Arba Minch University

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Arba Minch University
Arba Minch University
Type Government
Established 1986
President Dr. Damtew Darza
Students 20,000
Location Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Language English

Arba Minch University in Ethiopia, is situated at the foot of the Gamo Gofa mountain ranges facing the Abaya Lake, forming part of the East African Rift Valley It was founded in the late 1980s.

With an objective to address water-related issues, the then Arba Minch Water Technology Institute (AWTI) was established in September 1979 EC (1986). AWTI offered short and long-term training; conducting research, and consultancy services in the water sector.

Until 1993, the institute was under the Water Resource Commission and was then transferred to the Ministry of Education. In the wake of the nation’s development plan to produce qualified manpower, the institute was scaled up to the level of university as Arba Minch University in 2004.

The Commissioner of WRC, Mr Alem Alazar, said the purpose of the institute was to train middle level professionals (diploma-level and BSc degree) to narrow the gap between the professional position and the low-level technicians.

Arba Minch Water Technology Institute started its academic function in September 1986 by accepting 181 students in two degree, two advanced diploma and two diploma programs.

The objectives were to provide theoretical and practical education designed to produce manpower, to conduct basic and applied research to ensure the effective utilization of water resources for the development of the country, and to conduct refresher courses for organizations working in the field of water.

The 1980s and early 1990s[edit]

Academic programs of AWTI in the 1980s and early 90’s were as follow: Certificate programs: Electrical Maintenance Technician course (12 months), Hydro-Meteorological Observers’ course, Water wells drillers course (6 months), Water Works maintenance course (6 months), Water Supply Operators’ course (6 months), Motor Mechanics course (6 months), Community Participation promotion officers training course (6 months), Welders and plumbers training course (3 months), Practical Hydrological training course (2.5 months), Trainers training course (1.5 months).

Diploma Program: (two-year duration): Special drillers course, Meteorological Observers’ course, Assistant Meteorologist course, Soil Laboratory Technology, Hydrology, Water Treatment Technology.

Advance Diploma Program (three-year duration): Irrigation Engineering, Sanitary Engineering, and Hydraulics Engineering. Degree Program (5-year): Irrigation Engineering, Hydraulics Engineering, Sanitary Engineering, In 1988, the first 45 batches of students were graduated from AWTI in diploma courses. In the 1989, 47 of the first batches of advanced diploma were also graduated.


  • 1997: AWTI was restructured as Arba Minch Technology Institute (AMiT) with the establishment of three departments for degree programs - Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
  • 2001: the Meteorology Department was established to provide diploma and postgraduate degrees. Computer Science and IT & Architecture were added.
  • 2002: the institute started postgraduate programs in Hydraulics & Hydropower and Irrigation Engineering.
  • 2004: Hydrology & Water Resource and Meteorology were started.
  • 2002: the School of Graduate Studies came into being. It introduced MSc in Electrical Power Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering and Water Supply and Environmental Engineering.
  • 2003: the College of Business & Economics came into being, situated at Chamo Campus.
  • 2008: the College of Social Science & Humanities started, situated at Chamo Campus.
  • 2004: the College of Natural Sciences at Abaya Campus was set up.
  • 2007: the College of Agriculture and College of Medicine & Health Sciences were established, situated at Nech Sar Campus.
  • The College of Agriculture has shifted to the new Kulfo Campus.

The present[edit]

The university runs 39 undergraduate programs, 30 graduate programs, and a Ph.D program.

AMU consists of an institute and five colleges which are situated across the university’s five campuses i.e. Main Campus, Abaya, Chamo, Kulfo and Nech Sar.

Student enrolment[edit]

Year Male Female Total
1986-87 171 6 176
1987-88 174 10 184
1988-89 223 11 234
1989-90 178 1 179
1990-91 170 6 176
1991-92 143 7 150
1992-93 134 7 141
1993-94 134 2 136
1994-95 137 3 140
2005-06 11983 4565 16548
2013-14 23329

College breakdown[edit]

  • IoT hasa overall 9394 students (male 7382, female 2012).
  • College of Natural Sciences: 1751 students (male 1117, female 634).
  • College of Agriculture: 730 students (male 487, female 243).
  • College of Medicine & Health Sciences: 1198 students (male 891, female 307).
  • College of Business & Economics: 2389 students (male 1395, female 894).
  • College of Social Sciences & Humanities: 1086 students (611 male, 475 female).
  • PG Students: AMU has 494 (male 461, female 33).
  • Weekend and summer PG students: 373 (male 351, female 22).
  • Continuing & Distance Education (evening and weekend): 2049 (male 1383, female 666).
  • Summer category: 3166 (male 2634, female 532).
  • Distance section: 699 (male 479, female 220).

The teaching is carried out by 1450 local instructors and 96 expatriate staff (86 Indians, 7 Filipinos, I German, I British and 1 Italian).

In 1986 there were 1673 graduates (male 1626, 47 female), and after 18 years (2013–14) 23,329 students, which is ten-fold rise in student enrolment.

Skyline of Arba Minch University's campus

College and institutes[edit]

The university consists of the following academic units:[1]

  • Institute of Technology [IoT]
    • Architecture and Urban Planning
    • Hydraulics & Water Resource Engineering
    • Water Supply & Environmental Engineering
    • Water Resource & Irrigation Engineering
    • Civil and Urban Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Information technology
    • BSc in Production & Metal Engineering
    • MSc in Engineering Materials
  • College of Natural Sciences
    • Biology (including M.Sc.)
    • Chemistry (including M.Sc.)
    • Geology
    • Mathematics (including M.Sc.)
    • Meteorology and Hydrology (including M.Sc.)
    • Physics
    • Statistics
    • Sport Science
    • MSc in Wildlife Management
    • MSc in Material Science & Engineering
  • College of Business and Economics
    • Accounting And Finance
    • Economics (including M.A.)
    • Tourism Management
    • Management
    • MA in Development Economics
    • MSc in Agricultural Economics
  • College of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Medicine
    • Public Health (including M.Sc.)
    • Nursing
    • Medical Lab Sciences
    • Midwifery
    • School of Medicine
    • BSc in Radiology
    • BSc in Anesthesia
  • College of Social Science and Humanities
    • History & Heritage Management
    • Sociology and Social Anthropology
    • English language and Literature (TEFL)
    • Ethiopian Languages and Literature [ Amharic ]
    • Law
    • Geography and Environmental studies (including M.Sc.)
    • Civics and Ethical Studies
    • Psychology
    • Pedagogical Unit
    • PG in Social Anthropology
    • UG in Development Studies
  • College of Agricultural Sciences
    • Plant Science
    • Animal & Range Science
    • Rural Development and Agricultural Extension
    • Horticulture
    • Natural Resource Management
    • MSc in Agronomy
    • MSc in Sugarcane Production Technology

environment for learning and teaching

  • Increase the revenue, minimize the costs

Student life and residences[edit]

Students in the regular program are accommodated on campus. Students participate in departmental and inter-collegian sports tournaments. The university provides indoor and outdoor sports facilities.