Owing to recent reforms in the political space and the consequently renewed diaspora - government relations, the past two years have seen an unprecedented rise in the engagement of the Ethiopian diaspora around the world. Tapping into this change of circumstances, Teach and Serve for Africa (TASFA) through its Ethiopian Diaspora Service Initiative (EDSI) has been undertaking numerous projects that create a platform for members of the diaspora to serve their home country in their areas of interest and expertise. Chief among them is the annual knowledge exchange conference which is expected to bring diaspora and local professionals together to exchange ideas and share knowledge and experiences in their fields. Partnering with the International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research Studies (ICIRS) and themed "Resilience in the Face of the Pandemic: From Disruption to Transformation", this year's TASFA-EDSI conference focuses on pandemic related challenges, opportunities, and future prospects in different socio-economic areas. It aims to reflect on how Ethiopia can manage to get through the current crisis, recover, and pursue its ambition for transformation. In addition to the plenary session at which general discussions will be held in different fields, the conference will have multiple breakout sessions focusing on Engineering, Energy, Education, and Information Technology specializations. Panelists for each session will be composed of local and diaspora professionals from both the public and private sectors. Discussions will be facilitated through guiding questions where panelists will reflect on their perspectives and experiences followed by question and answer sessions.

Opening Event - Plenary Session - Required by all Participants

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities across the world in all segments of society and is threatening to bring the world to its knees. Even though the full impact will not be known until it is over, the effect is being felt around the world. According to Congressional Research Service the virus could trim global economic growth by 3.0% to 6.0% in 2020. Global trade could also fall by 13% to 32%. The economic fallout from the pandemic has raised the risk of a global economic recession with levels of unemployment not experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The human cost in terms of lives lost, lives upended, careers derailed, and increased social unrest will permanently affect global economic growth in addition to the rising levels of poverty. Even though the spread of the virus is low (for now) in African countries, the economic impact and spill over from the western world is real. This conference provides a forum to discuss the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and how to prepare for the long path of recovery. 

Information Technology Breakout Session, October 6 - 7, 2020

As we all know, technology is changing our world at a pace that has never been experienced before. The networking and IT infrastructure industry has experienced significant disruption as business drivers, such as accessibility, simplicity, and agility, became essential for the survival of businesses and organizations. These changes have propelled the migration to Cloud and shift to hybrid IT. The Internet is becoming our new network and Cloud is becoming our new data center.

Engineering - Energy - Electric Breakout Session October 6 - 7, 2020

Near-term efforts to increase energy access in Ethiopia face the greatest challenge in modern history, with the confluence of a global pandemic and a severe economic slowdown.  As the country continues to deal with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19, it is critical that Ethiopia invests in the long-term technologies and changes necessary for transforming the national energy landscape. Access to reliable and affordable energy ensures the safety, health, opportunity, and financial security of a community.

K12 and Higher Education

October 5 - 7, 2020
This category of breakout sessions focuses on current issues in the broader field of education. It explores different challenges and opportunities current circumstances have presented to different actors in education - academic institutions, government, students, faculty, and researchers, to name some. The four specific sessions in this category address different issues - including, but not limited to, digital education, crisis management, multiculturalism, research in graduate education, and special need education. The sessions will feature discussions by experts currently residing in Ethiopia and abroad and will attract audience from different types of institutions both in private and public sectors. More detailed information on each of the sessions is presented below.

Contemporary Issues: Multiculturalism, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Online Education

COVID-19 and ethnic tension present two of the most challenging issues in contemporary Ethiopian higher education. This session explores these two major issues in the sector examining current circumstances shaped by historical and contemporary situations and possible future directions.

Doctoral Colloquium

The objective of ICIRS Doctoral Colloquium is to provide a platform for students to discuss their research problems, hypothesis formulation, linking theories to the research topic, peer review journal articles selection, designing research methods, and other related activities. The program is also planned to encourage doctoral students to get a feel for conference presentations, journal publications, and other research-related activities.

Special Education

Special education is alternative instruction, support, and services provided for students who have academic, behavioral, health, physical, or other unique needs beyond those met by traditional educational techniques. Sign up and take part in this important discussion