UNT Libraries received a U.S. Department of State grant to establish innovative collaborations and partnerships with Jimma and Mettu Universities in Ethiopia.
In February 2015, Daniel Alemneh, UNT Libraries Digital Curation Coordinator and College of Information Adjunct Professor, and Mark Phillips, UNT Assistant Dean for Digital Libraries, traveled to Ethiopia to meet with Jimma University officials. Based on needs identified during this kickoff meeting, Jimma University organized training in collaboration with University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, and Texas Digital Library, with support from the United States Embassy in Addis Ababa.
Daniel Alemneh returned in July along with James Creel, Texas A&M Libraries Senior Lead Software Applications Developer, to provide training on open access and institutional repositories; electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) lifecycle management; and advanced DSpace administration, configuration and customization. DSpace is an open source repository software package typically used for creating open access repositories for scholarly and/or published digital content. The main focus of the training was improving the institutional repository of the universities through the employment of this software’s functionalities.
More than 40 professionals from Jimma University, Mettu University, and Addis Ababa University attended the four-day training session at Jimma University in Jimma, Ethiopia. The participants were able to install and manage their own servers on Windows and Linux platforms and experiment hands-on with controlling access, metadata, submission, and information discovery interfaces. The excellent computing facilities and expert technical support at Jimma University made these technical accomplishments possible.
The primary goal of the U.S. Department of State grant was to establish innovative partnerships between higher education institutions in Ethiopia and in the U.S. The specific objectives were to:
- grow mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships between U.S. and Ethiopian universities and colleges
- introduce new higher education institutions to U.S. and Ethiopian partnerships
- strengthen the skills and experience of faculty and administrators in both countries in developing and implementing partnerships
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