Stichting Wageningen Research (SWR) Ethiopia inked collaboration agreements with regional Agricultural Research Institutes and Universities for its project Resilient Agriculture for Inclusive and Sustainable Ethiopian Food System (RAISE-FS) on the 29th of April 2022 at Bellevue Hotel in Addis Ababa.
The signing ceremony took place between SWR-RAISE-FS and three regional universities- Bahir Dar, Hawassa, and Haramaya, and three Agricultural Research Institutions (ARI)- Amhara Region ARI, Oromia ARI, and Southern ARI.
The purpose of the agreement is to establish a framework for collaboration among the parties in order to successfully implement the RAISE-FS project and to specify their respective and mutual collaborative activities, rights and responsibilities.
At the event, Dr. Dawit Alemu, country representative of SWR and manager of RAISE-FS gave a brief overview of SWR Ethiopia and the RAISE-FS project, its implementation modalities, and next steps. In his presentation Dr, Dawit emphasised the importance of regional level joint planning and aligned engagement of ARIs and universities in ensuring the attainment of expected outcomes.
Following the presentation, a brief discussion was held. Implementing partners expressed their concern about how soon the activities will start this year as the cropping season is approaching. RAISE-FS reflected that activities for this year have been planned with time constraints in mind and further concerted discussions will be held with partners and concerned stakeholders on this year’s specific activities.
Dr. Irene Koomen, RAISE-FS coordinator from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), who joined the discussion via Zoom, highlighted that WUR has a long-standing and strong relationship with Ethiopian Universities and Agricultural Research Institutes. She noted, the exciting thing about RAISE-FS is that it is about systems thinking which can help in transforming the food system. Dr. Irene is pleased with the event and appreciated participants for their collaboration work and looks forward to the implementation.
The meeting was held in a very congenial atmosphere. Participants from implementing partners reflected positively and they look forward to implementing the activities.
Reflections from participants
“I am very happy and ready to put this into action on the ground”, Dr. Jemal Yousuf, President of Haramaya University
“I am happy that Bahir Dar University is part of this team. We have had a lot of success with previous projects. We are like a family and we are happy to work with you. We will be very much committed and we will do our very best to carry out the activities”, Dr. Firew Tegegne, president of Bahir Dar University
“As Southern ARI we are very much committed to working together and for the implementation of the activities”, Mr. Lacha Garuma, acting Director General of Southern ARI
“I would like to congratulate you as you have come a long way to realize this project. We are happy to be in this consortium. We are very much committed to the implementation”, Dr. Tilaye Teklewold, Director-General of Amhara ARI