Dr.Abdullahi Mohamed (Deputy Editor Geeka Afrika Online)
Djibouti (HAN) September 15th, 2007 - In the face of the East and Horn of Africa’s multiple security threats, integration and regionalization endeavours are increasingly seen as providing opportunities for establishing sustainable economic growth, peace and stability, and securing democratic consolidation. Thus, regional integration and co-operation groupings such as the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are emerging as conflict manager in the Horn of African zones. In response to regional conflict dynamics, some Educational Institutions have come up with regional early warning and early response apparatus, such as the recent Educational cooperation between Egerton University and Mogadishu University in Somalia.
The Kenyan Egerton University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mogadishu University in Somalia that will see the two universities (institutions) collaborate on research and a faculty exchange programme. The Memorandum of Understanding will also facilitate an exchange programme starting September this year where at least 60 students from Mogadishu University will spend one academic year at Egerton University.
Speaking during the 18th graduation ceremony in Njoro, Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof. James Tuitoek said that the university would also send its teaching staff to Mogadishu to work as visiting professors when need arises.
In his speech, Egerton University’s Chancellor Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat lauded the move, saying that Mogadishu University had acted as a beacon of hope for Somalis who have experienced decades of chaos and conflict.
“No institution operates on its own without finding out what others are doing, which is why most donors only provide research grants to collaborating institutions and scholars,” Dr Bethuel Kiplagat said. The ambassador appealed for external economic support for the transitional federal Government of Somalia saying that funds were needed for the reconstruction of infrastructure, revitalization of institutions and the training of man-power to re-establish the country’s civil service.
Dr Kiplagat, however, warned external forces that were keen on dividing Somalia for their own selfish and short-term interests to rethink their activities and start supporting the stabilization process. “It is critical that all Somalis be democratically involved in determining their fate as they have suffered a great deal and should now be allowed to enjoy the fruits of stability as opposed to anarchy, poverty, illiteracy and hunger,” the ambassador said.
Abdurahman M. Abdullahi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and University President Dr Ali Sheikh Ahmed represented Mogadishu University at the ceremony where about 2,000 graduates were issued with doctorates, degrees and diplomas.
Diplomatic Note: The United Nations University’s Comparative Regional Integration Studies
Centre (UNU-CRIS) is based at the college of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. UNU-CRIS is a decentralized centre of the UNU, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Mission of UNU-CRIS is to contribute towards attainment of the universal goals of the UN – through comparative and inter disciplinary research and training – and to create better understanding of the processes and impact of intra- and inter-regional integration such as the recent Educational cooperation between the Kenyan Egerton University and Mogadishu University in Somalia. . It aims to build policy-relevant knowledge about new forms of governance and co-operation, and contribute to capacity building on issues of regional future integration and economic co-operation; particularly in developing countries.
Sources: HAN News Agencies