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Microsoft and UNDP visit UP to discuss SDGs
24 January 2018
As part of the University of Pretoria’s commitment to focus much of its research, teaching and community engagement on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (ALCRL) and Future Africa hosted representatives from Microsoft and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 18 January 2018.
Partnerships between universities and institutions in the private and public sector are key to the implementation of the SDGs. Prof Elsabé Loots, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, outlined the Faculty’s flagship initiatives in this regard. This includes the launch of Africa’s first sustainable development knowledge hub in 2017. The initiative is devoted to linking African policy makers with research and innovation relevant for the implementation of SDGs.
As the custodian of the SDGs, the UNDP serves as advisor and provides invaluable strategic support. Prof Willem Fourie, Associate Professor at the ALCRL, coordinates the initiative, which will be renamed the African SDG Hub in 2018. It seeks to use technology to transform the way in which African policy makers access research, ultimately transforming the quality and impact of the policies themselves. Microsoft shares this conviction, and is emerging as an important conversation partner.
In 2018 UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will also deepen the integration of the SDGs into its research and teaching. In addition to improving the SDG knowledge hub, the curriculum for Business Management will be changed to include theory and reflection on the role of business in implementing the SDGs. The ALCRL will also be launching Africa’s first Master’s Degree in Development Practice that focuses on interdisciplinary and multisectoral approaches to implementing the SDGs in Africa.
 From left to right: Prof Willem Fourie (Coordinator: African SDG Hub), Prof Bernard Slippers (Director: FABI, Interim Director: Future Africa), Christopher Akiwumi (Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs in Africa and the Middle East, Microsoft), Prof Alex Antonites (Head of the Department of Business Management), Prof Derick de Jongh (Director: Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership), Walid Badawi (Country Director, UNDP), Ahmed Alessawi (Microsoft)


- Author Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership
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Last edited by Liesl OosthuizenEdit
Prof Willem Fourie, Prof Bernard Slippers, Christopher Akiwumi, Prof Alex Antonites, Prof Derick de Jongh, Walid Badawi, Ahmed Alessawi