Association of African Universities in collaboration with St. Mary’s University organized a three days training workshop, February 6 - 8, 2018, on “University-Industry Linkage for African Universities held at Kaleb Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The training aimed at creating awareness on the importance of strengthening the link between University and Industry through entrepreneurship, strategic planning and technology transfer.

The training workshop was organized in four parts. The first part was devoted to welcoming remark, opening speech and introduction of the program schedule. Dr. Kebede Kassa, Director of Research and Knowledge Management Office of St. Mary’s University welcomed participants of the training workshop from seven African countries namely Ghana, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Botswana, Namibia and Ethiopia. In his welcoming remark, Dr. Kebede Kassa said that “The program is successful in bringing relevant professionals (Vice Chancellors, General Directors and Directors of higher education, Emeritus Professor, etc) together to this platform to deliberate on pertinent issues related to University Industry Linkage in Africa”. He also expressed his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the participants for their zeal and commitment to attend the event.

Mr. Ransford O. Bekoe, Project Officer, Research and Programmees Department, AAU officially opened the program. In his opening speech, he said that “strengthening University Industry linkage is important as it helps to produce competent and qualified graduates who will fulfill the demand of the labor market and create partnership which will mutually benefit the two parties”. He also introduced the program schedule to the participants.

According to the schedule, after the opening remark, the first day was dedicated to the first module which is on “Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Institutions”. This module was handled by Dr. Kebede Kassa. The module is divided into four parts. These are concepts and theories of entrepreneurship, process and context of entrepreneurship, linkages between innovation and Entrepreneurship and Universities and Entrepreneurship.

Emeritus Professor Pai Obanya of University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Institute of Education, was the trainer of the second and the third day training module. The second day of the training was exclusively committed to the second module entitled “Strategic Planning in Universities”. The module consisted of four working sessions. The first working session focused on features of strategic plan, need for strategic planning in higher Education and enabling conditions for the success of a strategic plan. The second working session gave emphasis to situational analysis. In the third working session the following points were discussed: prioritizing the problems, problem tree analysis, solution tree and objective setting.
The fourth working session focused on action planning which constituted strategic interventions, identification of responsible unit, budgeting and determining key performance indicators.

The third day was devoted to the third module entitled “Technology Transfer for University Advancement”. In this session emphasis was given to highlights of technology, technology transfer, University advancement and benefits of technology transfer.

The training was conducted in a participatory manner; a two-way training techniques or an interactive training method was employed where trainees actively participated through asking questions, expressing concerns and sharing experiences and viewpoints.

Closing remark was addressed by Mr. Ransford O. Bekoe, Project Officer, Research and Programmees Department, AAU. In his closing remark, he summarized the program from the beginning to the end. Finally, the participants received certificates from the Emeritus Professor Pai Obanya.

Rahmeto Negash (PhD)