University of Pretoria (UP) Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Tawana Kupe and Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) Executive Director Professor Tade Aina formalised the strategic partnership between the two institutions during a virtual signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday, 21 September.
PASGR is a pan-African non-profit organisation established in 2011 and located in Nairobi, Kenya, with engagements in over 25 African countries focused on enhancing research excellence in governance and public policy for society’s overall well-being. The strategic partnership between UP and PASGR will be anchored by the collaborative Master’s Programme in Research and Public Policy and the Doctoral Programme in Public Policy offered together with the University of Ibadan and University of Nairobi. Collaboration will also focus on research and policy training for early and mid-career researchers, and collaborative research grants on important policy issues in Africa.
The partnership with PASGR is very much aligned to UP’s strategic goal to become the leading African-global university. This strategic goal seeks to develop a globally competitive and recognised research institution responsive to societal challenges, particularly in Africa. UP’s four transdisciplinary platforms, (i) the Future Africa Campus and Institute, (ii) Javett Art Centre, (iii) Engineering 4.0, and Innovation Africa@UP will play a leading role in this regard. For the UP-PASGR collaboration, Future Africa will be an instrumental science-policy platform for hosting transdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners, including policymakers from the continent and the rest of the world in the co-creation of knowledge to address complex governance and public policy challenges facing Africa.
During the virtual ceremony, Prof Kupe noted that “this MoU provides a visible manifestation of agreed strategic collaboration and a shared commitment to the leveraging of our collective intellectual capital, expertise, resources, and capacities in the advancement of our well-aligned visions and strategic priorities”.
PASGR Executive Director Prof Aina added that the MoU “is also a reinforcement for building the next generation of public policy researchers and leaders in Africa”.