Dalhousie, McGill, Jimma and MEDA to boost agricultural education in Ethiopia

Source: “McGill, Dalhousie to boost agricultural education in Ethiopia” on McGill University’s website

McGill’s Faculty of Education and the Institute of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies have joined the lead partner, Dalhousie University, to embark on a 6-year, $18 million project to help Ethiopia enhance their colleges’ Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) programs. Key to McGill’s involvement in the project will be to foster and support gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness.

As Dr. Claudia Mitchell of McGill’s Faculty of Education and her team found in the Project Implementation Mission, the current enrollment of female students, staff and instructors in ATVET programs is relatively low while attrition and turnover rates remain high. Equity and diversity will be addressed through a participatory approach to gender mainstreaming, including the establishment of Gender Offices, with trained personnel, in the four participating ATVETs at Maichew, Nejo, Woreta and Wolaita Soddo, and through training targeting ATVET administration, instructors and technical staff. In addition a Gender and Leadership Community of Practice will be established.

Agriculture forms the base of the East African country’s economy. The most populated landlocked country in the world, Ethiopia’s 88 million inhabitants rely on agriculture for 80% of their total employment and 84% of their exports, while agriculture accounts for only half of their gross domestic product. Soil degradation, overgrazing, deforestation and poor infrastructure are contributing factors.

The project aims to help move Ethiopia towards a market-focused agricultural system better poised to support the country economically, while meeting the needs of both male and female farmers and youth, and the agriculture industry.

The Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE) initiative is funded by the Government of Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, and partners McGill with the Faculty of Agriculture at Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University; the Mennonite Economic Development Associates of Canada; and the College of Agriculture at Jimma University, Ethiopia.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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