College of Business and Economics

AAU aspires to be among the top 10 per-eminent African research, teaching, and community services rendering universities through creation and dissemination of knowledge dedicated to critical inquiry, innovation and public action in an academic community that cultivates and celebrates equity and diversity within the coming decade. Moreover, AAU has a mission to advance knowledge through innovative and creative teaching, research and community services; to respond to national needs, transfer and adapt/adopt relevant technology, while fostering democratic values, ensuring equity and diversity and serving as a center of excellence by way of encouraging robust exercise of academic freedom; developing vibrant graduate programs and nurturing professional competence, a humanistic education, a scientific culture, and producing critically committed and ethically strong citizens.

The number of universities in the country has risen from 8 to 34 as of 2009 since the numbers of the universities in the country were not able to address the growing economic, social and political needs of the country. The expectation of the government is not only training of human resource with various degree levels, but the production of skilled professionals who can come up with innovative ideas and produce researchers with high caliber. There is also a great demand of researchers and professionals that implement the country’s medium-term Growth and Transformation Plan, GTP, (Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic development 2010) the government has embarked as of 2010/11as well as the national need for the future. The Government of Ethiopia is also committed to develop and deepen human capital development in the years to come as reflected in its second generation of growth and transformation plan (GTP-II) which is being drafted by National Planning Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The government of Ethiopia has clearly outlined in its five-year GTP that shall focus on industry-led growth and transformation. The departments of Economics and Management at the College of Business and Economics at AAU will be major departments which contribute to human capital development and enhance managerial capability of the nation. The departments of Economics and Management at the College of Business and Economics at AAU offer both masters and doctoral training which involve coursework and research. The PhD programmes in both departments are very young: the PhD Programme in Economics is the oldest and is only four years old.  The PhD programs of these departments will have a repel effect in building national capacity by educating staff of state universities in the country in those fields.


The economics and management departments at the College of Business and Economics at AAU and Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) at Jönköping University (JU) in Sweden and the department of economics at University of Gothenburg (UGOT) have agreed to enter into a partnership including training and research in PhD education programmes in the subjects of economics and management. The program target PhD candidates among staff at Ethiopian universities and staff at the departments of management and economics at AAU. The overall objective of the partnership is to increase the scientific knowledge of international quality in the fields of economics and management, generated through a sustainable research system within the departments of economics and management at AAU that is used to contribute to Ethiopia´s development aspirations. The nature of this partnership is intended to be inclusive and participatory in terms of process developments and clear and accountable with reference to the line management structure. AAU will offer the PhD degrees delivered in this collaboration, organized as course-based PhD programs in economics and management.

This document proposes a credible capacity building program for PhD training and research collaboration between the department of management (DoM) and department of economics (DoE) of Addis Ababa University (AAU), the department of economics, University of Gothenburg (UGOT) and Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) at Jönköping University. Drawing on JIBS and UGOT’s experience in collaborating with several Sub-Saharan African universities in general and Addis Ababa University, we propose a program with the strategic objective of establishing essential academic capacity in the areas of Management and Economics science in Ethiopia. The collaborative PhD training program specifically involves offering high-quality first year (core or foundation) courses at DoE of AAU through collaboration between AAU, JIBS and UGOT, invitation of PhD candidates for specialization courses at UGOT during the second year, and joint supervision of PhD thesis by faculty from the partner universities, which involves frequent research travels to JIBS/UGOT. The partnership will employ innovative technology and pedagogical innovations to explore the potential of web-based courses, connecting classrooms, and sharing educational resources such as filmed lectures, etc.

The document also proposes a research support program, which aims at improving the research capacity of faculty at AAU. The partnership propose tailored research infrastructure strengthening, visiting scholar, and AAU faculty-led joint research activities between AAU, JIBS and UGOT on areas of high priority for Ethiopia. Following the proposed collaboration, we will contribute to improving analytical capacity in Ethiopia to address Ethiopia’s development challenges through: 1) well-trained academic capacity that is capable and available to carry out the essential research to provide policy advice and play key role in private sector development; and 2) creating and strengthening vibrant research environments at the Department of Economics at AAU that can act as local academic “focal points” of policy-oriented economics science. There will also be strong synergies with the Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) based at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) responsible for real time impact evaluations of the CRGE implementation. Overall, the envisaged partnership will help achieve the strategic vision of AAU (to become one of the top ten prominent universities in Africa) in general and the DoE to become the leading institution in graduate training and research in the country and in Africa.

Benefits and added value for the partnership

JIBS, UGOT and departments of economics and management at AAU see the following motives for each respective engagement;

  • It will give both parties a unique opportunity to learn and study business, economic and development processes in some of the world’s most dynamic environments which match the departments of economics and management at AAU/JIBS/UGOT mission/focus on internationalization;
  • It will give the departments of economics and management at AAU/JIBS/UGOT missions of entrepreneurship, renewal and internationalization an additional and unique content and profile compared with other business schools with similarly broad missions;
  • Activities will be firmly rooted in the core areas of the partners’ research and education, which provides opportunities for faculty to develop further excellence in these areas, while also enjoying the benefits of further resources;
  • Students at various levels at JIBS/UGOT and the departments of economics and management at AAU will benefit from their teachers sharing their experiences and practical examples from an international context. PhD students will learn from each other through collaboration in joint courses and supervision activities;
  • It will build competence among both aspiring junior faculty members at the departments of economics and management at AAU and JIBS/UGOT who want to develop their experience in doctoral education and more senior faculty who will support them to be part of advisory teams;
  • It will initiate a genuine dialogue on international development and corporate social responsibility among students, faculty and other (outside) partners, such as companies and public authorities, based on first hand experiences. This dialogue can be the basis for new projects where social responsibility, sustainability and international developmental work become a critical issue. This will, among other things, create interesting project opportunities for students at various levels and programmes who are interested in projects with a strong international orientation;
  • It will render both departments of economics and management at AAU, JIBS and UGOT valuable knowledge on how to carry out doctoral education that includes components of flexible distance learning modes. This has become increasingly important in a sector where the demand for PhD education is rapidly growing and technology development allows for the development of new pedagogical tools; and
  • It will facilitate the development of new PhD programmes in the areas of economics and management with an international outlook. This will among other things, create interesting project opportunities for PhD students interested in a strong international orientation.