More than 30 University of Michigan (UM) community members traveled to Addis Ababa in January 2015 to participate in a symposium assessing the progress that the EM-PACE program has made thus far in expanding collaborations between UM and institutions in Ethiopia, and determining goals for the future.
The Medical School was one of several UM partners on a grant funded in 2013 to create a transformative platform for collaboration in Ethiopia addressing some of the most pressing problems identified by country leadership. Supported by the Global Challenges for Third Century grant from the Office of the Provost, investigators of the EM-PACE program (Ethiopia-Michigan Platform for Advancing Collaborative Engagement) sought to develop and codify a UM model for collaboration in order to position the University as a preferred institutional partner in future collaborative efforts. Nearly three-dozen students from across the UM campus traveled to Ethiopia to work on research projects as part of the grant during Summer 2014. Another group of students will close out funded projects during Summer 2015.
The Michigan delegation to the January 2015 symposium included grant co-investigators (see more information here) and their colleagues, members of the UM Office of the Provost, and other UM faculty who are conducting/exploring projects in Ethiopia. In addtiion to UM representatives, the symposium was attended by more than 60 leaders, faculty, residents, and students from medical institutions across Ethiopia. Also in attendance were various government officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tedros Bebbreyeysus, who presented the opening Keynote.
The two-day program included sessions led by faculty from both UM and Ethiopia (many of whom are shown in the photo below), which focused on education, faculty development, and research collaborations. Themed breakout sessions and bi-lateral discussions helped to develop a list of actionable tasks on topics of interest to the participants and other stakeholders. Such topics included: Seed grants; design of assessment and technology implementation to support humanitarian needs in transportation and health; development of STEM graduate education and research; medical school education and faculty development; water science and technology, health and planning; electrical engineering and computer science; healthy cities; and vulnerable populations.