Working together towards a sustainable and bright future in agriculture in Ethiopia
On January 26th and 27th 2022, the annual review and planning event of the Bright Future in Agriculture Project (BFA) took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 86 participants were present to discuss the achievements and lessons learned of 2021, with the main central theme being how BFA can ensure a sustainable future beyond the project.
Yared Sertse, the General Manager at Shaya Shone Trading Plc captured the spirit of the event well by stating,“Resources might be limited but human capacity is not”.
With the project having entered its last year, stakeholders highlighted their commitment to sustaining the Triple Helix Platforms currently being set up. Although setting up and sustaining the three platforms will need many resources, the most important ones remain with every partner and stakeholder who contributes to the BFA project.
The first day of the annual event started with a clear call for action by Mr Elias Geneti -the chair of the African Agribusiness Academy. In his presentation, he expressed his concern about the current curricula of the TVET colleges. There is a strong need to enhance them with practical and industry-oriented training. An excellent example that points in the right direction is the success of the internship/apprenticeship programs for teachers and students that were carried out under the BFA project in 2021.
Moreover, Mr Geneti emphasized the need for Ethiopia's agricultural sector to strengthen and excel in their strong points, such as producing high-quality coffee. He asked the universities to support the TVET colleges in training highly skilled and specialized students to bring the agricultural sector forward by optimizing and innovating based on Ethiopia’s comparative advantages.
With the Triple Helix Platforms, BFA aspires to create an industry demand-oriented culture in the TVET sector. One essential facilitator towards the success rate of a Triple Helix Platform is the involvement and commitment of the Government, as pointed out by Triple Helix expert Ms Alemfrie Derese. The platforms engage the regional and national government and is calling for future investment in the education sector as well as in the necessary business environment.
Furthermore, the project strives to promote inclusivity and entrepreneurship. The latter was among others supported through the BFA Award competition that took place in 2021. The competition encouraged students to be entrepreneurial and present their own business idea. The winners received financial support to turn their idea into reality. As a result, one of the students successfully launched his concept and is now developing his own business.
Lastly, the event gave the stage to the partners to discuss their perception of the evolving platform's success. During the presentation of their group work, they all agreed that much had been achieved already. However, beyond the project, they share the strong demand to create powerful partnerships that have a long-lasting impact on the TVET system and the agricultural sector. As part of this, an essential task is to create strong leadership that facilitates an environment where skills and knowledge can be shared among everyone. Moreover, the resource allocation needs to be maximized. Here, the government can play a crucial role in incentivizing all parties involved to contribute.
On day two of the annual event, the focus was on educational achievements at the colleges in the fields of horticulture and dairy. One of the project's main ambitions is to deliver high-quality TVET teachers. Mezgebu, one of the teachers at Woreta TVET college, presented his experience from the skill sheet validation sessions. For him, the validations helped his learning process through pursuing teamwork skills and having the chance to learn from other teachers.
With this positive outcome, BFA is looking forward to implementing the skill sheets among the students. The colleges' deans all expressed their commitment to encourage the new materials. With the help of these materials, the students will receive more practical training to actively support their success as future employees.
Attending project partners of Bright Future in Agriculture:
- African Agribusiness Academy (AAA)
- African Institute of Management Development and Governance (AIMDG)
- Ambo University
- Amhara Labour and Training Bureau
- Bahir Dar University
- Bako TVET College
- Employable Youth in Ethiopia
- Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC)
- Ethiopian Technical University (ETU)
- Fair & Sustainable Ethiopia
- Holeta Polytechnic
- Jimma University (JU)
- Kombolcha TVET
- Kombolcha TVET College
- Maastricht School of Management (MSM)
- Merawi TVET College
- Oromia Job Creation and Vocational Bureau
- Q Point BV
- SNV Dairy
- SNV Hortilife
- Tibebe farm
- Woreta TVET College
Attending project partners BFA South:
- Alage TVET
- Bishoftu Polytechnical College
- Ethopian Meat and Dairy Industry Development Institute (EMDIDI)
- Maastricht School of Management (MSM)
- Q Point BV
- Wolyita Sodo College
About Bright Future in Agriculture
Bright Future in Agriculture is a three-year project that supports the Ethiopian agricultural technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and is managed by Nuffic as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. There are in total 12 beneficiary institutions in Ethiopia out of which the Ethiopian Technical University and Arba Minch University are the lead partners. Maastricht School of Management from the Netherlands is the lead implementer and together with 8 consortium member institutions from the Netherlands, Ethiopia and South Africa partake as providers. For more information and updates visit the BFA website.
Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.
MSM's Expert Centre for Emerging Economies
This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre for Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets. We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.
BFA Awards National Pitching Event and a visit to Ethiopia after more than 16 months
Bright future in Agriculture project activities, trainings and the triple helix kick-off
Enhancing Employability and Food Security in Ethiopia