The Aga Khan University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) for the exchange of expertise and collaboration on research, capacity building and institutional development.
Under the terms of the MoU, AKU will avail its land in Arusha to NM-AIST for research that will benefit communities in and around Tanzania. Research will focus on advancing climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessments with a focus on high-quality, relevant, accessible and impactful applications.
“Responding to global problems requires the creation and nurturing of partnerships. It requires building links across borders and boundaries of all kinds – between the public and private sectors; between cultures, countries, and continents; between disciplines and industries," said AKU Provost and Vice President, Academics, Dr Carl Amrhein.
“My hope for our partnership is that we will develop shared strategies for research and policy implementation, involving our collective student body and faculty. Together we will make important contributions to knowledge and demonstrate the power of partnerships and their impact."
The five-year partnership will also enable AKU and NM-AIST to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship that links natural resources and the environment with human, animal, plant and planetary health – known as the OneHealth concept.
“Uniqueness of our university is five D business modes to achieve social economic transformation through research and innovation," said Prof Anthony Mshandete, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research and Innovation at NM-AIST.
As a result of the commitment to partnership, AKU and NM-AIST faculty members have begun exploring collaboration on grant applications, for example in water resource management. The signing of the MoU was facilitated by AKU's Global Engagement Office.
AKU recently established its 3,700-acre Arusha climate and environmental research station in Tanzania. The site is meant to be a “living laboratory" for studies related to climate change, environmental stewardship, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, community engagement and other fields.