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Back issue: October 2009

Irish universities work together in research for poverty reduction - Irish/African partnership

Attendees at the DCU workshop

By Eileen Colgan, DCU

Dublin City University hosted an Irish African Partnership workshop - attended by representatives of the universities of Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique - to identify ways in which the Irish and African universities can collaborate in harnessing knowledge for poverty reduction.

Organiser of the workship, DCU’s Professor Ronnie Munck, said that by establishing a unified platform for research development, Irish universities now have the opportunity of building an Irish/African network of excellence to cooperate in areas of research interest that would be of mutual benefit.

"This invitiative is a unique partnership, involving all nine universities of Ireland With this cooperation we have the capacity to work in a synchronised way towards alleviating and reducing poverty in Africa", he said.

The Partnership was launched at DCU in 2007 and has already held meetings in Entebbe and Maputo. Preparations are now underway for a summer school in Malawi which will be the next milestone in developing a research template for the partner universities in both Ireland and Africa.

According to DCU President, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, "DCU is strongly committed to civic engagement at the local and the global levels. I do not need to remind this audience of the development challenges faced by the Africa sub–continent especially in the midst of what looks increasingly like a global recession. But today more when ever we need to realize that global development, in human as well as economic terms, is by necessity a task that involves all of us. We are committed also to translational research and making our research relevant to, indeed driven by, social need. So your work in deciding the research capacity building priorities for the IAP is absolutely vital".

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