University of Turku Partners with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to Advance Sustainable Development
Rector of the University of Turku Kalervo Väänänen and Division Director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Carlos Haddad have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), whose goal is to advance Africa’s sustainable industry, innovations, and infrastructures.
The University of Turku and the Economic Commission for Africa aim to promote the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9 on creating a sustainable industry, innovations, and infrastructures. Founded in 1958, the mission of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is to advance the African countries’ economic and social development, regional integration, and international co-operation.
– Currently, the University of Turku is one of the most active Nordic universities in Africa. We conduct research, carry out transnational education, and develop innovations on Africa. We want to co-operate even more closely than before, says Rector of the University of Turku Kalervo Väänänen.
Promoting the development of research, science, technology, innovations, decision-making, and skills are the core goals of the Memorandum. Africa’s innovation systems, developing the activities in education and higher education institutions, institutional and academic entrepreneurship and innovations, sustainable development, and the expertise in future technologies are specifically invested in.
One current goal of the Economic Commission for Africa is to develop digital economy, which would reduce the negative effects of the countries’ geographical distances on the continent especially concerning the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The Economic Commission for Africa is particularly interested in Finland’s expertise regarding economic growth that takes the environment into account and urbanisation.
– With the Memorandum, the University of Turku aims to be at the forefront of developing teaching, research, and competence concerning African science and technology. The aim of the Memorandum is also to enhance the mobility of experts between Finland and Africa, says Väänänen.
The research group Knowledge Creation Processes (KREPRO) from the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Turku coordinates the collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa. A seminar covering the collaboration between Finland and Africa on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9 as well as the co-operation between the European Union and Africa will be organised in Turku on 26–27 August 2019.