"We are exerting efforts to be centre of excellence in water research,"said Dr. Yechale Kebede, Arba Minch University(AMU) Academic Affairs Vice- President.
He told The Ethiopian Herald recently that the ongoing construction of AMU water research institute would enable the university live up to the international standards.
"The institute will hire a large number of scholars and researchers of water resources when it becomes fully operational. It will also provide consultancy services and technical assistances to the nation's mega projects apart from cooperating with other research institutions across the country in the near future," the President noted.
According to Dr. Yechale, the institute would also meaningfully contribute to the production of competent human resources in the field for it serves as an ideal laboratory where students carry out their practical experiments.
Though the University is an old one, it has not carried out action researches to the expected level. Thus, the current effort in building new institute will create a huge capacity to address the gap, he said.
Further, he noted that AMU is closely working on water resource researches with several local, regional and renowned international institutions. These include, The Ethiopian Institute of Water Management, Addis Ababa, Makalle and Haromaya Universities, and universities in Kenya, Tanzania, Holland, and Germany. It also have good cooperation with UNESCO.
With regard to meeting the standards of ministry of education, 60 per cent PhD and 40 per cent MA/MSc, Dr. Yechale said: "We are sending instructors overseas for further education so as to attain the standard.
Previously, the university was not competitive in the job market and there had been an obvious professional turnover. "But, we have managed to introduce various incentive packages to curb the problem," he stressed.
Established as Water Technology Institute in 1986, Arba Minch University has opened 69 undergraduate, 70 graduate and 10 postgraduate departments in its six campuses.
Authors: All Africa