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Exploring Decolonisation in Ethiopia: A discussion to explore the relevance of decolonising Ethiopian scientific knowledge production and societal development

The discourse of decolonisation has become increasingly salient to Ethiopian universities and research institutes, as well as public discussions, although critical thinking around the dominance of western secularism has existed for a while in theological and religious studies circles. Ethiopia was not physically colonised, however, reflecting the neo-colonial era internationally, Ethiopia – like other African countries – has been experiencing significant cultural and religious erosion through what is understood as cognitive, conceptual, linguistic and theoretical colonisation. This erosion is implied in the transference of western knowledge, systems and standards in education and international development (including the very concept of the ‘university’ or ‘development’) brought about in Ethiopia with modernisation processes and efforts under the last monarch of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, and in subsequent eras.

This webinar aims to explore in a collegiate and conversational manner between project dldl/ድልድል and EMIRTA/ እምርታ Institute of Research, Training and Development in Ethiopia the relevance and value of decolonisation movements and decolonial reflexivity in the context of Ethiopian scientific knowledge production, especially as relevant to societal development.

The aim is to draw attention to the neglect of indigenous knowledge in many of the disciplines engaged by project dldl/ድልድል, such as gender studies, public health and development studies, and to draw implications for how the project could achieve meaningful impact for real communities in Ethiopia by engaging substantively with their own systems of knowledge and understandings.


Romina Istratii, PI of project dldl/ድልድል

Zinawork Assefa, Director of EMIRTA/ እምርታ


Kassu Jilcha (PhD)

Kassu has a Doctor of Philosophy degree awarded from Addis Ababa University (AAU), Institute of Technology in the School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in 2017. Since 2018 he serves as Director for Students Career Development in AAU. Since 2017 to present he has been assistant professor in Wollo, ASTU and AA University and between 2010 and 2017 as lecturer in Wollo university. In addition, between 2010 and 2011 he served as Head of Registrar in Wollo University, as Academic Quality Assurance head from 2011 to 2013 and as Entrepreneurship officer from 2011 to 2012.

Taddese Zerfu (PhD)

Taddese is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security (GAAFS), University of Edinburgh, UK. Has has served as a clinician, assistant professor of public health/Human Nutrition; Senior Research Advisor of Maternal and Child Health Directorate, Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia and Senior Nutrition Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Health. Taddese’s research focuses on improving our understanding of the nexus between Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health (ANH). Specifically, he is interested in the complex interactions between livestock farming, animal source food consumption, and maternal and child nutrition. He is also interested in investigating maternal and child health-related issues in low- and middle-income settings. Taddese is the winner of the 16th Tore Godal Annual Prize, a prestigious award given to young researchers in Ethiopia who write papers on topics related to infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Tariku Nigatu Bogale (PhD)

Tariku is a public health specialist with more than 15 years of experience in Africa. He earned first and second degrees in public health from Alemaya and Gondar Universities, respectively. Tariku received his PhD in public health, with focus on newborn health, from the University of Gondar in 2019. He obtained graduate level certificates from the University of Washington in the USA and the Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) in South Africa. He has worked as a health center director, as an academician and program implementer in government, private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Tariku also served as a member of the Ethiopian National Research Advisory Council (RAC) at the Ministry of Health and as e-learning faculty for the Mayo Clinic, USA. He has published various peer-reviewed research articles in Ethiopian and international journals. He has authored and co-authored various technical and programme briefs in areas of family planning, maternal, newborn and child health, HIV and AIDS and adolescent sexual reproductive health among others targeting decision makers with the aim of influencing policies and guidelines at national and subnational levels.

Register to attend the open discussion on Eventbrite.

About EMIRTA/ እምርታ:

EMIRTA/ እምርታ aims to be a centre for research, training, and social development in Ethiopia by:

a) Conducting high quality and in-depth research on religious, cultural, social, educational and related scientific issues;

b) Providing professional and quality advanced training in research, vocational and other development sectors;

c) Consulting and implementing various social development activities.

d) Working with international and national governmental and non-governmental institutions

Watch the full presentations and discussion with the audience below.