Since it formation in 2010, Global Knowledge Exchange Network (GKEN) has been organising yearly conferences and workshops in the UK and Ethiopia. The aim of the events has always been to create a scientific platform for Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia – academics, researchers and practitioners – in order to implement GKEN’s noble goal of improving the quality of higher education in Ethiopia and across Africa by facilitating the exchanging of knowledge and sharing of experiences amongst the scientific community.


“Giving Value to Education and Research for Nation Building”

15th – 25th April 2019 at Hilton Hotel Addis Ababa and at Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

The grand joint conference began in Addis Ababa at Hilton Hotel and was formally opened by GKEN founder and director Professor Amare Desta and Her Excellency Professor Hirut Woldemariam of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MoSHE) at an event attended by over 400 people, including presidents, vice-presidents and deans of universities from all corners of Ethiopia.

50-strong GKEN delegation travelled to Jimma University, where a ten-day workshop and training event commenced on 16th April. The academics delivered workshops, training and surgery sessions covering a wide range of disciplines, including statistics, medicine and film production.

Popularising Science in Africa”

8th December 2018 at the London South Bank University (LSBU)

The aim of the symposium was to further consolidate and solidify the work of GKEN and African Doctoral & Masters Academic Society (ADMAS). The focus of the event was to explore how academic institutions in Africa can be assisted to help meet the needs of learners and young professionals, using Jimma University as a starting point.

“Accelerating Educational Excellence & Public Health Provision in Africa”

11th – 16th December 2017 in Addis Ababa and Jimma, Ethiopia

The five-day conference and workshop was aimed at providing a global communication forum bringing together academics, practitioners, researchers, policy makers and other stakeholder groups to explore the challenges faced by contemporary societies in accelerating educational excellence in Africa.

Exploring Opportunities for Professional and Personal Development Needs in Africa

10th December 2016 at Queen Mary, University of London

The primary aim of this symposium was to make connections and discuss the optimisation of resource use in order to help meet the needs for professional and personal development of Africans, using Ethiopia as a case study.

Connecting Knowledge and Innovation (K&I)”

14th–18th 2015 at the London South Bank University (LSBU)

The four-day conference was aimed at exploring how African knowledge-based entities can increase their Knowledge and Innovation (K&I), as well as further exploring how best to collaborate with and participate in evidence-based research projects from various disciplines.

Exploring the Role of Education and Health Nodes in Creating a Sustainable Future”

6th – 7th 2014 December at Queen Mary, University of London

The event discussed the best ways to build resilience and use result-oriented teaching and learning approaches that focus on the future. The event also aimed to make an important educational contribution to the creation of a healthy, sustainable future for all.

Exploring the Challenge and Opportunities for Inclusive Innovation and Sustainable Development

23rd – 24th November 2013 at the London South Bank University (LSBU)

The third GKEN event was organised to catalyse on-going conversations and to encourage cooperation on country-level solutions aimed at inclusive innovation and ultimately sustainable development which would benefit the world’s marginalised population.

From Indigenous Knowledge to Innovations and Development in Low-income Countries: The Case of Ethiopia and Sub-Saharan Africa

8th–9th December 2012 at the London South Bank University (LSBU)

The 2nd conference was inspired by the success of the previous conference but added new depth to the flow of knowledge between educational institutions, researchers and practitioners. As a result, GKEN was heading towards becoming a key vehicle in the shifting of knowledge, as well as acting as a forum for community engagement and social and cultural enrichment.

Unlocking the Potential: The Challenges of Communicating and Exchanging Knowledge

17–18 September 2011 at the London South Bank University (LSBU)

The aim of the 1st GKEN conference was to establish a forum for all researchers, practitioners & academics from a variety of disciplines. The conference organisers thereby embarked on the first step towards facilitating the exchange of human and social capital with the aim of advancing higher education in Africa.