UP and Afrobarometer to collaborate on boosting research skills among young African researchers

Posted on September 22, 2021

The University of Pretoria (UP) and reserach network Afrobarometer (AB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a collaboration to boost research and analysis skills among young African researchers.

The agreement was signed by UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe and Afrobarometer CEO Joseph Asunka at a virtual event.

Afrobarometer is a non-partisan, pan-African research network. Headquartered in Ghana, it is the world’s go-to source for reliable data on African citizens’ experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance and quality of life. Through an extensive programme of analysis and communications, it makes its findings accessible, visible, and policy relevant.

Under this three-year agreement, the institutions commit to co-hosting the annual Afrobarometer Summer School, where African researchers are trained in introductory and advanced statistics and their application to the analysis of Afrobarometer survey data. UP academics, students, and other stakeholders will also be introduced to Afrobarometer survey research.

The partners will co-develop training materials and tools to introduce students to the collection, analysis, and communication of public opinion data. They will also cooperate on analyses and publications, thematic seminars, fundraising for joint activities, mentorship, and other capacity-building initiatives.

Prof Kupe said, “We are pleased to be partnering with Afrobarometer, a leading source of reliable data on what Africans are thinking, and we look forward to increasing our networks and collaborations with them and other like-minded institutions, nationally and internationally. Research is important in informing policy and I believe our students and academics can only benefit from Afrobarometer’s experience and expertise.”  

Asunka said the collaboration advances Afrobarometer’s strategy of partnering with leading African universities on a range of initiatives, including encouraging the use of Afrobarometer data in teaching and learning. “Globally, there is an emphasis on evidence-based policy making to address challenges of poverty, unemployment, and crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, and this requires both the availability of high-quality data and the capability to analyse and communicate the findings to key stakeholders, policy makers, and advocates.

“Through this partnership, we will lay a strong foundation and inspire a cohort of young researchers and analysts to contribute to African development through research. It will also help ensure that data about Africa is collected, analysed, and communicated by Africans.” 

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