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UKZN has been awarded two INTRA-AFRICA mobility projects namely MoBreed awarded in 2016 and ACADEMY awarded in 2017.  The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme supports Higher Education co-operation between countries in Africa. The Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme is set up under the Pan-African Programme (Development Cooperation Instrument) and is based on the experience of the Intra-ACP Academic Mobility Scheme. The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible for managing this programme, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), under the supervision of the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development of the European Commission.

The scheme aims to promote sustainable development and ultimately contribute to poverty reduction by increasing the availability of trained and qualified high-level professionals in Africa. The programme’s objective is to improve the skills and competences of students and staff through enhanced mobility between African countries. It envisages that strengthening co-operation between institutions in Africa will increase access to quality education and enable African students to undertake postgraduate studies in the African continent. The scheme also supports the mobility of staff (academic and non-academic) to institutions in Africa within the project.

MoBreed (Mobility for Breeders in Africa) was awarded in 2016. It is a five-year project and is an initiative of five public universities from three African regions and one university in Europe. It aims to advance knowledge on underutilised crops in Africa and increase scholars’ capacity in addressing food security.  The partners in the project include the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, Ebonyi State University in Nigeria, the Jimma University Ethiopia, University of Namibia, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Montpellier SupAgro in France.  Mobreed consortium provides an opportunity for mobility of Masters, PhD, academic and non-academic staff.  Programmes and courses of the consortium are available at https://www.mobreed.com/course.php   For further details on the MoBreed project contact Dr Julia Sibiya on email sibiyaj@ukzn.ac.za.

ACADEMY (African Trans-Regional Cooperation through academic mobility) awarded in 2017, is a five- year project and is an initiative of five public universities from three African regions and one university in Europe as the Technical partner.  The general objective of ACADEMY is to contribute to the promotion of cross-regional continental integration, sustainable and inclusive development. More specifically, it intends to create an open platform as a key instrument for innovation, knowledge sharing and dissemination of good practices within the participating institutions.

It will focus on the implementation of a common inter-regional digital platform between the participating universities. It will encourage creating and sustaining communities of practice by students, teachers, and administrative staff, as well as creating opportunities for mutual learning, intercultural understanding, and exchange of know-how and best practices. The ACADEMY consortium is a funded mobility project providing an opportunity for masters, PhD, academic and non-academic staff to participate at partner institutions in Africa.

The partners in the consortium are University of Aboubekr Belkaid Tlemcen in Algeria, University of Ibadan in Nigeria, University of Cape Coast in Ghana, Kenyatta University in Kenya, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Porto in Portugal as the technical partner.  For further details on the ACADEMY project contact Tasmeera Singh on singht@ukzn.ac.za.

It is envisaged that participation in such mobility projects will contribute to a deeper engagement with our African partners and ensure high quality research and learning endeavours.

Words: Tasmeera Singh