ILRI scientist honoured by Australian university for contributions to African agricultural research

Azage Tegegne holding his award from JCU

ILRI’s Azage Tegegne is a recipient of the 2013 James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

Azage Tegegne, a senior scientist working with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia has received recognition from Australia’s James Cook University for his outstanding contributions to agricultural research in Africa.

Tegegne, an Ethiopian, was one of 12 recipients of the 2013 James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award given on 26 Jul in Townsville, Australia. The award pays tribute to graduates of the university who ‘have made an outstanding contribution in their field of endeavour and to the community’.

This year’s winners include lawyers, health workers, a school principal, an engineer, a wildlife conservationist and a businessman and represent citizens from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Northern Ireland and the Philippines.

‘I accept this award and honour in the name of my beloved wife, Tsehay Azage, who passed away on 17 Jul 2013’, said Tegegne.

His wife’s funeral took place on 21 Jul in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – just five days before the award ceremony.

‘My wife was an agricultural professional herself with a BSc degree in plant sciences from the Alemaya College of Agriculture at Addis Ababa University, in Ethiopia, and an MSc degree in plant pathology from Imperial College, University of London, in UK. She was a wonderful woman who contributed significantly to my success over the years’, Tegegne said.

Tegegne was honored by his alma mater for his more than 25 years of work, including being a founder member of the Ethiopian Society of Animal Production and a founding fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences. Tegegne has authored or co-authored more than 280 scientific and professional articles in journals, proceedings volumes and book chapters and has supervised and coached more than 65 PhD and MSc/DVM students.

Tegegne, who is deputy representative for ILRI’s director general in Ethiopia, manages one of ILRI’s largest research projects in Ethiopia, called ‘Livestock and Irrigation Value chains for Ethiopian Smallholders (LIVES)’. The project works to support millions of Ethiopian smallholder farmers who depend on livestock and irrigated croplands for their agricultural livelihoods.

Azage Tegegne being awarded his degree

In 2012, Tegegne received an honorary doctorate degree of sciences from Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar University (photo credit: ILRI).

Tegegne is a recipient of several other awards, including an honorary doctorate degree of sciences given to him in 2012 by Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar University in recognition of his contributions to agricultural research and ‘the betterment of farmers’ lives’ in his native country. Earlier this year, he was appointed representative of the Australia Awards Ambassador Initiative of AusAID to help better bridge development efforts between Africa and Australia.

Read more about Azage Tegegne’s 2013 James Cook University Outstanding Alumni Award.

9 thoughts on “ILRI scientist honoured by Australian university for contributions to African agricultural research

  1. It’s a very,very sad situation for our family .I appreciate that you except it with the name of Tsehay .
    she deserve it . Almaz Tegegne

  2. Congratulations, Dr. Azage!! So proud to see one of our own honored this way. You do deserve it, and make all Ethiopians – and ILRIans – very proud!!

    I am sorry it had to coincide with your loss and grieving. I was touched at the beautiful and true image of Tsehay you portrayed at the award. It was as if she was there receiving the award with you.

  3. Congratulations, Dr. Azage! I am proud of you.

    •I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during these difficult times.
    May the memories of Tsehay help you find peace. My collective hearts are heavy with sympathy.

    Emebet Ketema.

  4. Congratulations Dr Azage i am very proud of you and u deserve even more! I am sorry for the loss of ur wife!! Let God be with you and your family.
    Mekonnnen G/Egziabher AA poultry Multiplication Center

  5. Congratulations, Dr. Azage!! I am very proud of you and U deserve even more!

    I am sorry for the loss of Your wife!! Let God be with you and your family.

  6. Congratulations Dr Azage I am so sorry for everything and Tsehay .
    she deserve it more than this . R.I.P Tsehaye
    Getachew Belete ,Adaneche kifle ,Haimanote,Tewdrowes.Yonas and Genzeb

  7. Congratulations Dr. Azage. You worked hard not only for yourself but for others success too. You deserve it!! May the LORD bless you and your family.
    We are sorry for loss of your wife, may the LORD comfort you!

  8. Dear Dr Azage

    It was shocking to hear about your wife Tsehay Azage. I also did my M.Sc from Imperial college and we were hostel fellow at Imperial College Silwoodpark. She was a wonderful lady, very helpful and smiling all the time. May the LORD comfort you. Please contact me on

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