GROW WISER AT THE WATER TOWER
Center of Excellences in DMU
Based on the diversity of ecosystems and the demands of the community, Debre Markos University has established two Centers of Excellence, one for agriculture and another for culture. Establishing a Center of Excellence allows the institution to thoroughly explore the possibilities of its surroundings and make a significant contribution to the country’s overall socio-economic development. For example, the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) saw agriculture as the main driving force behind the country’s rapid and inclusive economic growth and development. GTP II also emphasized the role of developing, preserving and promoting cultural diversity, historical and natural heritage for the country’s socio-economic development and democratization process. Implementing the transformation agenda therefore requires coordinated efforts to implement a range of strategies to improve community livelihoods and secure community ownership of local cultural heritage. . For this reason, the university has taken on the scientific responsibility of investing in the region’s potential by establishing research centers in two strategic themes.
Center of excellence 1: Enhancing crop productivity and agro-processing
Due to its geographical location in and around the Abay Valley, East Gojam is a naturally endowed area with diverse agro-ecological zones with diverse crops and partially fertile land. However, smallholder farmers living in this area are using traditional systems of farming, harvesting and marketing system. Due to this fact most farmers are suffering from economic problems and food and nutrition insecurity. To address this problem in the region, Debre Markos University has established center of excellence in crop productivity and agro processing and now doing different activities to realize the vision.
Hence, the newly established center of excellence in the area of crop production and agro-processing will contribute to the regional food security, particularly in Gojjam through introducing diversified crop products and selected seeds; initiating entrepreneurs to establish agro processing enterprises; introducing new agricultural technologies, developing capacity of the community on crop production, nutrition and value addition; establishing agro-ecology based research stations and training centers; establishing crop production and agro-processing extension linkage, sharing experiences among smallholder, providing training on production and reducing pre and post-harvest losses, disseminating smart agronomic practices and improved varieties.
Center of Excellence 2: Developing and Promoting Indigenous Culture, Literary and Languages
East Gojjam is naturally, historically, religiously and traditionally a hallowed area which can attracts many tourists in the region. For instance, Choke Mountain which is considered as the water tower of Nile basin countries and one of the most tourist attractive sites in the region is found in East Gojjam.
Moreover, East Gojjam is the major pillar of church education in Ethiopia. For instance, Debre Elias, Bichena Giorgis, Dimma Giorgis, Mertule Mariam, Washa Abba Teklehaimont and other monasteries have been serving as the center of excellence for Geez, Nebab Bet, Qedasse Bet, Zema Bet, Qnie Bet and Metsehaf Bet which are endemic for Ethiopia. These institutions and other religious centers in the area are also the sources of different tangible and intangible religious heritages. However, these diversified tangible and intangible cultural heritages in the area are not properly recorded, documented, studied and open for tourists and transfer to the young generation. Such overwhelming situations need the active participation of different institutions and the community itself.
Consequently, Debre Markos University, which is one of the major social industries in the area, took responsibility to develop, preserve and promote cultural heritages in East Gojjam and West Gojjam Zone in the next Five Year Strategic Plan of 2020 – 2025 through establishing center of excellence in cultural heritages, language and literary.
This center of excellence focuses on undertaking basic and problem solving research on the tangible and intangible cultural heritages and language development; combating harmful traditional practices (focusing on blood feud, bare footedness, female gentile mutilation, early marriage and extravagance); establishing museum and exhibition center; capacitating and augmenting indigenous knowledge; conserving and promoting cultural heritages, developing cultural values, literary and linguistic resources; upgrading and strengthening culture, literary, and language focused institutions, centers and departments of the university; developing infrastructure for tangible and intangible cultural heritages, literary and language resources; preserving of tangible and intangible cultural heritages, literary and language resources; establishing literary center, vernacular literature development center and museums; developing tourism by using tangible and intangible cultural heritages of the area; and producing large number of intellectuals in the area of culture, literature and language development.
ደብረ ማርቆስ ዩኒቨርሲቲ
DEBRE MARKOS UNIVERSITY
INTRODUCTION /short brief
Education has become the most powerful tool to build competences in the globalized world since the application of advanced knowledge has become a fundamental driver of social progress and economic development of nations in this competitive environment. Hence, every nation must transform itself economically, socially and politically to compete effectively in the connected ecosphere. In this context, higher education systems play a critical role in developing countries like Ethiopia to support knowledge-driven economic development strategies and to build democratic and socially cohesive societies. Higher education institutions (HEIs) can create a societal impact that shows a strong potential to act as leverage point for sustainable development locally and globally through their education, research, and operations roles. They have an indispensable role for the effective and efficient creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and for building institutional, professional, and technological capacity. Furthermore, a strong higher education system is essential for any developing countries in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of 2030.
The Government of Ethiopia, as a result, has demonstrated a great commitment to expand higher education institutions to support the national development framework of GTP II which is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The five-year plan recognizes the crucial role of higher education as a driver of competitiveness and growth and envisages the establishment of several centres of Excellence. For these reason, Ethiopia has made incredible access to higher education in recent years.
Debre Markos University, therefore, is one of higher institution in Ethiopia which was officially established by the Council of Ministers Regulation No.227/2011 to realize the Growth and Transformation agenda. The University is located 299 km North West away from the nations’ Capital, Addis Ababa. The area is known mostly by the sources of the world longest river, called the Blue Nile. Supplant to this, the socio-economic and cultural capitals thereof are verily rich yet the larger body of it has not been studied and employed well for scientific and epistemological inquiries.
The area is surrounded by the choke mountain ranges, of which the water tower Africa and where the Blue Nile and its tributaries use to originate. This fact has made the University to opening its eyes wide for research and community service practices; required to make prior engagement on the preservation and rehabilitation of the natural environment in a wider scale. Though attempts have been made in natural resource management, irrigation, soil conservation and afforesting the area, many efforts are required from various stake holders and partners so as to rescue the endangered site. DMU still have called various partners to take part and save the area from degradation and subsequent causality upon the volume of the rivers that cometh out, thereof, from all around the world. Ever since its foundation, the University has made remarkable expansion in infrastructural development, underway problem solving researches, education, trainings and community service activities. In education and training, the University has six colleges, three institutes, two schools and three campuses. In the sphere of research and community service, the University has identified comprehensive thematic areas, which are believed to concord with the potential needs and demands of the surrounding locales, nations as well as the world at large, thereby operating through all in place for the purpose of uplifting the life of many from the dire shackles of poverty in plenty.
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