Link with the VLIR-UOS country strategy

Poverty eradication is the central target of development efforts of the Ethiopian government. Improving agricultural productivity to ensure food security for most of the rural communities is on top of the growth and development agenda of the nation to pave ways for an agriculture-led industrial economy. Protecting the environment and maintaining a healthy productive community were also given due attention in the country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy  (CRGE) strategy. On the basis of these observations the VLIR- UOS country specific strategic document identified seven main themes for country specific cooperation with Ethiopia.  Hence, the identified projects of AMU are a perfect match for  the main strategic themes of VLIR-UOS:  Food Security and Agriculture, Environment and Water, Health, Economic and Social Development, and ICT and Library. In essence, the four first themes focus directly on several factors determining people’s livelihoods. Understanding how all the underlying factors (assets, resources, health, education among others) contribute to livelihood in the South Ethiopian rift valley, is at the core of the proposed intervention.

In the VLIR-UOS strategy document, alignment with the Ethiopian Government policy is emphasized where it concerns an increased participation of women in higher education (HE). Ethiopia wants to increase female admissions in HE from 13.8% to 30% in her 2014/15 strategic plan. As such, AMU has already taken the lead, with female students now at 29%. Moreover, AMU has 13% female academic staff, about double the country’s average (4-7%). Nevertheless, AMU will maintain these efforts towards an equal gender balance and has policies in place to this end. Last year AMU has appointed the female high achievers in each department and has a positive discrimination policy.  In all projects of this proposal, gender issues are implicitly present and will crosscut all interventions, including the selection of staff and students.

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