Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 124

Thought leader
Why global partnerships matter
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are wide-ranging and focus
on the world’s most intractable problems. The United Nations (UN)
recognises that the goals cannot be met by people working in silos, and
have included ‘partnerships’ as the 17th goal. One of the specific targets
is to “Enhance North–South, South–South and triangular regional and
international cooperation on and access to science, technology and
innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms.”
Danie Visser assesses what should be done to achieve this.
There are arguments that internationalisation – because
of the domination of the global north, and a perceived
relative disinterest in Africa – is another form of
colonisation; Africa, it has been argued, should remove
itself from the international stage and develop its
own intellectual strengths and identities. Attempts by
African institutions to become global institutions, argues
Hawawini, “may divert them from their fundamental
mission to educate their home-based students and help
them become effective global citizens”.
There is, of course, an opposing view: Teferra argues,
for instance, that Africa’s higher education system
suffers considerably from being the least internationally
engaged in the world: “it relies heavily on the discourse,
paradigms and parameters set by others, rendering it
vulnerable to global whims”.
Similarly, Connell has argued strongly that mainstream
social science presents a picture of the world that is
heavily dominated by the educated and affluent in
Europe and North America. She cites, for instance,
Giddens’ reading list at the end of Runaway World –
subtitled ‘how globalisation is shaping our lives’ – in which
every one of the 51 books is published in the ‘metropole’
– urban and cultural centres of the global north.
ARUA, a partnership of research universities in Africa, was
launched in early 2015 as a response to the growing challenges
faced by African universities. The alliance will form a hub that
supports centres of excellence in many other universities across
the continent. The focus is on building indigenous research
excellence to enable the continent to take control of its future
and assert itself as a powerful global force.
ARUA universities
Ghana University of Ghana
Ethiopia Addis Ababa University
Kenya | University of Nairobi
Nigeria University of Lagos
University of Ibadan
Obafemi Awolowo University
Rwanda University of Rwanda
Senegal Université Cheikh Anta Diop
South Africa University of Cape Town
University of KwaZulu-Natal
University of Pretoria
Rhodes University
Stellenbosch University | University
of the Witwatersrand
Tanzania University of Dar es Salaam
Uganda Makerere University


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