In May, a UNU delegation headed by Rector Osterwalder traveled to Maputo, Mozambique, to meet with the Mozambique Minister of Science and Technology and the Rector Magnificus of Eduardo Mondlane University. The main topics of the meeting agenda were the progress of the UNU twin institutes initiative in Africa and the organization of a second international scoping workshop on the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), which will be held in October 2011.
During its stay, the UNU delegation held a number of strategic meetings and fruitful working sessions involving high-ranking stakeholders to discuss legal and general issues regarding the establishment in Maputo of a twin institute of the soon to be inaugurated UNU-FLORES in Dresden, Germany. UNU-FLORES will concentrate on integrated management of material fluxes and of resources, with a special focus on water, soil and waste management; other geo- and energy-resource flows will be addressed as the institute develops.
Major outcomes of the meetings and working sessions included:
Meeting/working session participants included Prof. Massingue, Minister of Science and Technology, Mozambique; Amb. Dos Santos, Ambassador of Mozambique to the EU; UNU Rector Osterwalder; and the Rector and Vice-Rector, as well as various deans, directors and professors, of Eduardo Mondlane University.
The Mozambican partners explained the challenges of science and technology development and of higher education in Mozambique, as well as their vision for the future. Establishment of the Maputo-based twin of the Dresden-based UNU-FLORES is seen as opportunity to consolidate and strengthen the capacities of Mozambique and the region for research and teaching in the field of its research scope.
Both the Ministry of Science and Technology and Eduardo Mondlane University confirmed and stressed their commitment for the initiative. Several existing or recently established M.Sc. programmes related to the topic of the twin were identified, and it was proposed to compose a joint study programme with UNU-FLORES from suitable modules offered within these courses.
Care will be taken to involve partners from neighbouring countries during the establishment process, which has started and will be finalized during the scoping workshop later this year. In so doing, the role of the twin institute as a hub for southern Africa and even beyond will be emphasized.
UNU-FLORES will soon be established in Dresden, Germany, in cooperation with Technische Universität Dresden. This new UNU institute will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Fine Arts (SMWK).
As part of the UNU’s new twin institutes strategy, Mozambique was identified as a suitable host for a second campus of UNU-FLORES. Both the government of Mozambique and Eduardo Mondlane University confirmed their support and commitment for the initiative after the first international scoping workshop on UNU-FLORES, which was held in November of 2010 in Dresden, Germany.
For more information, see the news article on the UNU-ViE website.