Consolidating cooperation with African countries - Universitetet i Agder
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Consolidating cooperation with African countries

The University of Agder is hosting a seminar Monday 9 October dedicated to strengthening collaboration on research and education with the African continent.

The University of Agder (UiA) has over 70 collaboration projects with African countries. There will be more focus on the continent from now on. 

The seminar aims to provide a forum for discussing possibilities to strengthen further the ties to African countries.

The rector Frank Reichert is behind the idea to consolidate collaboration with African countries, and gave senior advisor Øystein Djupedal a mandate to come up with a proposal on how to intensify cooperation with African countries.

A database and a website have been created gathering all existing projects and agreements and was launched last spring. The database shows UiA’s particularly strong cooperation with Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. Users will be also able to find an interactive overview map, where they can navigate from country to country and from project to project.

“The database currently includes more than 70 partnerships and we have the ambition to develop more. The mapping process has been a breakthrough and we hope that the website will be a good tool that can also inspire other universities with similar collaboration,” says Øystein Djupedal. 

Presentation of the action plan

During the seminar, the working group will present an action plan regarding the Africa cooperation projects over to the Rectorate. Concrete measures will be proposed to further consolidate UiA’s project portfolio on the African continent.  The action plan provides an overview of the strategy and recommendations concerning the annual funding.

The working group consist of representatives from different faculties and the University administration.

"We have chosen to concentrate efforts around about five countries and five to ten universities we already cooperate with and which have national priorities set by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We remain though open to cooperation with other countries,” says Djupedal.

Addressing challenges and opportunities

The University of Agder will mobilize resources aiming at enhancing cooperation in six core areas: Innovation, Education, Social and Economic Development, Health, Sustainable Development and Culture, Arts and Music.

“The seminar will provide the opportunity for exchange of perspectives and inter-disciplinary knowledge. The attendants will identify and address challenges related to research and education in the African continent”, says Frank Reichert.

Key notes speakers will be present at the seminar. Among them Dr. Saloshni Naidoo representing the University of KwaZulu-Natal from South Africa, Jon Lomøy, Director General at Norad and Sigbjørn Nedland, music journalist and producer.

The University of Agder is the first university in Norway that will present an action plan encompassing concrete measures regarding strengthening its collaboration with Africa.

A light lunch will be served and there will be some music entertainment during the seminar. We look forward to welcoming all interested parties.

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