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Monday 15 January 13:53

New grant strengthens Gothenburg-East Africa collaboration

News: Dec 02, 2021

The Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN) is a new strategic joint initiative between Chalmers University of Technology and partner universities in East Africa led by Global Sustainable Futures. SWEAFUN has received 2 million SEK in funding from STINT, The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education. The initiative, that focuses on different aspect of sustainable development, is now starting up and will continue through 2024.

Universities have a unique role to play in global sustainable development. Today´s highly complex challenges call for intensified collaboration across countries, universities and disciplines. The new Sweden-East Africa University Network (SWEAFUN) provides the opportunity to bring together researchers, teachers, and management of all partner universities to build new equitable partnerships with sustainability as common goal.

- The grant enables us to propel collaboration with our East African partners, both in important research areas and on a strategic level. The work ahead addresses matters that are urgent for sustainability, says Magdalena Eriksson, Platform Leader, Global Sustainable Futures.

Stephen Agong- It is extremely exciting to be associated with this great initiative by Chalmers. The partnership between Chalmers University of Technology and JOOUST dates back to 2007. We have had a productive experience and engagement towards advancing scholarship, research and scientific outputs. The fruits of our collaboration are gradually but systematically being realized. A joint meeting between Chalmers and JOOUST in 2019 marked an important milestone in our partnership with this ultimate result of funding towards this new initiative. We look forward to walking into the new initiative together as a larger team of experts and institutions. Our focus on sustainable local and global agenda is a huge capital that will be at our disposal. As a university of science and technology, we are indeed very delighted to be part of this initiative. Having been part of the Mistra Urban Futures for a period extending to slightly over ten years, we have learnt a lot together with the support of Chalmers. The SWEAFUN initiative is one the most unique by bringing on board several universities from the south sharply demonstrating that one of the potential benefits would be strengthening the North-South-South Partnership, says Professor Stephen Agong, Vice-Chancellor, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, JOOUST

Partner Universities

SWEAFUN partner universities include:
• University of Rwanda, Rwanda
• Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya
• Makerere University, Uganda
• Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania
• University of Nairobi, Kenya.
• Chalmers University of technology, Sweden

Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique and Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Tanzania will join the planned workshop in Kigali in 2022.

Thematic working groups

The research activities will be carried out in thematic working groups; Food and Nutritional Health, Sustainable Energy Innovations, Air Quality and Transport, Data Driven ICT – Information and Communication Technologies and potentially Drinking Water Health Assessment.

SWEAFUN will also support strategic efforts in international collaboration at the involved universities. This includes among other things maintaining high-level contacts and coordination between the universities, enabling a lasting equitable partnership that benefits all parties with rich opportunities to mutual learning and innovation.

Strengthens the established East Africa Initiative

The East Africa Initiative was started in 2018 by the Chalmers’s President and CEO, Stefan Bengtsson, and has since 2020 been led by Global Sustainable Futures. Activities in the SWEAFUN initiative will strengthen and be coordinated with already ongoing exchange activities with East Africa.

Questions? Contact Saga Cambon, project leader, Global Sustainable Futures, cambon@chalmers.se


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