On 3 December 2017, the Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN) brought together 55 Australian and African experts from academia, government, the diplomatic service, business and agencies to assess education and research partnerships in development, the engagement of stakeholders, and building sustainable research and exchange programmes. The forum was held alongside the 3rd International Conference on Global Food Security, which took place from 4 to 6 December.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Africa Agenda 2063 and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024) provided a policy framework that will be of mutual benefit to Africa, Australia and the world at large by directing research, education and economic development. The framework should also allow for the provision of the resources required to implement partnerships and programmes.
AAUN forums and workshops are a key instrument in establishing and building such partnerships and programmes.
Following the opening keynote address by Prof Voster Muchenje, University of Fort Hare, South Africa, ten AAUN grant holders (financed by the Partner & Research Development Fund; PRDF) shared their progress reports on projects. The presentations were followed by two panel discussions, the first of which focussed on youth employment and the second on cooperation among universities networks.
The presentations and a summary of the forum’s activities will soon be available on the AAUN website.
Prof Cheryl de la Rey is the Africa co-chair of the AAUN.