Dr Elfneh U. Bariso, chair of AHEAD, gave a key note speech at the second National Symposium of Bule Hora University held from 3-4 June 2017. 

Elfneh was  born into a pastoralist community where his desire to attend primary school conflicted with his childhood duties caring for cattle. His father was completely opposed to letting Elfneh go to school. However, Elfneh's determination and resourcefulness led him to high educational achievements, including a PhD at London University.

When he gave the keynote address on Education for Pastoralist Communities at Bule Hora University Ethiopia  he spoke with unique authority on practical issues as well as the current literature. He has has been part of the Dadamac Network for well over ten years. 

This information below comes from the website of the charity that Elfneh founded, and where he gives his time freely AHEAD - Action for Health Education and Development.

His presentation entitled, “A Critical Analysis of Approaches to Education for Pastoralist Communities” stimulated a heated debate. He raised many issues based on the current literature on the topic and reflections of his own pastoralist, academic and professional experiences.

Elfneh explained AHEAD’s contributions to providing facilities such hostels for orphan girls from pastoralist communities. He analyzed various types of schools – from formal to informal mobile schools appraised their strengths and weaknesses.

He elaborated how both indigenous knowledge systems and western knowledge systems can be integrated into school curriculum and development intervention strategies to exploit the best of both worlds to improve and sustain the livelihoods of pastoralist communities whose lifestyles are under serious threats from natural and man-made factors.

Elfneh warned against any imposition from outsiders and called for a holistic mutual cooperation which enables the local communities to partake fully in development projects.