University partnerships between Germany and Africa

Feb 9, 2017

For many years Germany has been a strong supporter of education projects in East Africa. University partnerships play a special role here.

Showcase university of applied sciences

University partnerships between Germany and Africa play a special role Enlarge image University partnerships between Germany and Africa play a special role (© TGCL) Universities of applied sciences offer not only an academic education, but also a great deal of practical experience and a good understanding of the world of work. The concept of the university of applied sciences is widespread in Germany. Other countries are now also becoming interested in the idea. That is why the German Foreign Office and the Kenyan Ministry of Education signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on the establishment of the Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences in Nairobi on February 9.

Working with African partners, German industry and civil society, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German universities of applied sciences, it is intended to create a tailor-made range of degree courses that satisfies the great demand for qualified specialists. The project will establish a model for practically oriented academic training in close partnership with industry and increase the employability of Kenya’s young population. The German Foreign Office regards this higher education partnership as a model initiative for practical cooperation between Germany and the countries of eastern Africa.

Sustainable mining concepts

Kenya is rich in mineral resources. However, it lacks young scientific talent to make sustainable use of these raw materials. The task is a complex one: how can you exploit natural resources without any detrimental effects on nature conservation and tourism? That is why the subject of sustainability will be a major element in the training of young engineers at the Kenyan-German Centre for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management (CEMEREM).

Mining Enlarge image Mining (© picture alliance / dpa) Since the beginning of 2016, Dresden University of Applied Sciences (HTWD) and TU Bergakademie Freiberg have been involved in establishing a German-Kenyan competence centre at Taita Taveta University in Voi, Kenya. At the beginning of April 2017 it will be officially opened as the eighth Centre of African Excellence funded by DAAD. In addition to the opening, the programme for 2017 includes a summer school for Kenyan researchers and students, the first of many envisaged regular CEMEREM conferences and a lively exchange of teachers and students.

Educational research at Moi University

What really matters in education and how can it be improved? Innovative methods and projects in the education sector are developed and tested in the research-oriented Master’s and PhD programmes at the East and South African-German Centre of Excellence for Educational Research Methodologies and Management (CERM-ESA).Students here are inspired by the interchange between German, East African and South African approaches and strengths. “We are moving to unify African countries,” emphasises Master’s student Janet Ronoh. After all, all schools and universities experience the same problem. “That’s why we intend to solve the problems in almost the same way.” The higher education partnership is supported by the DAAD as part of its Centres of African Excellence programme and aims to develop a centre for educational research and management in the Education Faculty of Moi University.

The project partners are the University of Oldenburg, the Moi University (Kenya), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa), the University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and the Uganda Management Institute (Uganda).

Charité in Berlin Enlarge image Charité in Berlin (© picture alliance / Paul Zinken / dpa) Hospital partnership with the Charité

Almost one in 40 of the babies born in Uganda do not live longer than 28 days. That is why improving the health of mothers and their newborn babies is at the centre of a partnership between the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health at the Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Virika Hospital in Fort Portal, Uganda. This collaboration is one of the ESTHER University and Hospital Partnerships supported by the German development agency GIZ. The initiative aims to improve medical care in selected African countries. Mothers and their babies have been treated by highly trained medical staff in a well-equipped modern Neonatal Care Unit at Virika Hospital since 2016.

The path to regional integration

How can countries be united under the umbrella of a political federation? East African Master’s and PhD students at the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL) discover many interesting ideas in direct dialogue with German researchers.

The centre was founded in 2008 as a cooperative project involving the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Bayreuth and is funded by the German Foreign Office as part of the DAAD Centres of African Excellence programme.

x Enlarge image (© Dirk Smelty/German Business Desk Dar Es Salaam) The annual study trips are especially popular and include destinations like Brussels. There participants can find out more about federal governance structures “from the horse’s mouth”, which then enables them to make comparisons between the workings of the European Union and the East African Community (EAC). The scholarship holders come from the partner states of the EAC. In the long term, TGCL programmes will also be opened up to students from other countries.


Five good examples of cooperation

Students studying at a University in Germany

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German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is the largest funding organisation in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars. Founded in 1925, the DAAD supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, assists developing countries in establishing effective universities and advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy. It runs over 250 programmes, through which it funds more than 55,000 German and foreign scholars worldwide per annum.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

The GIZ is responsible for implementing the German government's development policy projects and programs. It was formed in late 2010, from the merger of the German development agencies GTZ (German Technical Cooperation), DED (German Development Service) and InWEnt (Capacity Building International).