"Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) was established to facilitate ways and to support Ethiopian university students [post graduate and doctoral] while doing their research. It avails the necessary materials including competent advisers working in the global universities to help students in Ethiopia. Promoting indigenous knowledge at the grass root level is also the main concern of Ethiopian intellectuals. And this initiative primarily focuses on assisting the country's education system to render quality education.
The network is important to Ethiopia with diversified socio-cultural indigenous knowledge. It assists students to have ample opportunities to do investigations in their field of study without any difficulties. Currently, the network has more than 1,541 volunteer members with Professors and Ph.D level performing and practicing various academic researches worldwide. The network sets to switch brain-drain challenges to opportunities."
The aforementioned speech was taken from Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) Co-founder, Chairman and Ethiopian Doctoral and Masters Academy (EDMA) Director Prof. Amare Desta. He emphasized that the network is organized and run by Ethiopian and Ethiopian lover professors working abroad. "We have to think beyond the horizon on how to invigorate and interrelate indigenous with scientific knowledge to utilize it for the national development endeavors", he adds.
According to him, these Professors and Doctors have been contributing to bring about a tangible knowledge exchange and provide students here with competent advisory, support and mentorship.
GKEN aspires to cultivate local researchers, promote knowledge exchange initiative and reinforce Ethiopian and Ethiopian born professors' support to the local community. It also promotes sustained local-international scholars to joint work towards knowledge exchange.
Currently, the network is working extensively on knowledge exchange between universities of Africa and abroad. "Having such knowledge exchange network is fundamental to mitigate university students' challenges related to the lack of competent advisers while doing researches."
For instance, over 250 Ph.D graduated students from Jimma University had been offered advisory service by Ethiopian legendary network member professors working in different international universities. Thus, post graduate and Ph.D level students here in Ethiopia have benefited immensely from the network. Competent external advisors from the network are assigned to the students to finalize their research successfully.
He underlined that the network was established in 2011 with the aim of facilitating a sustainable exchange of knowledge for African and friends of Africa researchers, academics, practitioners and students coming from different disciplinary backgrounds in order to exchange and share their knowledge and experiences.
President of Jimma University Prof. Fikre Lemmesa said that the network contributes more to install better experience, exchange knowledge and mentor, supervise and motivate students to research on different areas. "Jimma University has launched a new field of study Ph.D in Economics, Business and Information Science [the first of its kind to the country], with the help of the network", he said.
Thus, the network benefits the university to mitigate its human resource bottlenecks, he underlined.
According to him, Jimma University is committed to widen the network activities and strengthen its collaborative works like launching journals publications together and use the network to internationalize the university's research outputs. Currently, the members of GKEN are providing free supervision and mentorship service to post-graduate and doctoral candidates, he adds.
This time, intensifying efforts in developing competent human powers, advancing such knowledge exchanging networks and investing more on education are essential to manage the impact of brain-drain. Installing best practices of the network creates a good platform to exchange knowledge, present researches and outreach published journals to the global community.
The 35th president of the United States John F. Kennedy once said "Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country". This historic and golden speech is worth to be remembered every day.