Quinn: Western looks to expand partnership with Africa

By Joanna Quinn
October 11, 2012

On Thursday, Oct. 18, Western will host a number of its African partners from universities and governments across the African continent, along with leaders from government, funding agencies, research partners and other universities across Canada.

True Partnerships with Africa is a one-day symposium hosted by Western’s Africa Institute. The meeting is intended to both showcase Western’s engagement in Africa and open up much bigger questions related to how the work being done there could be done better.



Over the course of the day, attendees will explore what a true partnership with African colleagues looks like; think about different dimensions of risk management; and engage in dialogue about how the changing face of Africa is likewise changing Western’s involvement there.

Ambassadors and high commissioners from at least five of Western’s partner countries, including Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda, will be in attendance, as will representatives from Western’s university partners in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. It’s a unique moment for us to connect with our African partners. We have the opportunity to learn from them, and to partner with them to improve the quality of the work we do in a way that is both functional and supportive.

We also want to engage our colleagues at Western and our friends and neighbours in the London community. Among the featured events open to both communities include a book launch with H.E. Mathaba Tsepa, High Commissioner from Lesotho, 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in SSC 9420; True Partnerships with Africa 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 in the Great Hall, Somerville House; and a film screening, The Wooden Camera, 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 (McKellar Room, UCC).

Western is home to more than 350 faculty, staff and students who work in Africa. Their work ranges widely across disciplines, and involves every faculty on campus. Many of the projects in which they are involved will be on display at the Oct. 18 conference.

Surrounding the conference are a number of other events, including the launch of the book, Strengthening Local Actors: The Path to Decentralizing Education: Kenya, Lesotho, Uganda.

For information and registration, visit theafricainstitute.uwo.ca.

Political Science professor Joanna Quinn is the director of the Africa Institute.


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