The University of Pretoria (UP) has become the first South African partner of the Michigan State University-led Alliance for African Partnership (MSU-AAP), reports Pretoria East Rekord.
On Tuesday, the university was formally admitted as the 10th member of the alliance when UP and Michigan State University signed a memorandum of understanding.
UP spokesperson Thamie Mthembu said the alliance focused on using its collaborative and cross-disciplinary platform to address global challenges on six interconnected themes, agri-foods systems, culture, health and nutrition, water, energy and the environment, youth empowerment, and education.
“MSU-AAP seeks to promote sustainable, effective and equitable long-term partnerships among African institutions, Michigan State University and other international collaborators,” he said, adding that UP was committed to making a difference in transforming the continent.
Michigan State University Provost Professor June Pierce Youatt signed the memorandum of understanding with University of Pretoria vice-chancellor and principal Professor Tawana Kupe at a ceremony held at UP.
“We are pleased to have the University of Pretoria join the Alliance for African Partnership representing South Africa,” said Youatt.
“We are looking forward to integrating them into the consortium starting with our collaboration on the AAP African Futures early career researchers programme. This is just a starting point for the mutually beneficial relationship that UP and the rest of the AAP member institutions will undertake.”
Kupe said the University of Pretoria considered MSU-AAP membership as an important extension of its current strategic networks and platforms in and related to Africa, including the African Research Universities Alliance, the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture, and the Australia-Africa Universities Network.
“All of which provide an even broader reach for any collaborative activities undertaken by UP and AAP,” said Kupe.
UP’s new Future Africa campus, the first ever pan-African research institute on the continent, affirms the university’s commitment to Africa’s sustainable development.
The research institute was launched in April this year and is aimed at promoting trans-disciplinary research looking to transform the world through African research excellence.