Kelbessa has held visiting posts at various institutions including the University of Rostock, Germany (2005), Stellenbosch University, South Africa (2005), the University of Greifswald, Germany (2007-2008), the Technical University of Dresden [TU Dresden], Germany (2011), the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany (2011, 2015, 2019, 2020, and 2022), and the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (2022). He has travelled widely and visited various universities and has given invited lectures and conference papers in Africa, Europe, America, Asia, and Australia. He is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), The British Council, UNESCO, The Leche Trust, the Fulbright Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Africa Oxford Initiative.
In 2012, he was appointed a member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) by the Director-General of UNESCO, on which he served until 2019. He was a member of the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) from 2015 to 2017, and a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. He is currently a member of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and serves as a member of several other international professional associations. Moreover, he was a member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Ethics and has served on the Editorial Boards of various journals including Health Care Analysis, the African Journal of Environmental Ethics and Values, the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, and Environmental Values.
Professor Kelbessa will be delivering a keynote speech on ‘Indigenous Climate Knowledge in Africa and the Need for Global Climate Justice’ on Friday 24th November 2023. Details of how to register for this event will be published soon.