GROW WISER AT THE WATER TOWER
Debre Markos University, Ethiopia – In a momentous ceremony held at Debre Markos University’s campus, renowned academic and expert in land administration and geomatics, Reinfried Mansberger (PhD), was awarded the first-ever honorary doctorate degree by the esteemed university. The event marked a significant recognition of Mansberger’s relentless efforts and unwavering dedication in fostering collaboration between the University and international partners, resulting in transformative impacts on academic land administration and geomatics education in Ethiopia.
The partnership between Debre Markos University and Reinfried Mansberger was initiated several years ago. Through his visionary leadership and coaching role, Mansberger has spearheaded several major projects that have revolutionized land administration education in the country and supported sustainable development efforts.
**Key Projects Under Reinfried Mansberger’s Coordination:**
The groundbreaking journey started with a preparatory funding project that received a generous grant of 15,000 Euros from the Austrian Development Cooperation via the Austrian Partnership Program in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR). This funding laid a strong foundation for the institutional partnership and provided invaluable insights into each partner university’s working environment.
Building on the success of the preparatory project, the EduLAND 2 initiative received a substantial grant of 490,000 Euros from APPEAR Academic Partnership Program. This four-year project enabled the establishment of the Institute of Land Administration at Debre Markos University. It facilitated the creation of state-of-the-art laboratories, supported PhD study projects, and conducted training for professionals at various levels. The project’s achievements were showcased to the international scientific community during an international conference organized by the World Bank in Washington DC in 2019.
The Edu4Geo Project, a three-year grant initiative under APPEAR’s Advanced Academic Partnership Program, received funding of 390,000 Euros and commenced on March 1, 2023. It aims to establish a Master’s Degree Program in Geomatics and introduce cutting-edge teaching and learning materials. Additionally, the project aims to incorporate advanced technologies like UAV-based geodata collection and the establishment of a Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) at Debre Markos University’s main campus.
The Li4LaM Project, funded with a substantial grant of 708,000 Euros from the European Union, is a collaborative effort involving eight universities, including Debre Markos University, and several northern partners. This three-year project, which commenced on January 1, 2023, focuses on modernizing curricula and integrating state-of-the-art teaching and learning technologies into the Ethiopian education system. It also plans to conduct case studies using innovative land management practices.
A two-year research project currently underway, WA2Land, has received funding of 35,000 Euros from the Austria Development Cooperation via Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalization (OEAD). This project sheds light on the challenges faced by rural women in accessing land in North-West Ethiopia, contributing to a deeper understanding of gender dynamics in land administration and management.
Thanks to the strengthened partnership with Reinfried Mansberger, Debre Markos University has earned the distinction of being a founding member of Africa UniNet alliances. This collaboration fosters academic partnerships between Austrian and African Universities, opening up numerous opportunities for academic programs and collaborations with Austrian partner universities.Reinfried Mansberger’s unwavering commitment to the betterment of land administration education and geomatics in Ethiopia has left an indelible mark on Debre Markos University and the entire academic community in the region. His contributions have played a pivotal role in empowering students, professionals, and rural communities and have strengthened Ethiopia’s path towards sustainable development.
The honorary doctorate degree bestowed upon Reinfried Mansberger is a testament to his exceptional dedication and profound impact on the academic landscape in Ethiopia. As Debre Markos University continues to advance its collaboration with international partners, it looks forward to further transformative projects under the visionary guidance of Reinfried Mansberger.
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