• 24 November 2014

Africa, into a network of academic excellence

A meeting to take stock of the results achieved in the first twelve months and of what remains to be done in the next eighteen months: the 17th and 18th of November in Lilongue, in Malawi , there was a meeting of the Central Management Committee of Euro- ACP (African , Caribbean and Pacific Group of States ) – Networking for Excellence on Agriculture and Food Security, the project that is financed within the program of cooperation Edulink II that includes the collaboration between Cestas along with some African and European universities .

The project aims to promote the spread of knowledge and experience between different universities, to carry out a review of university curricula and, therefore, improve women’s access to higher education as well as work in the agricultural field.

The meeting was attended by Nada Karaivanova for Cestas, Michael Rudolf and Floran Kroll of the University of the Witwatersrand ( Wits ) in Johannesburg, Wits is the project leader, Martha Nandi of the University of Namibia in Windhoek and Daimon Kambewa of Luanar University of Lilongwe. Representing the European counterpart was Dejan Hribar of the Euro – Mediterranean University ( EMUNI ) , the network of more than 200 academic institutions that will be the model for the construction of a network of sub- Saharan universities from the three already involved. “To promote the exchange of expertise and good practice we are organizing a course for duration of six months in which 24 teachers will participate, 8 for each of the three African universities” – says Nada Karaivanova -. During the course you will speak not only to sustainable agriculture, but also for food safety, according to a broad and interdisciplinary. It will be a true crossroads of knowledge and practices, from sociology to health, from agricultural production on a small scale to urban gardens and school gardens.”

The course will be accompanied by a platform for e -learning hosted on the project website. Thanks to the new knowledge that will be acquired, the teachers will be asked later on to update the existing educational courses and curriculum in their universities.

“This is a new approach for African universities, but there is a clear interest from the professors at the universities,” added Nada Karaivanova . “In these meetings”, Nada concludes, “the role of Cestas is always appreciated for the experience in the management of cooperative projects and for the network of academic relationships that Cestas built over time.”