Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza takes part in webinar on the partnership between US and African universities

By CTW Team

USIU-Africa’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza was recently part of a webinar hosted by Howard University’s Centre for African Studies in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a US-based policy research organization. The discussion focused on partnerships between African universities and their counterparts in the United States, and the ways in which these partnerships could be expanded for mutual benefit.

Speaking at the event, Judd Devermont, the Africa Program Director at CSIS noted that educational partnerships have been the cornerstone of US relationships with the African continent, further stating that these partnerships also enriched the cultures of the countries involved, while deepening ties between African and United States citizens.

“Since 1950, the US has welcomed about 1.6 million African citizens to various colleges and universities. In 2019 alone, African students are estimated to have contributed $1.7 billion to the US economy. These partnerships have also shaped many African leaders, with about 20% of current African leaders having studied in the United States,” he said.

“American and African institutions are prioritizing cultural exchanges, public-private collaboration, and strengthened university partnerships. There are growing opportunities for expanding international campuses, conducting joint research, and developing e-learning platforms with U.S. and African universities,” he added.

In his remarks, Prof. Zeleza noted that these partnerships between institutions of higher learning were important as they presented a chance for African universities to scale up the reach of their knowledge and creativity.

“Academic collaborations and partnerships between African and American Universities are necessary as they present an opportunity for African institutions to scale up the enormous creativity that they possess. Higher education on the African continent, however, suffers from a shortage of funding, research productivity, poor governance, diversity and inclusion issues, among other challenges, which make it necessary to have increased support for the higher education sector from various stakeholders, including the private sector and the government,” he said.

This sentiment was reiterated by the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe, who noted that it would be possible to develop mutually beneficial co-equal programs, depending on the United States’ resources.

“These programs could be taught in hybrid mode, and must include staff and students moving between US universities. In doing so, we disrupt many stereotypes and histories that hinder the notion that knowledge knows no borders and boundaries, and that scholarship is genuinely global, with ‘global’ not just [referring to] Europe and North America, but the rest of the world connected by transformative and impactful knowledge,” he said.

You can watch the full webinar here.

Social Media