The 12 days long international event which commenced on Monday the 11th and ended on Friday the 22nd of Dec. 2017 was started by a daylong conference on the 11th December and followed by successive workshops, trainings and block teaching sessions across different Colleges and Faculties of JU. This special and very successful conference / workshop event was hosted under the theme of “Accelerating Educational & Public Health Provision in Africa”.
JU considers the events as a very intensive, astonishing and intellectually motivating and engaging international weeks with the honor and privilege of hosting 24 distinguished professionals (i.e. academics, researchers & practitioners from 5 countries (i.e. Canada, Nigeria, South Africa, UK and USA) who came together to Ethiopia by mobilizing their own resources and then travelled to Jimma, Ethiopia in order to share their ideas and experiences with fellow professional colleagues and learners / research candidates at GKEN’s hub Jimma University.
The event was opened on Monday the 11th by the president of Jimma University Prof. Fikre Lemessa and an insightful closing remark was made by GKEN’s guest of honor Prof. Farida Fortune. An enticing key note address by Prof. Mamo Muche on “Imagining and revitalizing the African Education System” followed by Prof. Harvey White’s “From CIMPAD to GKEN: Our Legacy for Africa Youth” made the event one that is truly dedicated to the cause of African Knowledge and transformation.
The event has also covered three informative and highly motivating presentations regarding consortiums and knowledge sharing initiatives in and for Africa covering Consortium for International Management, Policy, Administration and Development, the Ethiopian Doctoral & Masters Academy (EDMA) & African Doctoral & Masters Academic Society (ADMAS). The presentations were indicative of how Africa can pool the most talented and resourceful minds across the globe to enrich the quality of research and education in its universities and beyond.
Three public lectures were also held on talent management, the challenges of PHD journey and the challenges of managing and resolving conflicts in universities. The 15 workshops hosted by several colleges & departments of JU has also led to intensive engagement and intellectual discussions among huge numbers of staff members and students on range of issues including internationalization and performance management in universities, research methods in various disciplines, film making, environment, tourism, poverty and development, communication, pedagogy, health and others. The public lectures were also accompanied by 18 research papers presentations by the distinguished professors across various disciplines in agriculture, health, education, social sciences, governance and business engaging staffs & students in academic discussions and exchange of views.
The four block teaching sessions on knowledge management, educational philosophy, research methods in education and writing academic papers for publication were a plus by involving different departments in formal teaching process as part of their curriculum with the processors bringing in their experience, knowledge and unique mode of delivery.
Hosting such an international event dedicated to the African cause, combining a conference and series of workshops, bringing in 24 seasoned professors from five countries across the globe in less than two weeks is one of its kind and an indication of JU’s un relented venture towards internationalization.
The international event wouldn’t have been realized without the selfless efforts of the coordinators of the Global Knowledge Exchange Network (G-KEN) and its volunteering members and the coordination and logistic support from the side of the JU’s team.