VC visits Austria to discuss partnership with IIASA and participate in Africa Uninet launch conference

Posted on February 07, 2020

During a recent visit to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), University of Pretoria (UP) Vice-Chancellor Professor Tawana Kupe met with IIASA Director General and CEO Dr Albert van Jaarsveld and with members of the IIASA external relations team where he learnt more about the IIASA research agenda. He also met with representatives of the IIASA World in 2050 (2050) initiative, the IIASA Integrated Solutions for Water, Energy, and Land (ISWEL) initiative, and the IIASA ScaleWAYS project, to learn more about their work related to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Tawana Kupe and IIASA Director General and CEO Albert van Jaarsveld.

The meeting was followed by an all-staff lecture, where Prof Kupe talked about the role of universities in achieving the SDGs. Both the bilateral meeting and the lecture led to discussion on research synergies between UP and IIASA in meeting the SDGs and additionally on working towards the African Union Agenda 2063. Discussions also touched on the work of the Gauteng Research Triangle (GRT) and the joint breakfast colloquium that was held with IIASA at the National Research Foundation in December 2019 and the possibility of IIASA to be more involved in collaborating with UP on the GRT.

The Africa Uninet meeting that took place from 30-31 January 2020 in Vienna was well-attended with representatives from 63 African universities and research institutions and 19 Austrian universities and research institutions. This was the first general assembly of the Africa Uninet and focused on approving and setting up the governance structure, research agenda and work programme for 2020. Prof Kupe was elected as the country representative for South Africa in Africa Uninet. He was pleased that he managed to get a representative from SADC to be a member of the six-person governing board of Africa Uninet (Dr Zena Mabeyo, Institute of Social Work, Tanzania). A funding call for Africa Uninet members will be launched during February 2020.

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