during the poster exhibition time.
H.E. Ambassador Eshetu Dessie gave a speech about the Ethio-Irish partnership. He mentioned about the partnership between Irish and Ethiopia universities and praised the collaboration between UCD and Wolaita Sodo University as an exemplary programme. His delegate, Mr Zeleke Hirpa, presented about the overview of Ethiopia, tourist attraction sites, Ethiopia’s unique features and stories, investment opportunities, incentives to invest in Ethiopia, and witnesses from multinational companies who have already invested in Ethiopia.