The Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) of UK and Jimma University (JU) of Ethiopia organized the 7th International Multi-Disciplinary Conference and Workshop of G-KEN under the title of “Accelerating Educational Excellence & Public Health Provision in Africa”. The conference and the many successive multidisciplinary workshops took place from 11th to 16th of December, 2017 and many more block teaching courses up to 22nd December, 2017. The event was aimed at exploring ways on how to improve and accelerate educational excellence and public health issues in Africa using Ethiopia as an example.
The events were a ground breaking success in providing opportunities to share experiences and knowledge between JU staff members from all the eight colleges and 24 distinguished scholars and practitioners who came from 5 different countries across continents (i.e. Canada, Nigeria, South Africa, UK, and USA). The conference and the successive workshops across different colleges/departments were attended by 500 research candidates and 150 staff members. The day long conference, which was hosted on Monday the 11th, included two very enlightening Keynote speeches and other evidence based research papers which were presented across six parallel sessions. Similarly, he four days long workshops were also delivered in three colleges namely: College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, College of Education and Behavioral Science and College of Social Sciences. More importantly, very extensive performance management training was given to Senior Management (all senate members, council members and all directors) by Prof. David Humber which was aimed at assisting JU to improve its global standing.
Speaker and guest of honor of the event, Prof. Fikre Lemessa, President of JU, appreciated the theme of the workshop stating that there is a greater consciousness today of the links and inter-dependence i.e. education &public health in Africa, that leads to a better understanding of our education systems which is vital to ensure that our continent is safe and healthy for present and future generations.
He has also further emphasized that JU, as one of the leading universities in Ethiopia, is always very keen about international collaboration and always ready for collaborative partnerships of which its strong linkage and practical international engagement with GKEN is the best instance. He also appreciated the selfless efforts of the founders and members of the network for their unreserved dedication in promoting exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience out of only their own personal efforts and clearly expressed JU’s community commitment to continue to work with the network in all possible manners and as far as capacity allows.
Many of those who attended the conference and the workshops also expressed that, the events were very uplifting and they are hugely inspired by the two weeks long event, as they have created opportunities for linkages in many fronts. The JU senior management also expressed their appreciation for the diverse activities the GKEN members have been engaged over the two weeks period and further stated their full commitment to work with the network for many years to come.