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Sub-Saharan Africa

UG’s cooperation with Sub-Saharan Africa (1980s-2018)

For many decades now, the University of Groningen has cooperated with African researchers, African partner universities and other stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa. Cooperation often takes place in the framework of capacity building projects in very diverse fields, yet this is certainly not exclusively the case. Indeed, many UG researchers, support staff and students across the university, either individually or through international networks and funding schemes contribute to addressing global and/or African (interrelated) research themes with African counterparts and African (PhD) students, such as inclusive growth (including youth employment, SMEs, and gender), climate change, biology, astronomy, agriculture/food security, health, infrastructure (including energy), education, technology diffusion and capacity building, and peace/conflict (institutions for governance, especially in fragile or failing states).

It is widely acknowledged that Africa will shape the future. Africa's population, which is currently over 1.2 billion people, is said to double by 2050 (and to quadruple by 2100). Its urban population is expected to triple by 2050. Already in around 40 African countries, over half of the population is under 20 years of age. Only 9% of Africa’s young people are enrolled in HE, compared to 33% worldwide (sources: DFID and World Bank). The challenges that Africa is facing already affect Europe and the wider world, and they require a joint, multidisciplinary approach, including from HEIs such as UG. At the same time, Africa’s demographic growth offers opportunities, for its young and talented population will not only demand access to quality (tertiary) education - which Europe can help provide, but also show (innovative) entrepreneurship.

For the above reasons, and for the sake of diversity and inclusion (two of UG’s key values) UG intends to continue to engage with Africans and sub-Saharan partner universities in a comprehensive, sustainable way, by focusing on research, education, and societal impact. For this, UG’s central (policy) departments International Strategy & Relations/ISR and Strategy, Education and Research/SER work closely together with the faculties, academics and students, with UG’s interfaculty Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG) and with the African Student Community (ASC), to create synergy between internal and external policies and networks.

Last modified:12 March 2018 4.33 p.m.
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