What is TAAAC?
The Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) assists Ethiopians in identifying and implementing solutions to some of their nation’s most pressing challenges through training and education. This partnership brings together faculty and learners at the University of Toronto (U of T) with colleagues at Addis Ababa University (AAU). Together, they support AAU in preparing the specialist professionals Ethiopia needs, while building upon U of T’s commitment to global citizenship and international engagement. By developing and strengthening AAU’s graduate medical and academic programs, we are building capacity in Ethiopia to train their own professionals. This will lead to a robust and accessible healthcare system, an improved economy, and pre-empt food insecurity and unemployment. Together, we are building a better future for Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is amongst the poorest and least materially-resourced countries in the world. Of the 110 million people in the country, approximately 30 per cent live on less than $2USD a day. Despite remarkable economic growth over the last 10 years, without more trained professionals in all fields, Ethiopians are struggling to cope with emergent and lingering health issues, poverty, deforestation, food insecurity and a lack of well-functioning infrastructures.
How does TAAAC work?
TAAAC recruits and sends faculty from U of T and affiliated hospitals to AAU for a month in small well-organized teaching teams. AAU pays for the fares and accommodation. In Ethiopia, these volunteers teach and co-develop graduate programs under the leadership and guidance of AAU faculty. Once trained, graduates from this collaboration are hired to expand AAU’s faculties and those of the 50 new Ethiopian universities that have opened since 2008. In time, each program becomes capable of replicating itself locally, independent of the need for U of T assistance.
Does TAAAC work?
By 2018, TAAAC has helped train more than 250 professionals, with more than 90 per cent remaining in Ethiopia. By facilitating excellence in academic research and practice, a new generation of confident and competent young Ethiopians will help fulfill their country’s great potential. As a result, AAU is emerging a magnet centre of excellence for education in sub-Saharan Africa and an internationally significant research university.
How was TAAAC established?
In 2003, AAU requested assistance from U of T to establish Ethiopia’s first residency training program in psychiatry. This led to an educational partnership between the psychiatry departments at the two universities. The success of this collaboration produced a workable, effective model for accelerating the creation of medical specialists in Ethiopia embraced as a model collaboration for AAU and led to the establishment of TAAAC in 2008, transforming the initial project into a unique multidisciplinary educational initiative that co-builds, supports and strengthens capacity and sustainability for post graduate training in medical and academic programs at AAU.
Today, we have more than 29 department and division partnering across five faculties.
- Applied Science & Engineering
- Library Sciences
- Critical Care Medicine
- Emergency Medicine
- Family and Community Medicine
- Health Science Education
- Internal Medicine
- Medical Imaging
- Pediatric Ophthalmology
- Radiation Oncology
- Speech Language Pathology
- Social Work
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