“The overriding reason for selecting Ethiopia as place to visit was the December 2010 ‘Building Sustainable U.S. - Ethiopian University Partnerships’ conference held in Addis Ababa,” said Dr. Mahmoud Mansour who travelled to Ethiopia’s capital in December to teach at Addis Ababa University. At the 2010 conference, higher education administrators and faculty from the U.S. and Ethiopia studied ways institutions in both countries could partner.
Mansour’s trip was part of the International Scholars Program at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. His objectives were: 1) to build a sustainable link between Auburn and one of Ethiopia’s public veterinary colleges at Debre Zeit, 2) to provide teaching and to introduce students to the American system of course work, and 3) to lay the ground work for future projects involving research, teaching, and the exchange of faculty and students.
Africa possesses extensive livestock and animal feed resources, but it accounts for a very small proportion of world trade in animal products. Disease is a key barrier for trade possibilities. Animal health standards imposed by importing countries are not met and African countries lack the knowledge, skills, and capacity to rectify the situation. This is particularly the case in areas characterized by large livestock populations and high levels of poverty.
To address the issue, a joint master’s program in transboundary animal disease management aims to strengthen the capacity of national veterinary services in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan. The program seeks to effectively control and manage transboundary and epidemic diseases and to promote safe trade in livestock and animal products according to international standards.
Mansour, who holds D.V.M. and Ph.D. degrees, is an associate professor of veterinary anatomy in Auburn’s Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology. He was the guest lecturer in Addis Ababa University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture.
Abdisalaam Abdullahi Elmi is a student who lives in Debre Zeit, a town south east of Addis Ababa. After attending Mansour’s lectures in ruminant anatomy, he said, “Dr. Mansour is the one who has excited my soul to continue my study.”